Why Sponsorship Is Important for Events: Using Sponsorship to Make Events Awesome!
Before you dive in, if you are interested in event sponsorship, check out these titles in our “sponsorship for events” series:
How to Find Corporate Sponsorship for an Event
How to Ask for Sponsorship for an Event
The Six Step Event Sponsorship Checklist
5 Things to Include in Your Event Sponsorship Proposal
How to Measure Event Sponsorship ROI
How to Get Event Sponsorship: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
Sponsorship During Times of Crisis: Cancelled Events, Postponing and Refunds
Why Sponsorship Is Important for Events: Using Sponsorship to Make Events Awesome!
How to Display Sponsors at an Event (That People Will Actually See)
How to get Media Sponsorship for an Event: A Practical Guide
If you’ve only skimmed through the information in this guide (which, you really should take the time to read everything), then spend some time with this section at least. It’s a recap of all the steps needed for event sponsorship success.
If there’s one obvious benefit that sponsors add to an event, it’s the funding to make it happen. After all, the more money you have, the more of your dreams that can become a reality for your event. It turns out sponsors can do so much more for your company than provide financial support. How else do sponsors make events awesome?
Sponsors are important for the success of your event in the following 4 ways:
- Opening up location options
- Providing value, especially through immersive, memorable experiences
- Promoting conveniences
- Generating a bigger audience
In this article, we’ll discuss the points above in much more detail. If you want your next event to shine and you think you need a sponsor (or several) to make it happen, then we encourage you to keep reading! You’re not going to want to miss this.
4 Ways Sponsorship Can Take Your Event to the Next Level
More Location Options
Are you tired of hosting your event in a stuffy hotel conference hall? It’s easy to write this off as growing pains, especially as a justification. What’s really going on is that you haven’t had the right partner…until now.
Through sponsorship, you can take your ordinary events and make them extraordinary. Those larger conference expos you couldn’t afford are now within your reach. Plus, there’s always the chance that your sponsor knows about venues that even you weren’t privy to. In fact I once had a sponsor offer me the top two floors of their office building for an event as part of their sponsorship agreement!
There are a few reasons to aspire to a more luxe space in which to host future events. For one, you have room for more attendees, something we’ll touch on more later in this article.
Also, there’s the matter of appeal. A large, modern expo space will always make a bigger impact on your attendees than the small hotel conference hall. If you can book a large space (and sell it out), this adds to your clout as well.
You also have to take into consideration the convenience of travel. If you host your event somewhere out of the way, of course you’ll draw a smaller audience. A well-known space is typically more easily reachable by attendees, leading to more people showing up.
Better Value (Especially Through Immersive, Interactive Experiences)
What makes an event valuable? That depends on your audience and what their needs are. Once you know that, you can craft an exhibit or an experience that this audience segment will flock to. For example, fitness brand Optimum Nutrition had a booth at The Arnold back in 2019 that relied on experimental marketing, a type of immersive marketing.
This whey protein brand could have just given away free samples of their protein in a smoothie or another healthy meal. Instead, what they decided to do was a virtual reality (VR) booth with exercise equipment that let its users “work out.”
This was a much more valuable experience to Optimum Nutrition’s audience than free food samples, which are altogether forgettable.
Another example of a great immersive experience is that of cosmetics brand Lush during its 2017 Creative Showcase. The brand had a series of museum-like installations just dying to be photographed and posted on social media. Further, Lush’s showcase that year used voice and visual search.
When it came to highlighting their products in the showcase, they made it interactive. Here’s an image of that year’s Creative Showcase. While this wasn’t a sponsored event, it does go to show the value of immersive experiences. Look how engaged Lush’s audience is in the photo!
To meet goals like a VR-driven booth or something similar, you need a pretty open-ended financial plan. Through a partnership with your sponsor, you can create more high-value events people are glad they attended.
More Conveniences for Attendees
You’ve got an awesome location and some mind-blowing interactive experiences planned. Your event is shaping up to be pretty fantastic thanks to your sponsor, but it still needs something extra.
What do we mean by that? Well, you also want to ply your audiences with as many conveniences that make the expo or event convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable.
For example, in a recent post about branding your sponsorships, we wrote about how much your audience will appreciate a charging station. Their phones, laptops, and tablets start with a full battery that drains steadily throughout the day. Having the freedom to recharge their devices will keep them sticking around longer, especially if your event runs later into the day.
Not only do your attendees need to recharge their smart devices, but themselves as well. Walking around in a large expo hall is exhausting and can be painful on the feet. Chairs and even couches and other furniture encourage your attendees to stop and take a break.
You can take it much further than that if you’re willing to think outside of the box. For example, back at CES 2018, Sleep Number treated its attendees to a nice place to take a nap through its branded mattresses.
These conveniences and many others will enhance your event, as you’ll have thought of everything your audience could have needed. Through your sponsor(s), you can have more creature comforts that make your event a smashing success.
Larger Audience = More Leads
Like we said we would, let’s get back to the discussion about why you want a bigger audience at your events.
The most obvious reason to have more people attend is for financial gain. Unless you gave your tickets away for free, then each attendee paid a fee to get in. If you have a schedule for your event, such as keynote speeches, conferences, or courses, then you may charge separately for each of these. This earns you even more.
Considering your company shelled out for a sponsor or two, being able to recoup some of the money through a successful event is important.
A large list of attendees can continue benefitting your company even once the event wraps up. Now you have a significant number of leads in which to work with. With the contact information (name, email address, phone number) of your attendees from when they signed up or bought tickets to your event, you can use that to get the ball rolling.
For instance, you may send a follow-up email, even with a survey, after the event to gauge audience satisfaction. This also lets you begin the customer conversion process, in which you attempt to nurture your leads into purchasing customers.
Your sponsor can bring you the larger audience you crave in several ways. First, by providing the funding needed for a bigger event, you can accommodate an equally sizable audience, as we’ve said. Also, the sheer starpower of your sponsor may be enough to inspire more people to check out your event that haven’t before.
Sponsorship is important to the success of your event in countless ways. Yes, there’s the financial backing aspect, but a sponsor also allows you to target bigger, more convenient locations for your event. You can then bring in a larger audience full of potential customers.
Also, with more cash flow for your event, you can afford immersive experiences that grab attention, make memories, and add value. You can also introduce more convenience, making the entire experience one your audience can’t wait to do again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Baylis is the President and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective and a self-confessed sponsorship geek.
After several years as a sponsor (that’s right, the one investing the money!) Chris decided to cross over to the sponsorship sales side where he has personally closed tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals. Chris has been on the front lines of multi-million dollar sponsorship agreements and has built and coached teams to do the same.
Chris now spends his time working with clients to value their assets and build strategies that drive sales. An accomplished speaker and international consultant, Chris has helped his clients raise millions in sponsorship dollars.