I joined Nashville Hiking Meetup in July of 2007. After several months of participating in hikes, leading hikes, and taking over the group in December of that year, someone suggested we have a social event at a bar or restaurant. Surprisingly enough I was skeptical. I said, "I know these people like to hike together, but will they like to socialize and drink a beer together?"
Boy, was I wrong.
We planned our first social event for January 6, 2008 at a local pub. Trip leader Seth had the brilliant idea (which I later learned was the idea of his then girlfriend and now wife Anna) to call it "Drink a Pint" which then morphed into "Drink a Pint Night" over time. People loved the event from day one.
Fast forward to modern times. We typically do one Drink a Pint Night per month now, attracting usually 100 people or more. Now members expect the "Pint Nights" (as most people call them now). By giving the regular event its own name, people identify with it and can refer to the mixer quickly as in, When is the next Pint Night?
Social events have become great way for current members to catch up with old friends, and new members to meet a few folks to realize we’re not crazy before they head out into the woods to hike or camp with us. Add a great brand name to your mixers and other events (and partner with other meetups in the area) and I bet you’ll have a winning combination. Furthermore, promise a venue you’ll bring X number of people into their establishment on a certain night, you’re bound to find a long term sponsor.
No, we’re not the only group in the world to use the event moniker “Drink a Pint Night” but it has stuck. I’m proud to say that our friends at Bowling Green Hiking Meetup have also taken on that brand.
Our pals at Tennessee Hiking Group do a great job at thinking up creative (although a little cutesy for my taste) titles for their events such as “Romancing the Stone: Standing Stone SP, Cooper Mountain Trail” and “Fiery Gizzard —> And we’re off to see the Gizzard…”
How have you branded your recurring events? Let us know in the comments.
Resources: Brand your events. You’ll be happy you did.
- Why Event Branding is Even More Important For 2012 – Brand Positioning (Dec 2011)
- Experts Share Tips for Effective Special Event Branding: Effective branding is a lot more than plastering logos everywhere. (Aug 2011)
- Building Brand Through Event Marketing – Experiential Marketing 2.0 (Jan 2010)
- Build it and They Will Come: Five Characteristics for Branding Your Event – Brite Blog (May 2011)
- 10 Ideas for Event Branding on a Small Budget – PrintWand blog
- Branded Events: Guide to Event Branding – Zach Graeve
- Your Best Event: Social Media, Event Branding & Event Marketing: Tips for Better Events in 2013
- Event Branding: Long-Term Value, Short-Term Action – CBC