Event Sessions: How can brands best convey their message?

Brands and agencies gathered to discuss how events and experiential activities are a powerful touch point to communicate key brand messages at the third instalment of Event's roundtable series, Event Sessions, yesterday (2 June).

Yesterday's (2 June) Event Sessions looked at how brands can convey their message at various touch points
Yesterday's (2 June) Event Sessions looked at how brands can convey their message at various touch points

Held at London venue The Roof Gardens in partnership with specialist staffing agency Kru Live, the session saw industry professionals share their views on the topic.   


Lance Woodbridge, key accounts and events staffing manager (EMEA) at Wasserman recalled a recent activation at the PGA Wentworth involving his client Nespresso.

"The key touch point was communicating information about the Nespresso brand and its heritage, including how it got to where it is," he said.

"We weren’t selling coffee machines, it was about focusing on the key messages that Nespresso is about."

To ensure the messages relayed were on brand, staffing played an important role in the activation.

"We had a boutique team that was complemented by staff from Kru Live, who had to be coffee lovers," he added. "They worked together to become boutique specialists."


Lucy Basden-Smith, account director at Havas Sport and Entertainment, explained that Coca-Cola has a different approach to events when compared with its other brands.

"During the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour sampling and targeting a mass audience is key for Coca-Cola, as is promoting active healthy living," she said.

"They are very specific about how the product is distributed, so we need to ensure, for example, that the product is served at 3°C.

"To promote active healthy living we put on a lot of football activities to get attendees engaged and having fun," she added.

Basden-Smith explained the approach is a little different for Coca-Cola brand, Powerade. "Powerade doesn’t need to promote active healthy living as is has associations with high performance exercise.

"With Powerade, it is about more targeted experiences."

During the Olympics, for example, The Powerade Academy included a series of experts who would deliver messages about high performance, whereas Coca-Cola would look at delivering a broader message around active healthy living.

American Express

Charlene Johnson-Crooks, project director meetings and events at American Express explained perceptions of the brand have changed.

"American Express was once very much associated with exclusivity, however we have evolved, and acknowledging the audience has been key to that," she said.


Drawing on her time at Unilever, Johnson-Crooks said it’s about brands making an emotional connection with their audience.

"Within the set conference format [at Unilever] there was an experiential element, which was very well received.

"There was a laundry activation, which featured one of Unilever’s leading laundry brand’s. Rather than give delegates a bag with the brand's products to take home, which they wouldn’t use because they are not the target market, we replicated a laundry which created a room filled with bubbles – delegates could experience the effervescence and aromas of the product firsthand," she added. 

More: Brands must not compromise experiences for ROI

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