The Future of Event Sponsorship

With the ability to fast forward through commercials on our DVRs, brands have had to get more creative with their advertising. Speaking to a captive audience through sponsorship of events has proven to be one way to capture the short and distracted attention spans of today's consumers. But, as we've written about on this blog, with sponsorships becoming more appealing to brands, event organizers have to up their game from simply offering a logo on a sign to coming up with creative experience-based sponsorship packages. But these "packages" are not your grandfather's sponsorship options, today's sponsorships are personalized to both the event attendees and the sponsor.

This report suggests getting rid of the notion or gold, silver, and bronze sponsorship packages. Instead, it suggests tailoring the sponsorship offerings to the needs and even the mission of the sponsor organization. Key sponsors can be attracted by a package that aligns closely with their business mission and branding. A couple of ideas:

  • Snack or break sponsors - Instead of just putting up a banner with "Break Sponsored by X Company" customize it to fit the sponsor. If they company has the word "red" in their name, have all red colored snacks available. If a sponsor's name includes the word "water," they may make a great option for sponsoring water bottles or stations.
  • Sponsor lockers - Having a bank of lockers to store extra bags and electronics can be especially handy in urban locations where people take public transit. Pay for this addition with sponsor dollars from a cybersecurity company and come up with a catchy theme about keeping all your valuables locked up.
  • Sponsor the wifi - Everyone loves free wifi. Let a sponsor get the credit for the perk of wifi and include a quick ad that pops up or rolls when people access the network. This would be great for a networking or telecom company that touts fast speeds or connectivity as part of their brand promise.

Continue reading

Now More Than Ever, Events are a Key Part of the Government Contractor Marketing Spend

Market Connections recently released the findings of their 2018 Federal Government Contractor Study. This year's study had a special focus on the collaboration between Business Development (BD)/sales teams and marketing departments.

When it comes to organizational structure, the study found that the respondent pool was split about 50/50 with half having BD and Marketing report up to different supervisors and the other half having a shared supervisor for the two functions. Interestingly, the study found that companies with separate reporting structures had a higher win rate than those with a shared structure. As one of the speakers said, "what this shows is that BD and marketing are generally rowing in the same direction, even if they are not in the same boat."

One area where both BD and marketing do seem to be sharing a boat (much to our delight) is event sponsorship. Of those surveyed, 86% said that event sponsorship was a part of their marketing spend for 2018. Not only are organizations spending money on events, but they are seeing a return on that investment -- 64% said event marketing was very or somewhat effective in filling the pipeline with qualified leads (making events one of the top five tactics for pipeline marketing). Continue reading

Update Your Event Through Sponsorship

Virtual Reality, Streaming Video, Mobile Apps, Fitness/Health sessions - these are all hot trends at events and can make one event stand out among the rest. But how do you integrate them into an event that is working on a tight budget and even tighter resources. The answer? Sponsorship.

We've written about the changing expectations of sponsors. No longer is a logo on a sign enough incentive for companies to support your show. They want interaction with attendees, they want a deeper connection. Creating a whole new sponsor program to accommodate this need can feel like another item on the to-do list, but if you combine these opportunities with your desire to update your event you end up killing two birds with one stone.[Tweet "Combine the updates to your event with updates to your sponsor opportunities. #GovEventsBlog"] Continue reading

Great Expectations: What Sponsors Want

What would happen if sponsors at tradeshows and conferences suddenly disappeared? Most likely there would be significantly fewer events, as there would not be enough money to pull most of them off. Much like our post that looked at events without a speaker, we likely won't see sponsor-less shows, but we may see sponsors playing a different role at events--becoming more of a participant and less of a funding source.[Tweet "What would happen if sponsors at conferences suddenly disappeared? #GovEventsBlog"]

Part of this transition is in response to many organizations who are no longer content to hand over money just to receive a logo on a sign in return. They need (and deserve) tangible returns for their investment. This evolution is being driven by sponsor and exhibitor expectations but has an incredibly powerful impact on the attendee experience as well. Sponsors want to be more involved in events. This can mean including their executives and experts as speakers or being involved in the event planning process. It can also mean providing access to attendees beyond waving them over on the show floor. Sponsors are hoping to build relationships with attendees that extend beyond the show dates.[Tweet "Sponsors want to be more involved in events. #GovEventsBlog"] Continue reading

Building a Thankful Audience

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we thought it would be a good time to go beyond reflecting on what we are thankful for and look instead at what you want your event attendees and sponsors to be thankful for as they leave your events.

Beyond learning something and meeting great people, what do you want your attendees to get out of the event?[Tweet "What do you want your attendees to get out of the event? #GovEventsBlog"] Here are four things we think event planners would be grateful to hear: Continue reading