50.6% of respondents told Bizzabo that tools to connect sponsors and attendees virtually and in-person will play a key role in their upcoming event strategies.
Are you an event professional trying to ensure that you successfully incorporate event sponsors?
Do: Find Out About Sponsored Swag
Find out about any digital or physical swag that your sponsors can offer. Sort out getting these sent to your audience’s email or real address respectively, if they consented to giving you this information when registering for your event. Digital swag might include free demos or services from your sponsors, or some kind of banner/virtual background for any virtual aspect of your event.
If you send this swag before the event (as opposed to during), it can make attendees feel more familiar with the sponsors when they see their logos again at the event and recognise them.
You should also provide your sponsors with data about how their swag has been received and used. You could collect this information via surveys or download analytics.
Do: Feature Them in Pre-Event Emails
If attendees just see logos at an event without knowing what your sponsor does or why they should care, it’s not a hugely effective sponsorship.
When you send out emails to your attendees in the days and weeks leading up to your event, you should have a couple of features about your sponsors. These should be written like an engaging story, and not come across as a mere advert. Represent them as, “The story of the company bringing this event to you…”.
Do: Be Skilful With Social Media
Ask your sponsors what their branded hashtags are. Therefore, you can use them in your social media posts about the event, especially when you give your sponsors social media shout-outs.
People often use social media posts as proof of events they attended, to show their peers. Hence, you need to make sure that your social media feed makes it clear how your sponsors contributed to your event, and shows gratitude to them.
Do: Follow Up With Interested Parties
Collect the contact information of people you identified as leads due to their interest in your events’ sponsors. After this, you can invite them to attend follow-up events that allow them to learn more about your sponsors.
This’ll increase the longevity of the benefits of sponsoring your events, so your sponsors will have an even better experience. In addition, you’re also keeping in touch with your attendees to keep yourself front-of-mind for them.
Do: Take the Time to Understand Your Sponsors’ Needs
Don’t be afraid to ask your sponsors about exactly what they want to get out of your event. Let them know that you value their input. Make sure they’re aware that you want to work together to make the event as successful as possible for both of you. Aventri says that this may include asking your sponsor if they have any great ideas to innovate your event in a way that’ll also help them meet their own objectives. This will help your sponsorship package balance out both your needs and those of your sponsors.
Do: Incorporate Event Sponsors in Interactive and Inventive Ways
Aventri state that event sponsors should be incorporated in an interactive way. For instance, you shouldn’t just put their logo on a flyer.
They give an example of a creative way that sponsors’ branding can be used and interacted with by attendees: You could offer them a WiFi sponsorship, whereby your event WiFi’s name and password both advertise the sponsor. This way, whenever your audience connect to the WiFi, they have to pay attention to and type in your sponsors’ brand name. This information can also be displayed throughout the venue, e.g. “WiFi brought to you by [sponsor’s name]”. Aventri state that sponsors will be grateful to have their name displayed like this, as they know that almost every attendee will be using it and seeing their name.
Don’t: Let Your Sponsorship Content Go to Waste
Furthermore, Aventri also state that you should repurpose your sponsorship event content, so that it doesn’t go to waste. For instance, if you’re bringing in A-list speakers, you should be filming their talks so that you can reuse them in marketing materials etc.
CPD Online can film and edit such content at your next event for you to repurpose; ask us about this here.
Don’t: Use Pop-Ups For Sponsors’ Logos
If your event has an online component, it’d be tempting to place your sponsors’ logos and information on pop-ups or ads. However, this is quite a minimum effort attempt to incorporate sponsors. Furthermore, your audience’s immediate instinct will be to close these pop-ups without reading them, and your sponsor’s message may just look like spam.
The same principle may apply to promotional videos overlaying presentations, videos or other screens at your event. These might just look like advertisements if you play them too much, so your audience may just tune out and not pay attention to them. This is another reason why you should talk to your sponsors about their needs, so you can ask them how much they wish to be featured and work with them to ensure you don’t overplay their videos like advertisements.
Don’t: Have a Lazy Sponsorship Package
You should be following the above tips to put together creative sponsorship ideas for your sponsors. Don’t just throw your sponsors’ logos wherever they don’t make sense to be featured, such as on the sides of bins, hand sanitisers, or any swag they didn’t actually contribute.
Banners and flyers don’t effectively capture the attention of attendees, so also shouldn’t be relied on by your sponsors.
Don’t: Forget to Measure The Effects of Your Sponsorship Package
In the section above about sponsored swag, we mentioned that you should collect analytics about how audiences have opened or used the swag.
In the same way, throughout your event you must ensure that you’re measuring the leads that are being generated by your sponsor’s stalls and forms. This will provide you with evidence that the sponsor made a good decision working with you. Keep an eye on how your audience is interacting with your sponsors; don’t just make promises to your sponsors that they will interact and then leave it there.
We hope this article informed you about how to incorporate sponsors into events. Take these do’s and don’ts with you to your next event, and remember to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like us to livestream, record and/or edit videos of your events to continue to benefit from them.