If you are thinking of sponsoring an event, then you should be thinking far beyond simply writing a check, putting your logo on a banner and waiting to see what comes of it. There are enormous benefits to be gained from sponsoring an event, but only if you put forth the effort to capture them. Identifying your goals and creating a plan to achieve the greatest return on your investment is the first step to turning your sponsorship into a success. Here are a few more steps to help you on your way.
Make sure you leverage your sponsorship by being featured in the event program and other publications associated with the event. Your logo should also appear on the event’s website. This is an important step in maximizing your possible rate of investment, or ROI. Some events have different levels of sponsorship, so make sure your partnership and promotion level is perfectly clear and understood.
Put a spotlight on your business and make sure the event experience is associated with your brand. Use compelling displays and signage to draw more face-to-face interaction to you. This is not only an opportunity to get your logo seen, but to make meaningful connections with more people than you normally might be able to.
Create a lead generation system for both during and after the event. Try offering event attendees a discount or special promotion in exchange for their information or have them participate in promotional product giveaways. Something that will help you gauge the success of the event and your efforts is a system in which you use coded coupons or flyers or even a unique web page for your participants in order to keep track your leads later on.
You are a lot like other exhibitors at the event, except you are much more high profile. You should aim to live up to that fact because event attendees will expect more from you because of it. Bring samples to give to your visitors as printed materials – and you’re A game!
Remember that fellow sponsors and vendors are also prospective new clients, partners or leads. There is often as much potential with them as there is with event attendees. You should be present and ready to communicate with them.
Never just cut a check and leave it at that. You need to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment and in order to do that, you need to show up and engage with event attendees and other partners. You may relish the look of your logo on the event’s website, but never forget that event sponsorship can offer your business much more than just a little extra exposure.