Unlocking the Power of Strategic Partnerships: How Event Sponsors Maximize Success
Oct 30, 2023 9:30:00 AM
Sponsoring events allows brands to improve brand awareness and generate leads. Brands often jump at sponsorship opportunities, especially for events that perfectly align with their target audience.
But do the benefits go the other way, too? If you approach finding the right sponsors for your event, the answer is a resounding yes. Through strategic sponsorships, you can take your in-person, virtual, and hybrid events to the next level and make a lasting impact on your attendees.
So, whether you're hosting a user group, an industry trade show, or something altogether different, it's well worth tracking down and inviting the right sponsors to participate.
Ready to learn more about how you can benefit from event sponsorships? Here's what you need to know.
When you meticulously approach finding the right sponsors for your event, the benefits can be monumental, flowing in both directions. Through strategic sponsorships, your in-person, virtual, and hybrid events can transcend to new heights, creating a lasting impact on your attendees and providing tangible ROI to the sponsors.
An event sponsorship is a strategic partnership between the event organizer and brands interested in showcasing their products and services at the event. The event helps sponsors promote their brands to a well-curated audience, collect leads, land sales, and gain a loyal following. In exchange, the event organizer receives funds, goods, services, and advertising support to help promote their virtual or in-person event.
Together, the event organizer and event sponsors can leverage in-person and virtual event solutions and tools to optimize the event experience and achieve their event goals. For this arrangement to work at its best, however, sponsors should ideally already operate within the event's focus industry. For example, a sponsor that sells digital advertising would likely want to participate in a trade show for the e-commerce industry.
If you can attract well-aligned event sponsors, many incredible benefits will come your way, including:
While organizing an event, it's common to wish for a bottomless budget that allows you to pull out all the bells and whistles, such as securing the perfect in-person event venue, investing in top-notch event technology, or building a state-of-the-art virtual event space. Unfortunately, all these bells and whistles add to your expenses, potentially forcing you to pick and choose. But you can skip the compromises by bringing in more event sponsors to offset these costs.
By offering opportunities such as banner ads and video commercials, virtual and hybrid events create more opportunities to draw in sponsorship dollars. As an event organizer, you can get inventive.
For example, for a hybrid event, organizers can build a menu of sponsorship opportunities leveraging physical and virtual experiences, such as offering free digital ads for sponsors who purchase a physical booth. You can start to increase the value of the sponsorship, and you might be able to sell more. Another added benefit to a virtual or hybrid event: there's no limit to the number of virtual booths, which means event organizers can contract with 50 booth sponsors, not five, further increasing sponsorship revenue opportunities.
By bringing on sponsors, your marketing reach increases considerably. Your sponsors will be marketing their presence at the event via email marketing, blog posts, social media promotions, and more, further ensuring your event lands in front of well-vetted audiences with an existing interest in your offerings. Word will spread faster across the industry than through your marketing activities alone, bringing attendees to your doorstep while drumming up interest from more potential sponsors.
With the right sponsors onboard, the credibility of your event increases by leaps and bounds. Sponsors provide valuable social proof that helps elevate your event's brand image.
Although attracting attendees to your event is a huge priority, your event's true success hinges on audience engagement. Having the right engagement tools available is vital, but you also need your attendees to engage in the event directly. Make sure your sponsors have plenty of opportunities to brand physical and virtual event spaces and activities such as live chats, networking lounges, booths, and tools such as virtual photo booths, social media walls, etc. Your event attendees will likely be eager to participate in all the action, making your event memorable and increasing the likelihood of repeat attendance.
If your sponsors want to go above and beyond to support your event, they can bring many extra perks to the table. For example, they might add more value to your event by handing out physical or virtual swag, running sweepstakes, and offering product experiences. Event tech integrations will also make sponsorship activities such as polls and quizzes, chat rooms, and music possible.
No matter what your sponsors decide to offer, the perks will leave a lasting positive impression on your attendees and increase word-of-mouth about your event. So, try to cast a wide net and bring in sponsors who want to delight attendees and keep them coming back for more.
Ultimately, everyone wins when event organizers and sponsors work together. Your event will build a reputation as a go-to professional affair in your industry, and your sponsors will gain additional brand recognition. Above all else, your attendees will get the most out of the experience, landing your events on their calendar year after year.
Securing the right sponsors for your event is pivotal in ensuring its success and enhancing the experience for attendees. Let's delve deeper into the various types of sponsors you might consider for your event, each bringing a unique set of benefits and considerations.
Financial sponsors are entities that provide direct monetary support to your event. Their contributions can significantly alleviate budgetary constraints, enabling you to enhance the quality and scope of your event.
Benefits Tailoring: It's imperative to ensure that the benefits offered to financial sponsors are commensurate with their investment. This might involve prominent logo placement across various event materials and platforms, dedicated booths, or exclusive speaking opportunities.
Tiered Offerings: Consider developing tiered sponsorship packages, each offering a different level of visibility and engagement opportunities, to cater to sponsors with varying budget capacities and objectives.
In-kind sponsors contribute goods or services to your event, which can range from providing catering services to offering technological support.
Value Assessment: It’s crucial to assess the monetary value of in-kind contributions and align them with equivalent sponsorship packages to ensure fairness and transparency.
Integration Strategy: Develop a strategy to seamlessly integrate in-kind sponsors into your event, ensuring their contributions are highlighted and appreciated without disrupting the event flow.
Media sponsors play a crucial role in amplifying your event's visibility through various advertising channels, potentially attracting a larger and more diverse audience.
Coordinated Campaigns: Work closely with media sponsors to develop coordinated marketing campaigns, ensuring consistency in messaging and maximizing impact across various media channels.
Data Sharing: Consider establishing a data-sharing agreement, where insights and metrics related to campaign performance and audience engagement are shared between the event organizer and media sponsor, facilitating optimized decision-making.
In addition to the aforementioned sponsor types, consider exploring strategic partnerships with entities that align with your event’s theme and objectives.
Mutual Benefit: Establish partnerships where both the event and the partner can derive tangible benefits, ensuring sustained collaboration over the long term.
Shared Values: Align with partners who share similar values and objectives, ensuring a harmonious relationship and consistent messaging to the audience.
Developing a robust sponsorship strategy involves identifying potential sponsors, tailoring packages to their specific needs and capacities, and ensuring their contributions are acknowledged and leveraged effectively during the event.
Diverse Sponsorship Opportunities: Ensure your event offers a diverse array of sponsorship opportunities, catering to different types of sponsors and maximizing the potential for support and collaboration.
Transparent Communication: Maintain transparent and consistent communication with sponsors, ensuring they are kept informed about event developments and that their contributions are being utilized effectively.
Post-Event Engagement: Engage with sponsors post-event, sharing insights on performance metrics and discussing potential future collaborations, ensuring the relationship is nurtured beyond a single event.
By understanding and strategically leveraging the unique benefits and considerations of each sponsor type, you can develop a comprehensive sponsorship strategy that enhances your event, provides tangible ROI to sponsors, and lays the foundation for sustained future collaborations.
Event sponsorships are an excellent way to defray event costs or generate revenue. Virtual and hybrid events can give sponsors access to a larger audience, which makes them attractive to potential sponsors. Also, they give sponsors more ways to engage. For example, sponsors can host a booth or they can display digital banner ads. They can also run video commercials or send mobile push notifications.
Selling event sponsorship packages (e.g., Silver, Gold, Platinum) with varying investment levels allows sponsors to host an entire webcast session, brand a networking lounge, live stream a booth event, and/or sponsor a game or a prize giveaway. Once signed, include your sponsors in your integrated event promotion—mentions and advertising in emails, e-newsletters, banner ads, and registration pages.
To create your event sponsorship packages, simply follow these steps:
Determine how much financial support you need to pull off your ideal event. To calculate the delta, look at your existing funding and compare it to your budget and/or revenue goals. This equals the amount of money you need to raise through sponsorships.
Once you have an ideal figure, you can start identifying your event sponsorship levels. For example, if you need $50,000, set the top sponsorship level at around $7,500. Then, select the mid-tier sponsorship at $5,000 and the lowest at $2,500. Want even more levels? Go ahead and add them as you see fit. Name each level with a tie-in to your event, if possible. If not, you can use a "silver, gold, platinum" setup.
As sponsors spend or contribute more, their benefits should increase. For example, you might want to offer:
Silver: Sponsor's logo on your website for the duration of the event, banner ad at the in-person or virtual venue, and six complimentary tickets to the event.
Gold: All silver tier benefits, plus logo display in all email event promotions, signage in the registration lounge, and two complimentary VIP tickets.
Platinum: All gold and silver tier benefits, along with a half-page ad in the event program, a vendor booth, and a featured presentation on the agenda.
Sweeten the deal as you move up through the sponsorship tiers while remaining realistic about what you can offer each sponsor.
After completing these steps, you can build out your sponsorship packages. The packages should clearly define each tier's contributions and benefits, so prospective sponsors can easily weigh their options.
Embarking on the journey to secure top-tier sponsors for your event is a pivotal step toward ensuring its success and vibrancy. With your meticulously crafted event sponsorship packages at the ready, let’s navigate through a simplified, yet effective, pathway to attract, engage, and secure your ideal sponsors.
Finding sponsors that harmonize with your brand and event ethos is paramount. Especially when you're orchestrating your first event, the ideal sponsors might not be immediately apparent or accessible.
Curate a Target List: Begin by identifying leading brands within your industry. For example, if you're planning an event within the event management sector, consider targeting key players like notable event tech platforms, acclaimed planning agencies, and reputable venue providers, each offering unique contributions and expertise to your event's landscape.
Explore Varied Tiers: Don’t limit your scope to just the giants; explore various tiers, including emerging brands that might be looking for platforms to amplify their presence.
Once you've curated a list of potential sponsors, the next step is to weave a marketing strategy that piques their interest and showcases the value proposition of sponsoring your event.
Multichannel Outreach: Employ a multichannel approach, utilizing email, targeted advertisements, LinkedIn messages, and potentially, telemarketing to spark interest.
Highlight Value: Ensure your communication succinctly highlights the various event sponsorship packages and associated benefits, providing a clear picture of the value on offer.
Instill Urgency: Incorporate a compelling call to action that infuses a sense of urgency, perhaps by highlighting the scarcity of premium sponsorship slots.
As potential sponsors express interest and negotiations progress, it’s crucial to solidify the collaboration through a well-structured event sponsorship agreement.
Legal Oversight: Engage legal expertise to draft contracts that are comprehensive, clear, and legally binding, ensuring all parties are well-protected and obligations are clearly defined.
Transparent Timelines: Ensure that the agreement outlines the timelines for deliverables and contributions from both parties, ensuring clarity and adherence to commitments.
Seal with a Signature: Once the agreement is vetted and finalized, secure signatures from all parties to formalize the sponsorship collaboration.
Navigating through these steps with diligence and strategic foresight will not only assist you in securing event sponsors vital for your immediate event but will also pave the way for establishing long-term relationships, ensuring a stable and supportive sponsor base for future endeavors. Remember, the synergy between your event and its sponsors should be mutually beneficial, fostering a collaborative spirit that propels both entities toward their respective goals.
An event sponsorship letter serves as your initial pitch to potential sponsors, providing them with compelling reasons to support your event. It should succinctly communicate the value proposition of the event, expected outcomes for the sponsors, and the various event sponsorship packages available.
Maintaining a professional yet engaging tone in your sponsorship letter is crucial. Ensure that your language is clear, and concise, and speaks to the interests and values of the potential sponsor.
Once your letter is sent, a strategic follow-up is essential to keep your proposal on their radar and to facilitate further discussions. Employ a mix of email, phone calls, and LinkedIn messages to maintain a balanced and persistent follow-up.
Red Bull is known for its strategic in-kind sponsorships across various events, particularly in the music and sports domains. Red Bull hosts multiple events a year and the brand not only provides beverages but also creates immersive experiences for attendees. They established branded spaces, such as lounges and stages, where attendees could engage with the brand in a context that was both relevant and entertaining.
Red Bull's in-kind sponsorship extended beyond mere product provision to creating memorable experiences, thereby enhancing attendee engagement and solidifying the brand's association with innovative and energetic events.
IBM has been a notable sponsor at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the largest tech events globally. Their financial sponsorship has often been leveraged to establish the brand as a thought leader in the tech industry.
At CES 2019, IBM's CEO, Ginni Rometty, delivered a keynote address, discussing critical topics like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and blockchain. IBM not only had a significant branding presence across the event but also utilized the platform to share insights and innovations, positioning themselves as a pioneers in the industry. Their financial sponsorship was maximized by intertwining monetary support with knowledge-sharing, thereby enhancing the value provided to attendees and the event itself.
Since 1928, Coca-Cola has been synonymous with the Olympic Games due to its long-standing partnership as a sponsor. Their sponsorship strategy has often blended financial support with in-kind contributions, such as providing beverages for athletes and attendees.
Moreover, Coca-Cola has leveraged the global platform to launch marketing campaigns that align with the spirit of the games, thereby intertwining their brand with the values and emotions evoked by the Olympics. This strategic partnership has not only provided the Olympic Games with crucial support but also enabled Coca-Cola to forge a powerful association with the event, enhancing its global brand image.
These real-world examples underscore the multifaceted nature of event sponsorships, where brands leverage financial, in-kind, and expertise-based contributions to enhance the event while also achieving their marketing and engagement objectives. The symbiotic relationship between the event and the sponsor can significantly amplify the impact and success of the event while providing the sponsor with a potent platform to engage with their target audience.
Ensuring sponsors perceive the value in their investment is paramount, and this is where effective measurement and communication of ROI come into play. 6Connex, as a virtual event platform, provides a suite of tools that can significantly enhance your ability to track, measure, and communicate the impact of sponsorships.
In-depth Analytics: 6Connex offers robust analytics capabilities, enabling you to track various metrics related to attendee interaction with sponsor-branded elements, such as booth visits, document downloads, and engagement duration.
Real-Time Data: The platform provides real-time data, allowing you to monitor engagement metrics during the event and potentially adjust elements to enhance sponsor visibility and interaction.
Customizable Reports: 6Connex allows you to create customizable reports, ensuring you can present data in a format that aligns with your sponsors’ interests and focuses on the metrics most pertinent to their objectives.
Interactive Booths: Sponsors can utilize 6Connex’s platform to create 360-degree, interactive virtual booths, providing a dynamic space where attendees can engage with their brand, products, or services.
Live and On-Demand Content: The platform supports both live and on-demand content, allowing sponsors to host engaging sessions, workshops, or demos, which can be accessed by attendees at their convenience.
Networking Opportunities: 6Connex provides features that facilitate networking among attendees and sponsors, such as chat functionalities and virtual networking lounges, enhancing the potential for meaningful interactions and lead generation.
AI-Powered Matchmaking: 6Connex employs intelligent AI matchmaking, which connects attendees with relevant sponsors and exhibitors based on their interests and behavior within the platform. This not only enhances the attendee's experience by personalizing their journey but also provides sponsors with high-quality leads who are genuinely interested in their offerings, thereby maximizing the potential for meaningful interactions and conversions.
AI-Driven Content Hub: The AI Content Hub within 6Connex intuitively curates and recommends content to attendees based on their preferences and engagement history, ensuring they are exposed to sponsor materials and sessions that are most relevant to them. For sponsors, this means their content is strategically placed in front of a targeted audience, enhancing visibility and engagement with attendees who are more likely to be interested in their products or services.
Branding Opportunities: 6Connex allows for various branding opportunities within their completely customizable virtual event space, ensuring sponsors can maximize their visibility and impact exactly to their liking.
Sponsored Sessions: Sponsors can host sessions or workshops, providing them with a platform to showcase their expertise and engage with a targeted audience.
Automated Follow-Ups: Utilize 6Connex’s features to automate follow-up communications with attendees, providing additional touch points for sponsor branding and messaging.
Always on Content: The platform allows for 'always on' content to be hosted post-event, ensuring that sponsor-branded materials, sessions, or workshops continue to garner views and engagement.
By leveraging 6Connex’s comprehensive features, you can provide sponsors with tangible, data-driven insights into the impact of their sponsorship, validate their investment, and build a foundation for ongoing collaboration.
Furthermore, the platform’s capabilities to facilitate engaging and interactive sponsor-attendee interactions ensure sponsors can maximize their visibility and ROI, enhancing the overall success of your event and sponsorship strategy.
Dive deeper into the world of event sponsorships and exhibitor programs with our comprehensive guide. Whether you’re an event planner seeking to elevate your sponsorship strategy or a brand exploring avenues to maximize your visibility at events, this guide is crafted just for you.
Explore a wealth of knowledge and insights that will empower you to create mutually beneficial, impactful sponsorship and exhibitor collaborations for your events. From strategic planning to execution, discover actionable tips and strategies that will pave the way for event success and robust sponsor partnerships.
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