Recent trends show that organizations worldwide are shifting dollars from traditional advertising and marketing to event sponsorship. The effectiveness of traditional marketing and advertising has been diminishing, while prices have been increasing. Ratings and readership of TV and magazines have also been declining, while cost-per-view (and per-reader) has gone in the opposite direction.
With so many more channels to reach consumers, audiences are becoming extremely fragmented, which makes it harder to reach specific demographic niches through traditional advertising formats. Consumers are becoming much more selective about where their attention goes, and can easily ignore or opt out when they’re not interested.
By contrast, marketers are seeing event sponsorship as an emerging opportunity to align their messaging with a specific topic that consumers are interested in. Sponsoring events allows brands to interact with their target audience in a more authentic and engaging way. Here are four reasons why:
- Interactive: Events create an opportunity for dialogue between brands and consumers
- Emotional: Events tap into topics, themes, and causes that consumers are passionate about
- Relevant: Consumers are at events because they choose to be there and are looking to gain from their experience
- Immersive: Sponsors can make an impact on brand awareness through multiple touchpoints and components throughout the event
What do your Sponsors Want?
If you want to take advantage of brands’ increased interest in event sponsorship, you need to understand what they want to achieve by sponsoring an event. While money is being shifted away from traditional advertising and marketing channels, it’s important to remember that those spending the money are still being held accountable for justifying how they spend their budget and the ROI.
To create competitive event sponsorship packages that will be attractive to potential sponsors and provide them with the outcomes they’re looking to achieve, you’ll need to demonstrate how the sponsorship can help reach and engage their target audience.
Sponsors are likely to be working towards one or many of the following goals:
Your job is to ask strategic questions to identify what they’re trying to achieve, and then start to form creative ideas for activation.
Recommended Read: How to Create a Killer Sponsorship Strategy that Maximizes Event Revenue
Your Event Sponsorship Packages Need Event Tech
If your sponsorship packages have been virtually identical year-over-year, your sponsors may be tired of the same routine offers, have started losing interest, or are even pulling out. Whether you’re seeking to attract new sponsors or looking to hold onto your well-established high-value relationships, it may be time to redesign your sponsorships by offering a range of creative options that help sponsors achieve their own goals.
Sponsor needs and expectations are constantly evolving. In order to remain competitive, the most successful event professionals are exploring event technology to redefine and expand their sponsorship offering.
10 Tips to Maximize Event Sponsorship ROI
To get your creative juices flowing, here are 10 ideas on how to leverage sponsorship opportunities in your event app, registration or digital signage. We’ve grouped them according to the most common sponsor goals: brand awareness; lead generation, and promotional advertising.
1) Leverage your event app home screen to make a powerful first impression
- With every attendee starting their mobile experience on the home screen page, there’s no better place to offer exposure to your main sponsors
2) Showcase sponsor branding in pre- and post-event email communications
- Increase app downloads and sponsor awareness by sending attendees branded emails with sponsor logos
3) Extend exhibitor profiles to beyond just a booth
- A few strategies to enhance sponsor profiles within your event app include adding logos and social media links to their online profiles, attaching resources to their profiles such as product presentations, brochures, and videos, and enabling sponsors to post exclusive coupons and discount codes
4) Create listings so sponsors stand out from the crowd
- Mobile users only spend 3-5 seconds looking at a page before selecting what to do next, so the higher up the listings the better chance of being seen
5) Collect data and derive insights from session attendance
- Many event apps allow attendees to favorite sessions and exhibitors. This data can be shared with sponsors so they can follow-up with attendees in a more personalized way.
6) Allow sponsors to create a personal connection through attendee networking
- A networking functionality allows for one-to-one in-app chat. Sponsors can send customized messages and promotions to customers and target prospects.
7) Engage attendees and collect qualified leads through sponsored surveys and contests
- Surveys and contests are a great win-win for both sponsors and attendees. Sponsors collect data that help them understand their prospects’ needs, and attendees get the chance to win prizes and engage in a fun way.
8) Use every page as a point of contact with banner ads
- Banner ads generate brand awareness for sponsors by being seen on the pages where attendees spend the most time, and can link to a sponsor’s profile, website, or promotion.
9) Give your sponsors a voice through notifications and alerts
- Attendees will be opening the app throughout the event, so if a sponsor wants to increase foot traffic to their booth, for example, a sponsored alert can be sent out with details directing targeted attendees to the booth.
10) Make a big splash with live display
- Digital signage solutions with a live display offer real estate for sponsor logos within rotating screens. Even the most last minute sponsorship decisions can be made, and sponsors can update their messaging in real-time.
Want to learn more?
Read our ebook on how to improve your sponsorship strategy and maximize event revenue with event tech.