In our last post, we talked about strategies to structure and promote your sponsorship package. That’s a big step but a well-developed sponsorship package is only the beginning! To help you your sponsorship, here are four great ways to pique the interest of your sponsors and get them to sign on the dotted line.
1. Promotion Is Essential
Creating an enticing package is just the first step to getting sponsor buy-in. You can wax poetic about all the great features of your sponsorship package, but you can be certain that one of the first questions your sponsors will ask will be: How much promotion are you putting behind the event app? Higher usage and adoption of your event app means more exposure for your sponsors. This is why it is essential to have a well-promoted event app that works seamlessly for everyone.
Moreover, you want to have the ability to implement turnkey promotion before and during the launch of your event app. An effective call to action to download the event app can dramatically increase adoption and usage. Your campaign doesn’t have to be a huge time, scope, or money drain; ask if your event app maker has promotional materials included in their package.
The most important promotional aspect of any event app is accessibility. How easy it is to use and how well it integrates across all devices will determine how likely everyone is to view and interact with your event app and, by extension, your sponsors. Your attendees will be using a variety of devices that run on different operating systems, including iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows phones as well as tablets, laptops, and more. You want to ensure that attendees can access your event app from everywhere and that their experience across any platform will be as cohesive as the messaging of your sponsors.
A multi-platform compatible app provides your sponsor with more reach while providing you with an opportunity to extend the life cycle of the event. With the advent of event apps, you can find new ways to continue conversations and strengthen connections post-event. For example, your sponsor can send a survey to attendees a week after the event, in order to gain customer data and feedback. This is also useful for attendees, who can access the survey from their desktop, all while staying within the event app. With a flexible event app that can work across devices, you have the most essential selling point for sponsorship: a win-win for all stakeholders of your event.
2. Keep Track
In a world full of analytics, having a grasp of trends and actionable insights can make or break a business. This is no different in the event planning industry. Every event that you organize presents valuable data. Attendee activity and engagement, sponsor pricing, and many other metrics can help you make better decisions in the future.
The best way to passively collect data is to have an event app with built-in analytics that you can review regularly. Aside from the immediate benefit of real-time feedback that can help you adjust and tailor your messaging and event app promotion during the event, you can also use analytics post-event. By determining which sponsorship strategies worked best, you’ll be able to develop more convincing value propositions and charge more for future event apps.
Moreover, the post-event debrief can be just as important as the initial sponsorship package proposal. A happy sponsor is often a repeat sponsor, and with analytics, you’ll have all the tools to keep them satisfied. Demonstrate engagement with real-time reports on attendee activity, and show overall trends in the impressions and click-through rates of your mobile banner ads. Encourage sponsors to renew for your next event by demonstrating key metrics and how they are expected to grow in the future. Strong analytics will become another rock-solid data point to support better sponsorship packages in the future.
3. The Price Is Right
Arriving at a hard number based on an ambiguous and unstructured opportunity can be difficult. If you think your sponsorship pricing is scaring potential sponsors away, you may want to consider how you are structuring your sponsorship package.
In order to best understand how a sponsor thinks, let’s step into the shoes of a marketer who is responsible for sponsorship. A marketer’s end goal is to generate new leads (parties that reach out to and express an interest in a company). A marketer wants to sponsor events because this will give her exposure to your attendees. Hopefully, exposure will result in leads, and the leads will result in sales.
When she considers your proposal, the marketer will compare your sponsorship opportunity to other marketing opportunities, such as an email or direct sales campaign. A reliable way to do this is to break down costs to a “per attendee” basis. In fact, this is similar to the way that we, as event professionals, think about registration costs.
Now that you know what pushes a marketer’s buttons, it’s time to tailor your message to appeal to her. Show how your event will outperform other marketing channels, and emphasize the unparalleled engagement your sponsors will receive per attendee. Take it one step further, and draw a connection between the sponsor’s espoused values and those that your event is supposed to stand for. You can use this connection to suggest messaging that will resonate with both the sponsor and the attendee, and the marketer will feel more confident that the leads generated will be of a higher quality.
If you’re the type that wants to break sponsor pricing down to an exact science (face it, you’re an event planner – you’re definitely the type), check out our Ultimate Guide To Event App Sponsorship.
4. Align Your Sponsors’ Goals With Your Own
In one of the most widely viewed and discussed TED talks, Simon Sinek discusses how great leaders inspire action. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s well worth taking a few minutes to watch. Sinek says that when we buy into something, we are biologically predisposed to make emotional decisions that align with our own core beliefs rather than using more analytic means-to-ends reasoning about how well something will work for us. Of course, we prize rational thinking (and rightly so), but Sinek maintains that we mostly use it to justify decisions that our emotional minds have already made. Sounds fancy, but what does it have to do with selling sponsorship?
Sinek makes the bold claim that the way many people go about selling is wrong. The most successful selling occurs when you understand that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” When designing your sponsorship package, it makes sense to focus on the features, numbers, and granular benefits of your event app; you will need these to supply your sponsors with good reasons to buy into the sponsorship opportunity. However, if you want to truly impress your sponsors, you should not only communicate the value behind your exposure opportunities, but also how the opportunities present a strategic fit with your sponsor.
For example, aim your pitch at the types of sponsors who would have the most to gain from exposure to your target attendees. By presenting the value of synergies (an end-result which is greater than the sum of its parts) that exist between your event and your sponsors’ objectives, you can really capture a sponsors’ attention (and wallet).
As Sinek says, “The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” You may entice sponsors by just building a solid sponsorship package, but if you also make it fit their vales, your odds of sealing the deal will be much higher.
Putting It All Together
If you have a great event, there is no reason not to have great event app sponsorship. Ensure your event’s strategy is aligned with that of your sponsor, learn and improve with past analytics, and learn to think like a sponsor. By following these three steps to building successful sponsor packages, you’ll have your sponsors chomping at the bit to participate in your event in no time.
In our next post we’ll switch from the strategic to the tactical by discussing how to maximize value with in-app advertising. You’ll be moving from high level planning to employing specific best practices we’ve collected from the industry, as well as our own experience working with thousands of events. If you still have questions about strategy in your event app, check out our free e-book, the Ultimate Guide To Event App Sponsorship. It’s jam-packed with more strategy goodies. Go ahead and download it now!