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Bring the audience onside as brand ambassadors and make the most of sponsorship opportunities

  • Emma Cartmell
  • 18th December 2018

In our series of blogs for event professionals, we’ve talked about planning, understanding your ROO from your ROI, influencer marketing and the 7-hour rule. In our final blog of 2018, we share a few simple steps of how to get the best from sponsorship, win audience buy-in on the day and raise the profile of your brand.

 making the most of sponsors

Step one – Read this blog about how to use sponsorship effectively

Step two – Follow the instructions

Step three – Reap the rewards

We’ve said it a few times over the series but, go back to basics and decide what it is you want to achieve (ROO) as the first part of your plan (are you measuring more contacts, increased fam trips, more sales?) and decide how much you are prepared to spend/consider to be a reasonable Return on investment (ROI).

Make sure you’re present at the right event - one that is attracting the audience that you want to engage and at the right level (buyers, marketing execs, PAs).

Decide what you want to achieve - If your key strategy is raising awareness about your brand, or hitting a sales target or boosting your ROI, then you can organise your sponsorship for the best fit for this in terms of profile and cost.

For instance, if you want to raise awareness of your brand but operating on a small budget, sponsoring a lanyard will cost considerably less than being headline sponsor. However, every single delegate will wear your brand around their neck, and they’ll probably keep the lanyard too – great for raising the profile of your brand at a reasonable cost.

Bring the party to you - if headline sponsorship is a bit too rich for your pocket, but you still want to create the right impact, position your brand as a market leader and create a positive and memorable experience for your potential buyers, then sponsor the bar!

If we build it, they will come – cement relationships with pre-qualified buyers by hosting drinks in a sponsored area where you create the ambience, the experience and lots of branding. It’s a great space to share your brand values in a relaxed atmosphere, where key buyers kick back and enjoy the hospitality.

NB: Sponsoring the bar isn’t the same as sponsoring the drinks, so you may want to partner up with another brand or have a sizable budget ready to pick up the tab, it’s not called hospitality for nothing!

Bags of fun (and opportunity) – events should be fun, they’re a full-on, immersive experience. Enjoy the ambience, the audience, the content, the exhibitors, the networking, the food, the drink, the freebies – ooh, before you know it, you’ve run out of arms. What better way to make an impact, then to have the buyers, delegates and vendors boost your brand with a freebie bag. Everyone loves a freebie, right? A VIP sponsor bag is a great way to get your brand out there, they make a great impact and are another reasonably priced sponsorship option to create awareness and raise the profile of your brand.

Charge! – Charging stations didn’t exist ten years ago, now any self-respecting expo, event, or conference space, wouldn’t be seen without them. Sponsoring a charging station is a genius way to raise the profile of your brand on a small budget and quickly connect your message to buyers. They’re dotted around a hall and, like the loo, you’re guaranteed fantastic footfall as everyone is going to visit at some point during the day!

The power of social – don’t forget to harness the power of social. Have branded insta-frames available and a reason for people to take photos at your stand and share them on social. Encourage tweeting and hashtag like your life depends on it. Branded floor tiles in strategic spaces throughout a venue costs very little, but your audience does the sharing for you. Draw on presenter content and share your own posts, views, retweet and share other peoples’ posts. Get a movement going, create GIFs and videos from the day and share, share, share. Sponsored tiles are very little outlay, and great for raising your profile, but you must be pro-active on the day and make sure you have plenty of content.

Headline Sponsor… put your hands together – it’s time for the main event! It’s the Bruce Springsteen, the artist formerly known as Prince, the Madonna, the Elton John. Headline sponsor does what it says on the tin. It offers maximum exposure, before, during and after the event.

If you are associated as headline sponsor at a reputable and recognised MICE event with a guaranteed audience of perfectly profiled buyers, then headline sponsorship gives you ALL the leverage that comes with this - position, profile, exposure, prominence and high visibility and repeat.

That means branded invites, brochure, signage, profile and presence on the email signature, the newsletter, the PR, the press, the bag, the badge, the full Monty! This is ideal for established vendors who want maximum impact. Headline sponsorship exposes your brand to as many buyers, delegates, vendors, exhibitors as possible. It’s an effective way to create long-term relationship with hard-core buyers, impacting your ROI and effectively landing multiple marketing objectives in one high-octane campaign.

Psst! Know how to really maximise bang for your sponsorship buck?
1) Associate your brand with a reputable event that has an established and guaranteed, quality following
2) Said event that is celebrating a landmark anniversary.
3) Hop along to CHS19 and register your interest to sponsor the Conference and Hospitality Show in its 10th anniversary year!

 

headshot-emma

 

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed our posts. 

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