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Event branding: Give your recurring events a unique look

One of the best ways to create buzz for your small business is to hold an event...and if you can take advantage of warm weather, why not enhance a special event with an outdoor element?

Here, see how Cristina's Cafe created a brand identity for a special event - Tuesdays on the Terrace. They wanted to draw in more customers on weekday afternoons and evenings, since these are typically slow hours at their coffee shop. By hosting a regular, recurring event, their goal is to turn this previously unpopular time into a profitable one. Plus, they're taking advantage of the outdoor space they already have on the sidewalk, transforming it into a terrace that will host musical guests. Here, see how Cristina's Cafe markets Tuesdays on the Terrace...and take away some tips you can use to promote your own small business event.

Give your event its own identity.

Your event should have its own name and accompanying logo design...but one that complements your existing small business branding.

The logos for Cristina's Cafe and Tuesdays on the Terrace have similar fonts with a handwritten look and feel. To set the event's branding apart, the new logo gets jazzed up (no pun intended!) with an illustrated saxophone motif, floating musical notes and a steaming cup of coffee. This new logo design tells people more about the event, so they'll know to expect live music and coffee.

Both designs also use colors from the same family to complement each other. The Cristina's Cafe logo sits on a flat, bright teal background, a perfect shade for a lively cafe. The event logo uses a darker shade of teal to reflect their nighttime event, while a spotlight-inspired effect creates great dimension.

Get the Look

If you need help creating event branding that works with your main logo, the experts at 99designs by Vistaprint can help.

Attract an audience.

Make sure your event space is clearly marked - you'll want to catch the attention of new (and regular!) customers with flags and banners, and direct them to the right place with informational posters and signage.

And beyond storefront and sidewalk signage, spread the word about your event with flyers or postcards. Hang flyers around your neighborhood and send postcards to everyone on your mailing list to create excitement. You can also include postcards and flyers in customer shopping bags or packaged to-go orders to remind customers about your upcoming event.

Promote your new event online, too. Create a Facebook post or Instagram story to share on your social channels to get customers excited about upcoming events, or send out an email newsletter with more information. You could even think of a special hashtag for your event and encourage customers to use it when they post on their own social pages.

Add a little ambiance.

You've created a new logo for your event...take it a step further by creating an environment that reflects your event. Dedicate a portion of your employees as event staff, and outfit them in event-branded uniforms - T-shirts, aprons and hats. Add the new logo to your event-only menu and drinkware to make it feel extra special and set the event terrace apart from your day-to-day space.

And aside from displaying your new event logo on signs and supplies, make the outdoor setting of your event festive. Hang some bistro lights, invest in pretty and comfortable patio furniture and decorate with fresh flowers to create an appealing area that customers will love to spend time in.

The finished look

See how it all comes together for Tuesdays on the Terrace at Cristina's Cafe.

  1. Menus. Add your new branding to your event menu for a consistent look and feel.
  2. Mugs. Serve drinks in mugs with your event branding...make sure customers know they're for sale.
  3. Postcards. Spread the word around your neighborhood with postcards.
  4. T-shirts. Create T-shirts with your additional branding for staff to wear during the event.
  5. Sheet stickers. Promote your event with branded stickers on paper bags, to-go boxes and decor.
  6. Posters. Grab the attention of current customers with posters.
  7. Flags. Attract passerby attention with an eye-catching flag.

About the designer

Khingkhing from 99designs created the logos for Cristina's Cafe and Tuesdays on the Terrace with a hand-drawn approach and simple, natural design. "When I saw the name and description of a music event in a restaurant, I wanted to create a design that connected all the elements, like all the parts of a human body. So, I tried an abstract design where the saxophone is like the whole body, the coffee cup is the head, the terrace light is like hair flowing all around and the music notes are like the scent of a good perfume."

Check out their portfolio if you're interested in working together to create a look for your small business or special event.

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