Do you prefer yours up or on the rocks? At East of Ellie, we’re servin’ up more than just cocktails.
On top of making sure you won’t have to desperately flag down a bartender, we give you a place where there’s tons to see while you watch the bottle of bubbly pop open. In the event world, the bar is considered the social hub, because, let’s be real, most attendees are going to make some pit stops here throughout the event.
The bar area serves as a comfort zone for guests as they arrive. There might as well be an invisible glowing light that says, “HEY YOU, OVER HERE!” They walk in, grab a drink, and chat with other guests. As the event continues, the bar is almost always a place guests return to several times until last call, especially if it’s fully stocked with branded elements and special treats.
Branding where your guests are likely to be is a no-brainer, and in this casual atmosphere, we are given the opportunity to kick it up a notch with our creativity when deciding how we are going to incorporate our client’s brand.
At East of Ellie, we know event branding is about more than popping on a logo. That’s why we created this list of our top five tips for taking your bar branding to the next level. Check it out:
1. GET PLAYFUL WITH IT
Events are supposed to be fun – it’s why we offer bars in the first place. So, when the goal is to get guests to loosen up and get to know each other over a cocktail (or in this meeting’s case, a fresh infused water), take the lead with playful branding at the bar. Here, we played off our client’s name, bareMinerals, to create barMinerals. It was a big hit with guests, and it broke through the “logo-blindness” for a crowd that sees the bareMinerals logo on a daily basis. (Note – triple check it’s approved with the client’s branding team before defacing any logos.)
Also, keep in mind that bars don’t have to be just for alcohol. Even during a day-time event, get whimsical with a snack bar – serve anything from mocktails to fresh-brewed matcha tea like we did here. Cheers!
2. PLAY DRESS-UP
Even when it’s not lip-shaped, the decor behind your bar can speak volumes. Dressing up your bar with on-brand decor can help bring a brand to life, and make guests feel like they are truly experiencing the brand. Study up on those branding guidelines and identify a few keywords to guide you in your decor search. Try to find items that fit the brand’s personality, and won’t clash with the event theme or the space you’re working with.
3. INCORPORATE THE PRODUCT-LINE
Nothing is more on-brand than the company’s very-own products. We took “building a bar” literally with this “Liquid Solutions” station for our client, Goodway. Whether you display products on the bartop or create an entire bar out of the company’s product-line, you’re sure to find branding-bliss that is unexpected.
4. SERVE UP SUSTAINABLE CUSTOM CUPS
Custom cocktail napkins or disposable cups are a great way to give your brand some extra exposure, as your guests will carry it with them throughout the night. But, at the end of the event, you’re sure to have a bit of trash build-up. For a more environmentally-friendly way to get your name out there, we recommend branded reusable cups. Not only is this a more sustainable option, but attendees will love having a keepsake to take with them at the end of the night. They will be reminded of your brand and that stellar event they attended every time they open their kitchen cabinets.
5. CONCOCT CREATIVE COCKTAILS
Never forget the real reason your guests are paying the bar a visit in the first place – the good stuff. Let your guests actually taste your brand with specialty drinks. Garnish your cocktails with an on-brand treat like this rosé drink we whipped up for BUXOM. Don’t forget to come up with a creative signature name that references the brand!
Whether your event calls for an upscale snack bar, carefully paired wines and cheeses, or professional mixologists, you’ll capitalize on some prime real-estate with your event bar, and make sure your branding is anything-but-ordinary. We hope this list comes in handy for your next event. What are your boozy + snack break best practices?
If you’d rather kick back and enjoy a drink with your team, you can leave cocktail-hour to us.