How to Use Sponsorships Effectively
Choose events wisely and purposefully engage to build more relationships.
At their best, sponsorships are a partnership. The hosting organization event receives financial support to run a successful event. Sponsors get access to customers and communities in a way that helps them meet their objectives. It’s a classic win-win situation.
If you plan to include sponsorships for in-person or virtual events in your marketing plan, here’s what you need to know.
Define your objective
There are many reasons to sponsor an event—from increasing brand visibility and changing consumer perceptions to growing sales and investing in community goodwill. A clearly defined objective before you agree to a sponsorship will help you measure the success of a sponsorship. Additionally, these insights will help in the planning of future sponsorships.
Sponsor the right event
There’s a saying that all publicity is good publicity. However, we’d argue that doesn’t hold true for sponsorships. Aligning your organization with an event that doesn’t uphold your values, or those of your customers, can have long-lasting negative effects.
Before putting your dollars and name behind an event, determine if the event is right for you. Ask yourself and your team:
- Does the organization hosting this event share our values? What about their spokesperson?
- Are the people attending or viewing this event our target market?
- Will the other event sponsors enhance your company’s profile?
Also look at what each level of sponsorship is worth to your company. You might get more value from a “bronze” level sponsorship than a “gold” one if that bronze sponsorship offers lasting value. For example, let’s say a bronze level puts your logo and name on a recorded roundtable session that lives on long after the event ends because it’s posted online. This bronze sponsorship might be more valuable than gold-level exposure on signage that’s only seen during the event. It all depends on your goals, your target audience and the sponsorship details.
Be prepared to engage
Your sponsorship presence should go beyond having your logo on event signs, handouts and apps. To get the most out of a sponsorship, be sure to have folks from your team attend the event. Not being there in-person means you miss out on a valuable opportunity to establish and strengthen relationships.
Another way to engage is through blog posts and social media. Talk up the event beforehand, livestream from the event and provide follow-up posts for your followers.
Sponsorships are a great way to get exposure for your business—if you’re strategic about where your dollars go, clearly define your objectives and engage at the event.
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