Raise your hand if you’re a business owner who has NEVER been approached for an event sponsorship or donation, of some kind. (Crickets. Crickets.) It’s nearly impossible. Everyone from Little League to large scale community festivals, are on the search. Groups both large and small need sponsors. And this is GOOD for your business.
Event sponsorship is often a low-cost marketing option. It is a great opportunity to brand your company within the community. Events provide face-to-face direct exposure to new customers that is not possible through traditional media. Partnering with community organizations provides credibility to your business, while allowing customers the opportunity to connect on their terms.
Partnering with community organizations provides credibility to your business, while allowing customers the opportunity to connect on their terms.
Benefits to Sponsoring a Community Event
Exposure: Events allow you to display new products, showcase your services, and provide samples to new customers. Often this exposure extends beyond the day of the event with website, social, and promotional materials.
Category Exclusivity: Competition can be fierce. At events, you can be the sole provider of products and services in your category. This is a great opportunity for companies like insurance agents, banks, and automotive groups to get an exclusivity not available in other marketing platforms.
Access to Mailing Lists and Lead Generation: Events that offer door prizes, drawings, or event newsletters are collecting valuable data. People are often willingly to give their information to events, as they are a trusted source. Provide a prize for the event. Request a lead generating question be asked during the registration process (perfect for online register-to-win!). This is a great way to capture additional data.
Track Your Target Audience: Through mobile-tracking and geo-fencing, events are able to capture visitors’ information and then serve them marketing messages after the event. For example, visitors who attend the Tuckessee Hunting & Fishing Expo, can later be served your ad featuring outdoor products or services AFTER the event.
How do you know which event partnerships are right for you? Unfortunately, you won’t get a straight answer from the event industry. Event sponsorship is akin to the Wild West. There are not clear outlines to the perceived value and costs for sponsorships. Some event directors have an over inflated sense of importance.
Five Things to Look for (and ask) When Considering Event Sponsorship
Flexibility – Will the event allow you to customize the sponsorship and think outside the standard booth space? If so, work with the event director to develop something creative and unique to your business.
Pre (and post) Event Marketing – Ask for their marketing and promotions plan. See where sponsors are included in this plan. Often, event marketing provides sponsor inclusion in both logo placement and name mention. It could also include email campaigns in which your ad can be included.
Other Sponsors – Do other companies have buy-in? If you’re a small business, you could align your brand with other big-name players in the community. Ask how many sponsors return each year. If a sponsor has multi-year buy in, it is often an indicator that the event is good to work with and provides value.
Value – Sponsorship packages should include the value, not just the cost. Value is determined by the things that may not have a hard cost, but are still of importance to a business. When discussing the event, ask about the total value. Good events have great relationships with the local media. They should also include things such as on site mention, logo presence, video or social media exposure.
Date and Time – Make sure the location, date, and time of the event work for your business. Plan to attend, if possible. Event directors should have done their homework to ensure the event does not conflict with other major community events.
Questions on Event Marketing? Ask our event experts!