Conferences as your brand promise

I recently had a browse through the January issue of The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business and this article caught my eye: Canada’s Top 50 Brands by Steve Brearton. Brearton talks about your brand being the value of a promise that is consistently kept.
Conferences as your brand promiseBrearton breaks down his definition as follows:

  • Value: What’s the actual dollar value of the company’s brand? Is this the old accounting ‘goodwill’ value of a company? To find out the mathematical value, read the sidebar in the article.
  • Promise: Commitments the brand makes to all stakeholders, from employees to suppliers to customers.
  • Consistently kept: A business system that involves all departments and a tool that allows all employees to understand how they fit into the “Brand”.

Some of the Canadian brands that were discussed were Lulu lemon (26th place) TD Bank’s comfortable approach (1st place), Brookfield Office Properties (15th place. I can personally testify to the value of their brand – they promise good customer service, care, retail, etc. to offices all over and condominiums. They manage the one I live in and they are top notch).

So, how does all this relate to the business of meetings/conferences/etc.?

It certainly does. What’s the brand value of your conference? Does it have a financial goodwill value? When your conference is marketed each year, do people get excited about going? Does the conference consistently offer consistent programming? Are all stakeholders taken into account?

Let’s break it down. I’m going to use the CanSPEP annual conference as an association’s conference that has grown each year.

Value: Each year more people come to the conference – both planners and suppliers. Each year evaluations continue to get better. Each year the CanSPEP Conference Brand grows and it becomes a must on industry calendars. While CanSPEP has never put a dollar value to that growth, I’m sure, using the mathematical rules that accountants use to value a brand would give a positive spin on the value.

Promise: Each year the CanSPEP conference is embraced by the board, by members, by supplier partners, by sponsors, by media partners and the city the conference is taken to. The conference promises high level education, lots of networking and lots of fun. And it delivers. If it did not, there would not be repeat stakeholders. Each CanSPEP member understands the value of delivering what was promised.

Consistently kept: CanSPEP engages the host city, puts together a cracker-jack conference team and dovetails to the CanSPEP board to ensure mission statements and outcomes are strategically met. There is a consistency in delivery internally and in the outcomes for those attending.

For the conferences/meetings/events you plan, make sure your brand promise stands out.

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