By Jill Anonson
Anyone who’s ever operated a strategic event knows it’s an arduous undertaking—strategically, logistically, financially — even emotionally (what event marketer wouldn’t attest to that?).
Crafting optimal event strategy and ensuring flawless on-site execution are full-time jobs in themselves, and proving the return on your investment is a substantial investment of its own (i.e. your valuable time and effort).
One way to ease at least some of the burden?
Engage event sponsors—your industry peers and partners—to lessen the load and skyrocket the business impact.
There’s strength in numbers, and leveraging event sponsorship dollars is a win for everyone—including your attendees. Here’s why.
1. Offset the Cost of Your Event with Event Sponsorship
Besides simply ensuring you have the necessary budget resources to pull off the event you’re aiming to produce, additional funding from event sponsorship can allow you to go bigger with both strategy and on-site experiences, taking your event from impact full to wow-worthy.
Sponsorship funding from your partners allows you to add additional elements you may not typically be able to afford, and those elements can be leveraged to up the experiential factor. The options are unlimited—cutting-edge technology, bigger-name entertainment and speakers, and mind-blowing branding are just a few.
When leveraging event sponsorship, one critical consideration is understanding how it supports the success of your event.
In addition to demonstrating how their funding specifically offsets budget costs, find out (measurably) how your event sponsors contributed to on-site learning, how they impacted your social media presence and how they drove on-site and post-event product sales.
2. Use Sponsors to Magnify Your Brand
It’s honor by association. Think of your own personal brand. Some of the individuals you choose to associate with, personally and/or professionally, can boost your image.
Bringing in high-caliber brands does the same thing, allowing you to further enhance your credibility and showcase the depth of your partnerships.
Consider inviting a business that your customers use or are thinking of using.
Engaging such influencers is a sure-fire way of capturing your attendees’ attention and will give them boosted confidence in their decision to attend your event.
It will also score your sponsors the enhanced brand exposure they’re expecting as part of their sponsorship.
3. Enhance Your Speaker Line-up and Drive Attendance
Good sponsors are people your audience wants to hear from (and engage with themselves). They spark intrigue and interest, and they draw people to attend.
Because awareness is a key element of any event attendee’s journey, make those valued sponsors part of the program, and then promote the heck out of it.
Pre-event communications like email teasers and your event website give you a perfect platform to promote the rich-content-infused agenda that partner sponsorship has allowed you to produce.
Furthermore, social media gives your sponsors a perfect platform to promote your event and their role in it (e.g. “I will be on site in San Diego, March 2-3, delivering the keynote at XYZ Conference. Will you be there?”).
4. Enrich the On-Site Event Experience
Once you’ve drawn the event attendee crowd you’re aiming for, you’ve got to deliver. After all, 91% of event attendees attend events to keep up with their profession and industry through education, so they’re expecting some substantial takeaways.
Your event sponsors will help get the job done. They’re a goldmine of information and insight as it relates to your industry and your event objective(s).
That said, it’s imperative to ensure their message is aligned with your event’s big-picture objectives.
Confirming they have clear guidelines (e.g., what type of messaging is and is not aligned with your event) is a critical step in successfully delivering your attendees a unified, cohesive experience.
Event Sponsorship Could Completely Change the Game for Your Next Event
When strategizing your next strategic event consider the value of engaging event sponsors. Your industry peers and partners could help you take your event to a whole new level as it relates to your return on investment and your return on experience.
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