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Flying by the seat of the pants is not an efficient or effective way to lead creative, design and marketing teams when it comes to events, or really any multi-channel marketing initiatives. Without providing clear, concise, and strategic direction, stakeholders must either waste time and resources hunting for guidance, or even worse, proceed based upon hunches or suppositions.
Ideation needs to be driven by insight and a good briefing document is the best way to provide the necessary direction for all teams involved. These different teams may need guidance on diverse elements of a project, so briefs may take different forms, or be divided into different segments. Consider a few options…
BASIC EVENT BRIEF: A basic document designed to inform internal and external stakeholders on the details of an event itself. Content may include; Event/Show name, date, location, organizer, general contractor, asset needs, staffing needs, basic metrics and other pertinent information to enlighten contributors. This brief covers the “what, where, and when” of the event and should come from the client side of the team.
CREATIVE BRIEF: The creative brief concerns itself with the who, the why and part of the how. This brief captures the information to help the marketing, creative and design staffs create the right “experience” for the event. Starting with the “why are we doing this” the document should enlighten key team members with goals and objectives, how those will be measured, key audience information, including different segments and their respective needs and applicable product and service solutions. What are the key messages and branding elements that should be featured? How will we engage before, during and after the event? What assets are available? And what are the clear deliverables that you are expecting from team members coming out of this exercise? This document could come directly from the client side or could be created on the agency side after deep dives with the client.
ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN BRIEF: The design brief provides the physical information necessary for event designers to design and create the event environment. In trade show applications, this brief includes the basic information necessary to move forward; booth size, booth number and placement, custom rental or hybrid, location of competitors, show rules and regulations, physical needs within the space (storage, demonstration, technology, meeting space, engagement space, etc.). Ideally, this brief is preceded by or included within a creative brief so this brief can also include information beyond just the physical space so the designers have a better understanding of the complete picture and ideally, the event experience is defined first so the designer can build the environment to facilitate the experience.
COMPREHENSIVE INTEGRATED BRIEF: The comprehensive briefing document is an all-inclusive collection of all information regarding an event campaign. A vert basic format for this is a collection of Excel pages, each one covering a different aspect of the event. This should be a living, dynamic document that is updated on a regular basis with the latest information, as well as after the event, to document results and learnings to help guide future events. This document can be housed on password-protected intranets or other platforms that will allow access by all relevant stakeholders, internal and external. Each of the aforementioned documents can become pages within the overall briefing document and additional pages might include Metrics and Measurement, Hospitality Detail, Lead and Data Management Specifics, Exhibit House order form, Logistics Brief and more.
Beyond providing the template and the platform, consistency and compliance are the next elements to ensure success. Teams should be on the same page, following the same rules with the same protocols.
By doing the homework first, your teams will be better informed, save time and energy and ultimately provide solutions that are strategically designed to meet and exceed the objectives of the event or campaign.
If you need help in creating, refining, or even implementing your creative briefs, we can provide the insight and resources necessary to give you and your stakeholders the strategic guidance you need to excel. Want to learn more? Contact Ben Olson at the OLSON experience, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.theolsonexperience.com.
About Ben Olson: With over 20 years in creating great experiences that bring brands and audiences successfully together face-to-face and face-to-screen, Ben has helped some of the world’s most iconic brands, in B2B and B2C spaces, engage, enlighten, and evoke action with their target audiences. With senior leadership experience on both agency and brand sides, Ben has built strategic and creative experiential marketing teams and integrated marketing offerings in senior leadership roles at organizations as; Momentum Worldwide, mg/MG Design and GES. Currently, Ben is Chief Experience Officer at the OLSON experience, LLC, offering experiential and brand strategy assistance to agencies, exhibit houses and directly to brands. Visit www.theolsonexperience.com to learn more.
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