Because event sponsorship is more than just a logo on a PowerPoint
For event sponsorship to be valuable it needs to be a symbiotic relationship. As the event planner, you need to offer sponsors value that aligns with their brand and sponsors need to offer services or products that benefit the event experience. This week our very own Alissa Hurley, VP of Marketing, caught up with Doreen Ashton Wagner, Organizational Catalyst of Greenfield Services to discuss the evolving landscape of sponsorship in the events industry and 5 key ways event planners and sponsors can get the most value.
1. Document your sponsorship strategy
The first thing you need to ask yourself, does your strategy meet your organization's goals, the goals of your partners and attendees? The strategy should understand the goals of the host organization for the overall event and the goals of the host organization's sponsorship program as well the sponsor or partner objectives. As the host organization or planner it is okay to be more selective of your sponsors in your sponsorship strategy to engage partners that have objectives that align with your event goals.
2. Customize sponsorship packages
Forget classifying your sponsors with precious metals like gold, silver, and bronze. Customized sponsorship levels give sponsors meaningful ways to contribute to your event keeping true to their brand goals while aligning with the event content. Doreen says to "create a menu, much like a restaurant, that allows the sponsor to pick and choose the type of activations they would like during the event". The key is to understand your sponsor’s business objectives, and develop custom sponsorship opportunities to help for sponsors reach them. Even if you have to stick with standard sponsorship packages, you might consider adding flexible options and position it as base packages with additional opportunities to customize the plan to suit your sponsor’s objectives.
3. Create engagement opportunities
We're big believers of creating connections with events. This is also very important to your sponsors. Sponsors aren't hurting for generic opportunites, but offer them valuable engagement with their target market. This is a key differentiator that will attract the right sponsors that can provide value to your event and your attendees while achieving their strategic goals and objectives. For example, "allow your sponsors to host round tables at lunchtime for an 'Ask Me Anything' type of engagement" says Doreen. Whether these are done in combination with the host organization, with other sponsorship partners or joint partner presentations, interactive sponsor activations provide value to all stakeholders.
4. Enhance sponsorship opportunities with digital
With the advancement of digital innovations, interactive sponsorship elements are more and more prevalent. From mobile to geotargeting to geofencing with Snapchat and Beacon Technology, you'll be noticing an enormous evolution of the sponsorship industry and see more digital and technology driven activations. "Charging stations are a hot topic these days," says Alissa. "They are great to keep people engaged in your content and with interactive stations, you can have different degrees of engagement and data capture." It is important when deciding on a digital activation for your event it must align with your event goals and not just for technology's sake. Think about your audience adoption and placement.
5. Provide ROI measurement
Sponsors need bang for their buck. About half of sponsors expect some form of perfomance report from organizers and three quarters of sponsors want one. Whether its sales, media exposure, or brand awareness, providing sponsors with a post-event performance report that aligns with their outlined objectives will be extremely valuble to them. Measuring success is a big part of business, and investing in an event is no different.
To hear more about these 5 sponsorship principles, watch the full webinar recording: