At Willow, well, just like anyone else, we like to have fun. And we’ll use any excuse to celebrate Margarita day? Yes, please! It’s Wednesday, why not make it Waffle Wednesday? National Pancake Day? That’s a no-brainer. And when it comes to weddings and babies around the office, Maggie and I have become the queens of surprise party planning. But we have to admit, it was a little surprising to us when we were asked to throw our first party—we’re just a designer and a project manager. Granted, we do have good style, but still… when did party planning become something we did?
So we got to thinking about it. Over the last couple of years, Maggie and I have planned, produced materials, and supported our clients through nearly 30 combined events. So when we put it that way, it’s not that surprising that we were quickly dubbed the event-planning duo. Okay, so maybe no one has actually called us that, but I think it could catch on. But really, (while we do make a stellar planning committee), at the end of the day, we just consider ourselves to be brand ambassadors for our clients.
A person who represents a brand in a positive light and by doing so helps to increase brand awareness. The brand ambassador is meant to embody the corporate identity in appearance, demeanor, values, and ethics. The key element lies in their ability to use promotional strategies that will strengthen the customer-product relationship and include a large audience to become brand advocates.
Hmm, kinda sounds like Willow’s motto: “We’re a group of creative folks making people, and the brands they represent, shine brighter.”
In the business of business-to-business marketing, hosting or attending events is THE way our clients literally create a brand experience with their member/client base and turn attendees into brand advocates. So one thing’s for sure, no matter if you have the whole convention site, or just a 10’ x 10’ space, owning the space is key. There’s no denying it, this is a unique situation—it’s the one, or maybe two, times a year that you get to come face-to-face and let your members enter into your space… which, oddly enough, is not your space. You could be at a convention center, a hotel, or maybe even an outdoor arena, but it’s yours for a short period of time, and you’ve got to own it. Covering the site with your logo, messaging, brand elements, and planning the path your attendees will take to interact with you, is no small feat.
So 30 events in, and at least another 10 on the horizon for 2016, we’ve got our work cut out for us… but we enjoy it! We don’t think of it as a punch list of tactics we’ve got to get done—we dive in. We do the research, collaborate, and come armed with the history, knowledge, and strategy we need to help make our clients shine at their events. We become a “we”—we proudly become a part of our clients’ teams and think of ourselves as just another one of their teammates. And, we’re also their biggest cheerleaders. We want you to have the best outcome as much as you do! Cheers to 2016!
Written by: Maggie Hendrickson and Erin Green.