Consistent and cohesive branding is the key to crafting an experience around your business — not just online, but in person as well. One of the best ways to show up and connect with others personally is to participate in networking events.
The key to a successful in-person event, however, is to make sure the brand experience you worked so hard to establish online also translates to the “real,” face-to-face world. To showcase your brand experience during networking events, you must first establish trust through consistency and connection.
Establishing Trust by Creating an Experience
In order to establish the strongest foundation of trust with your audience and clients, your brand must work to not only inform your audience of what they are going to receive from you but to fulfill it as well.
Your brand itself makes a promise, and the experience you create around your brand is the upholding of that promise. Your brand experience is the proof that you do what you say you do, serve how you say you serve, and make good on the promise you made in your mission statement.
Your brand — from its mission statement to logo to graphic design — works to tell your audience how they are going to feel, how they’re going to be different, and what they will receive from you when they engage with your business.
From there, it’s up to you to bring various components together (like your website, office space, business cards, Instagram posts) — wherever your brand will interact with other humans — to bring it to life.
How Do You Want to Show Up?
In real-life events, like networking, your brand experience is founded on physical components as well as your personality, character, and conversation.
Before determining what to bring to your networking event, think through these things and how they relate to your brand:
Your personality | Your brand is oftentimes an extension of your personality. If this is the case for your brand, think through how your personality is represented in person.
Your style and level of professionalism | How much fun and how much professionalism will you balance in your brand? Determine what level of both fits in with your personality and brand and how you want your audience to feel when they engage with you.
What you do and how you serve | What you do and how you serve your audience will play a large role in what designed pieces you use to create your experience. For example, if you’re a fashion designer, you could print your business card information on a textile that displays your brand look and feel. If you’re a baker, you might want to share a small pouch of treats along with your business card!
How to Craft a Unique In-Person Networking Experience
Now that you know how you want your peers to feel when they engage with you, here are a few items you could think about tailoring to your brand and using to craft your desired experience:
Business cards | Make them unique by including a specific link to your website where they can download a valuable piece of content only people you network will receive.
Website | Make sure your website is consistent and set up to attract and funnel leads via an email sign-up option. If your website is not yet ready, but you’re going to a networking event, be sure to set up a simple form to gather visitors’ information so you can let them know when the website is live.
Branded Cards | Make sure to have branded Thank You cards created so you can send them to the event host as well as any colleagues who invited you to the event
Follow-Up Cards | Send follow-up cards to anyone with whom you connected and want to establish an ongoing relationship. Be sure to include a customized, handwritten note with an on-brand message!
Need help crafting unique, on-brand collateral for an upcoming networking event? I’m your girl! Schedule a call with me and we can talk.