Why Sponsors Bring Major Value to Your Event
Sep 15, 2022 9:15:00 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.
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 tradeshow 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 that 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.
There are many types of event sponsors to seek out for your event, including:
Financial sponsors bring cash to the table to promote their brand and other perks. The total amount of money they pay for the sponsorship opportunity should correlate with their benefits. Examples of benefits include:
In-kind sponsors provide goods and services instead of backing your event with direct payment. These sponsors might offer:
These sponsors' contributions can help keep your event well within budget.
Media sponsors help promote your event through social media and other effective advertising channels. As your sponsor, they'll create your marketing campaigns and then run them until the day of your event to bring people through the doors. This allows you to step away from the day-to-day marketing without compromising on attendance.
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.
Sell sponsorship packages (e.g., Silver, Gold, Platinum) with varying investment levels. Allow 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 levels, 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:
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.
With your event sponsorship packages in hand, it's time to start booking desirable brands by following these easy steps.
The perfect sponsors may not immediately come to you, especially when launching your inaugural event. Chances are, you'll need to do the initial searches to find the best brands to solicit for sponsorships.
Start by looking at the top brands in your industry and build a marketing list. Suppose you're hosting an automotive event, for example. You might want to aim high by reaching out to car manufacturers, high-end parts suppliers, and the leaders in the automotive fluid industry. Next, look at their main competitors if you don't get enough bites. Don't forget to set your sights on newcomers in the industry as well.
Now that you have you're a list of potential sponsors in hand; it's time to build your marketing campaigns.
Use email, targeted ads, LinkedIn messaging, and even telemarketing to generate interest. Provide an overview of your event sponsorship levels and the benefits of each.
Use a compelling call to action that creates urgency by letting them know the top sponsorship slots are limited. And don't forget to provide your contact information!
As sponsors come your way, it's time to finalize the sponsorship agreements. Have a lawyer write up your contracts to ensure the documents have all the correct information, clearly outline the timeline for deliverables, and are legally binding. After this, have your sponsors sign the agreements.
Moving through these steps will undoubtedly help you secure the sponsors you need to hit your attendance goals and attract sponsors in the coming years.
Although it's plenty rewarding, planning events is a huge undertaking. Fortunately, you don't have to go it alone.
By partnering with our team at 6Connex, you can create successful in-person, virtual, and hybrid events time and again. Our all-in-one event platform streamlines the planning process while elevating the quality of your event in every way.
Explore the possibilities! We invite you to request a virtual event platform demo today. You'll get all the insights and support you need to pull off the most ambitious events without breaking a sweat.