According to consumers surveyed for Event Marketer’s 2018 EventTrack, 85% of consumers are likely to purchase after participating in events and experiences, and over 90% have more positive feelings about brands after attending an event. That’s a solid reason to solicit sponsorships for your next event and by the same token, it’s a great statistic to convince any sponsor that events are worth the investment... if done right.
The key to successful partnerships is ensuring a strategic alignment that’s mutually beneficial. You want to look for companies whose goals and products align with your attendees’ needs and lifestyle. For example, a luxury brand that targets single high-level executives wouldn’t be suitable for an event that caters to low-income families. However, a high-end event where high-income dominates would be the perfect place for that brand. Just as a bank or funding company with low rates and an easy qualifying process would be a good one to partner with that low-income family event. Let’s start by looking at some examples of productive partnerships and then we’ll discuss what events have to offer the right sponsor.
Dell at Sundance Film Festival
Both Dell and Sundance Institute share a commitment to support filmmakers, editors, and others in the media and entertainment industry so it made perfect sense for them to be the official technology sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival. In fact, we should look at this type of “exclusivity” as an example of a powerful intangible benefit that sponsors should look for. Dell provided solutions both behind-the-scenes and front-of-house to facilitate event logistics for Sundance Institute and presented a high-engagement program throughout the festival including hands-on-experiences with systems, “Ask an Expert” area, relevant panels, networking receptions, and even photo-ops.
NYX Professional Makeup at Coachella
This year we saw NYX Professional Makeup take center stage at Coachella Music and Arts Festival as the exclusive beauty partner hosting its glamorous “Glitter Trip” activation (keyword again: exclusive). With the intent to highlight their Glitter Goals Collection, NYX brought with them a paradise-like hang out spot featuring charging stations, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, a touch-up area, and not just a glitter fountain but also a massive lip and tongue slide for the very sought out Instagrammable photo-ops. I mean, after all, isn’t the beauty on Instagram what it’s all about? Kidding of course… but it is a pretty big deal for this group of vibrant fashionistas and NYX gave them just the thing that they will treasure and share for years to come. NYX partnering with Coachella was like a match made in glittery heaven, missing nothing but the unicorns. That’s what strategic partnerships are all about.
Benefits Events Have to Offer
As an event host, there’s a myriad of benefits you could offer to entice sponsors to jump on board. Let’s take a look at some tangible benefits:
- Signage Exposure
- Secure areas for banners and other print signage to promote and thank them.
- Exhibit / Activation Space
- Give them space to demonstrate or promote their products.
- Sampling Rights
- Find ways to get their products into the hands of attendees, whether that’s through exhibit space, your check-in area, or other places throughout your event.
- Logo Placement (Event Ads, Event Program, Event Materials, Apparel, etc.)
- Include their brand logo on a prominent page of your event program, in local ads, or even get your staff to sport their logo on their backs!
- Online Rights (Website, Social Media, Emails, etc.)
- Display their logo on your event website and link it back to their website, tell your social followers they are coming, mention who they are and what they’re doing in your e-blasts, etc.)
- Include them in your event by giving them event tickets to distribute within their company, help them with some parking passes, etc.
Ways For Sponsors to Add Value to Events
Sponsors should not be looking to send their logo and a check as a means of participating in events. They should be looking at creative ways to engage the attendees in order to yield a worthy ROI. And if that sounds overwhelming, the good news is that there are companies, like us, who want to help. We take over all the details and not only help you strategize but also execute sponsorship opportunities that are guaranteed to bolster results! Here are some tips for curating memorable experiences that build trust and excitement with your customer:
- Make the experience welcoming
- Know the audience
- Provide interactive games or competitions
- Inform and educate
- Show how the product works
- Provide samples
- Staff events and experiences with knowledgeable brand ambassadors
- Provide a sense of discovery
- Offer an emotional tie
- Be entertaining