5 Graphics Tips for Marketing and Branding Your Virtual Event

 Every event needs visual branding, and that goes for virtual events as well as physical ones. It’s important to develop a cohesive look that makes your event visually distinct from others in the industry. There’s lots of scope for deploying graphics at an online event, including social media and other forms of advertising and within the digital environment itself.

Options for Using Virtual Event Graphic Elements

For all events, both live and virtual, visual branding is a key part of event success. But for virtual events in particular, branding is even more vital. This arm of the industry is still new, and visual branding is part of an event’s overall brand message. That brand messaging is part of what attracts attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers, so it’s important to get it right—and keep it consistent—from pre-event publicity to the post-event wrap-up.

1. Custom Banners for Your Event Website

Custom banner advertising is a staple format that’s perfect for event websites. It can be adapted for social media use as well as event listing sites. Banner graphics can be customized for a range of standard shapes and sizes, so you’re not limited to just one format.

Banners are most effective when they’re kept simple. Choose an eye-catching color combination, or go with whatever color combo you’re already using for event promotion. Then add text sparingly to provide some essential details. Keep it brief, with just the:

  • Event name
  • Event date
  • Event time
  • Platform or site you’re using to host the virtual event

Banner graphics don’t need lots of text; in fact, they can be less effective when you add too much detail.

2. Graphics Sets for Social Media and Email

Make your banner graphics work harder by using them as the basis for a coordinated set of graphics, and you have the makings of a great social media campaign. Use your banner colors and font as a style guide, and continue with the same visual elements to develop a cohesive aesthetic. Then create a series of graphics that you can use on social media to provide more information about the event, such as:

  • Date, time, and platform details
  • Registration reminders
  • Content teasers
  • Speaker bios

Get more out of the graphics you create by reusing them where applicable. For instance, registration reminders and content teasers can be used in your email marketing campaign for the event.

3. Virtual Backgrounds and Slides for Speakers and Panels

At live events, speakers and panel discussions happen in your own event environment. This makes it easy to control what brand messaging viewers get when they attend those sessions. For digital environments, you can achieve the same effect by designing a virtual background that’s displayed behind each speaker when they’re onscreen. So every live speaker or panel discussion has the same cohesive look. This helps you strengthen your event’s visual image and your brand messaging.

It’s typically best to go with a fairly plain background, with colors that aren’t too flashy. The simplest and most visually cohesive option is to pick out the dominant color from your virtual event graphics set or banner graphic. Use this as the basis for the background screen, then add in your event logo.

You can then use the same background graphic for any content you produce for the event. And you can distribute it to any speakers who log onto the event platform from their home or workplace. This ensures that no matter where your contributors are, they’ll all look like a cohesive part of the event.

Are any of your speakers using slides, screenshare, or any other medium for displaying graphics or text? You can also provide them with a standardized background to use for each slide or for the screen. This way, every piece of content the speaker displays conforms with your visual event identity.

4. Onscreen Graphics for Video Content

Both pre-recorded and live video content represent further opportunities for branding, with the use of onscreen graphics to provide viewers with key information. By adding lower-third graphics to your video content, you can provide essential information without taking attention away from speakers, and you reinforce your visual branding at the same time. For instance:

  • Include lower-third graphics that provide the name and title of the speaker.
  • Display social media information such as relevant event hashtags or social media handles of the current speaker.
  • Add the event logo in one of the bottom corners of the screen, like TV networks do.
  • Use the lower third to display sponsorship messages at the start or end of a speaker’s presentation.

5. Supplemental Event Material

Lower-third graphics are a simple and effective way to provide information on-screen. However, they are limited in terms of how much information you can display. If your display graphics are overly complicated or wordy, they’ll just be distracting to viewers.

One alternative is to develop some supplementary material that event attendees can peruse for more information. This might be in the form of one or more dedicated sections on the event website or could be emailed as a printable PDF.

This provides more opportunities to use virtual event graphics and further strengthen your visual branding. Some information that could be added includes:

  • Speaker bios, contact information, and social media handles
  • Sponsor information
  • Exhibitor information

How to Source Virtual Event Graphics

For sourcing virtual event graphics, you generally have three options:

  1. Hand off the project to someone in-house.
  2. Hire the work out to a graphic design firm.
  3. DIY it – This isn’t as difficult as it sounds, as there are some excellent free tools available online for creating a wide range of graphics.

Free Options for Banners and Graphics

Hosting a small event with a budget to match? There are great free graphics tools available online. With these, you can quickly create simple banner-style graphics suitable for use on websites and on social media. Some options include:

  • Canva. Thousands of professional templates, design types, graphics, and images are available on the free version of Canva, and hundreds of thousands more with a premium subscription. Create an account to get started.
  • Placeit. Create banners in minutes with customizable templates. This site has a feature called automatic scaling, which lets you quickly adapt the dimensions of a design to fit different social media formats.
  • Adobe Spark. Although the selection of free templates and images is somewhat limited, you can upload your own images directly from Dropbox or your device to create custom banners.

Free Options for Lower-Third Graphics

Lower thirds may be a little trickier to master, but there are some free options available and plenty of YouTube tutorials to show you how it’s done.

  • Canva. Your free Canva account can also be used for creating lower-third graphics, making this site a convenient choice for DIY event graphics.
  • Placeit. Use your free account to make lower-third graphics from simple templates.
  • Vimeo. This video-making website has a free account option that allows you to make lower-third graphics for video.

Consistent, Eye-Catching Virtual Event Graphics Are a Boon to Your Production

Graphics may seem like a relatively unimportant part of a virtual event. But just as at a live event, they actually contribute a great deal to your success. Having a cohesive visual identity enhances your event marketing campaign and strengthens your brand, from the start of the event all the way through to the end.

Take your virtual event to the next level and Go Beyond

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