Sponsorships: Why You Should Include Them in Your Event Plan
Including sponsorships as part of your event strategy will provide many long-term benefits. When you host an event, you incur numerous costs, from venue rental to advertising. But by building a meaningful sponsorship program that includes everything from partner logo displays to keynote presentations, you can increase your marketing reach and offset your event costs.
Event sponsorships offer both short-term and long-term benefits. In addition to supporting your event financially, they also:
- Attract leads and increase marketing and sales pipelines
- Increase audience reach
- Build brand awareness
- Generate media
- Differentiate your events from those of your competitors’
Are Sponsorships Useful for All Types of Events?
Sponsorships can be used for all types of events. From webinars to large corporate events, sponsorships can provide much-needed funds and exposure for your event. In return, sponsors’ brands and products will be showcased and promoted as part of your event marketing. Sponsorships can also be used in any event format:
- In-person — An in-person event allows the sponsor to be onsite, converse with attendees in person, and hand out swag. Brochures and programs can display the sponsor’s logo and other branding in prominent position(s) for maximum exposure.
- Virtual — A virtual event can allow sponsors to provide short, commercial-like videos, where sponsors can share information about their products. Ad banners can also be utilized. With the right virtual event platform, sponsors can even build virtual booths and make collateral available for download, as well as schedule appointments with attendees and chat live through event apps. One of the benefits of a virtual event is that there’s almost no limit to how many sponsors you can invite to participate.
- Hybrid — Hybrid events invite attendees to experience the event either in-person or virtually. This type of event has a much broader reach and offers you and your sponsors an opportunity to connect with audiences locally and globally. A hybrid event is a great vehicle for both you and your sponsors to explore new and innovative ways of attracting and engaging with event audiences, and event organizers can build a menu of sponsorship opportunities leveraging both the physical and virtual event components. For example, you can offer sponsors that purchase a physical booth free digital ads, which can actually start to increase the value of the sponsorship, enabling you to sell more. Another added benefit to a 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.
Your event format will likely determine how many sponsorships you can offer, and what your sponsorship packages will look like. Regardless of whether your event is in-person, hybrid, or virtual, you should consider leveraging a virtual event solution, as most technology includes sophisticated engagement tools that your sponsors will want to use to increase their brand profile and connect with your event audience. Engagement tools also collect attendee data that allows your sponsors to identify leads and helps you — and them — calculate event ROI.
How Do Sponsorships Work?
Best practice is to sell sponsorship packages (e.g., Platinum, Gold, Silver) with varying investment levels. Allow sponsors to host an entire session, brand a networking lounge (in-person and/or virtual), hold a booth event or livestream a presentation, and/or sponsor a game or a prize giveaway. Once signed up, include your sponsors as part of your integrated event promotion — mentions and advertising in emails, e-newsletters, banner ads, and registration pages.
You can also lean on your sponsors to help recruit attendees. Consider creating an incentive for your event sponsors to promote the event. For example, send your sponsors the event registration page with a tracking code embedded. Those who generate the most registrants through their promotion efforts receive a discount on their sponsorship, more advertising opportunities throughout the event, or similar.
Why Do Sponsorships Work?
Sponsorships work for several reasons. They give your event a financial boost and allow you to extend more perks to those who attend. They also lend a measure of credibility to your event. If attendees see companies they like sponsoring your event, they may consider the event in a more favorable light.
Sponsors also reap the rewards of a sponsorship. Even though they’re buying a piece of your event, they’re increasing their brand visibility and they’re building their marketing and sales pipelines.
Who Should Be Your Primary Sponsors?
When choosing potential sponsors, you want to look for companies with similar goals and interests. For example, a sporting event might look for sponsors that sell athletic equipment. A retail event might try to secure sponsors that sell e-commerce software. The key is to know your target audience and look for companies that target a similar audience.
What Event Platforms Are Best for Sponsors?
There are many virtual event products that you can use when working with sponsors to maximize the success of your event. If you request a virtual event platform demo, you will begin to see how certain products can increase the effectiveness of your event, be it in-person, virtual, or hybrid, for both you and your sponsors. Be sure to look for event management platforms that feature engagement tools. These come in many forms and allow sponsors to make the most of an event. Pro tip: make sure the event platform you choose not only has a broad menu of engagement tools, but also offers tools that are customizable, so the sponsorship experience is unique for each organization.
At 6Connex, we’re here to help
Sponsorships are an incredible asset for any event type. From the financial benefits they provide to the greatly enhanced reach, a strong relationship with a reputable sponsor will boost your event ROI.
We know that creating a sponsorship strategy and building your sponsorship packages is just one of the many parts of your event planning process, and our event tech professionals and management team are here to help you with your end-to-end event planning.
Whether you’re looking for an event app to enhance your attendees’ experiences or you want to upgrade your current event tech, schedule a demo today to learn more about how our event management team can help make your next event a success.