14 Techniques for Strengthening Your Brand at Live Events

Personal Branding
Working Together Live Conference

Share your favorite technique for representing and strengthening your brand at in-person events.

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Start a Live Stream

“Whenever we’re at events, we tend to use Facebook Live and film our experience at the event while also interviewing attendees. We even created our own hashtag and show called #TSEtalks. This gives our audience the first look at how we grow our connections and the excitement of the world we live in.”

Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations

2. Play a Theme Song

“Before every video or live presentation, I play a short, up-tempo song that I’ve licensed for use in my events. This is a great way to build up hype before a big announcement or presentation. In addition to increasing the energy of a crowd, this method reinforces the audience’s memory of my brand through a memetic effect. Whenever they hear that song, they’ll think of my brand.”

Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy

3. Say Hi First

“I try to say “hi” first. I’m usually the one to cross the room to introduce myself to others, which allows people to see I’m open, confident and collaborative. My business brands are about being warm and trustworthy. Especially with MORE, being open and authentic needs to shine through.”

Amber Anderson, MORE

4. Make a Remarkable Impression

“There are three key things you can do to be remembered at in-person events: Simplify your name, build authentic rapport and have your own unique dress style. Abbreviate or change your name if it’s hard to pronounce, make your wardrobe unique and consistent and know who you want to connect with. Once these are done, get clear on what you value and what you can offer so people remember you.”

Dan San, Meural

5. Ask the Right Questions.

“If I meet people at a live event, whether it’s a conference, seminar or any type of networking event, I understand that I can’t help everyone. That’s why I go out of my way to ask pointed questions about what the person needs. I ask about their type of business, challenges finding new customers and goals. This information helps me qualify potential customers and not waste their time.”

Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

6. Focus on Your Story

“People tend to relate to stories way better than blatant self-promotion. In-person events give you the perfect opportunity to present the story of how you got to where you are. Start by defining the story you want to tell, make sure it remains consistent, and do away with any fluff. Keep your story factual, failing which it can actually work in deteriorating your brand’s image.”

Derek Robinson, Top Notch Dezigns

7. Be Able to Explain What You Do and Your Vision Powerfully

“Most entrepreneurs are not very good at communicating the value and impact of their work and will default to generic industry terms to describe what they do. You should be able to explain your vision/what you do so powerfully that it sparks genuine interest and fascination in most of the people you meet. When you can do that well, each conversation is worth its weight in gold.”

Justin Faerman, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine

8. Help Others Build Their Brand 

“My key strategy at events is to help others build their future. If I leave someone better than they were before, that is indirectly impacting my brand in a positive way. If you want to elevate your brand and take it to new heights, then you must invest in others because they are going to be your following and your super-fans.”

Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing

9. Be Vulnerable and Authentic

“Nobody at an event wants to let their vulnerabilities hang out, in case it’s not the “proper thing” to do. When everyone is striving for perfection, authenticity is a great differentiator. When you talk about your bad quarter, a client who almost caused you to shutter or any of a plethora of other interesting anecdotes that someone else might be able to relate to, you can create a genuine connection.”

Cody McLain, SupportNinja

10. Create a Hashtag

“Creating a hashtag is a great way to tie an in-person event to the digital world. As you’re posting on social media, use your new hashtag as well as the hashtag for the event. This way those who weren’t able to attend will be able to follow along.”

Jared AtchisonWPForms

11. Use Personal Stories and Relatable Interests

“Too many speakers and presenters are boring. One of the best ways to relate to an audience is to share a personal or real story that others can relate to. For example, in my presentations, I will include my dog Foxy or how our home was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. Events and topics like this are relatable to most people, and they will appreciate your time and effort when sharing such stories.”

Zac JohnsonBlogger

12. Educate Your Team About Why You’re There

“Make sure your people know why they are attending these events and what can come of them. I have been to so many events where reps are uninformed and unmotivated. It is very clear they are attending out of obligation. Don’t let that be your team. Make sure you are putting your best foot forward by having your best people represent and you will begin to see your ROI increase.”

Camryn Skladany, Innovien Solutions

13. Actively Listen and Follow Up with Pertinent Questions

“As a lawyer, I learned to always follow up with questions during a deposition. I take the same tack during in-person events. I usually let the other people I am networking with do most of the talking at first and I keep them talking by asking engaged follow-up questions. Then, once they have communicated their thoughts, I begin to introduce my story. Actively listening will make your brand stand out.”

Ryan Bradley, Koester & Bradley, LLP

14. Live Your Brand in Everything You Do

“When you attend events, go to meetings to network or even walk your dog, you are your brand and your personality must reflect your company culture. There should never be a time in your life from this day forward where you aren’t willing to sacrifice for your brand. When you speak, passion should flow through you. Your personality alone should urge your potential clients to buy.”

Jason Criddle, Jason Criddle and Associates