Events are versatile platforms that provide a structure to expand your brand, market your products and services and to garner public relations. In addition to the infrastructure fundamentals, sold-out and well-attended events leverage the finesse of a well written marketing plan and the power of strategic partnerships. Partnership participation is generally secured through sponsorship.The right sponsorship package melds together a balance of give and take in promissory components and monetary contributions. It provides the framework for your business to shine, helps weave a correlation between your company and the theme, co-brands your company with complementary sponsors and offers a cooperative approach to promotion, sales and audience development.

When it comes to saying yes, how does your team know if it is making the right choice? What are some guidelines for evaluating and identifying the right sponsorship opportunities? Here is my checklist for capturing ideal sponsorship experiences:

The driving force of the event needs to be compelling in purpose and profit. What business category does this fit in; B-to-B, B-to-C or a combo (which are rare but doable)? Lastly, what is the backstory on the longevity of the event, e.g. an inaugural affair vs. a multi-year, ongoing event. NOTE: Any event presented with 1st Annual before its name is probably produced by a neophyte.

It is important to know all of the players involved in an event. A few key factors include reputation, brand recognition and, of course, a solid knowledge of industries these entities serve.

How is the event structured pertaining to on-site logistics, attendee processing and experience plus the event marketing plan.

Here are the questions that address the ROI equation:

What does your company receive?

What are your company’s goals for the event? Some of the most common include reinforcing market position, expand market share, target new audiences and to practice good-will.

How much is the investment?

Does this figure include their human resource, promotional products, promotional offers or other miscellaneous expenses?

Do you need any permits?

Do you need any insurance?

Are retail sales permitted on site?

Does this event drive traffic to the client’s location? Most often, it is up to you to create a promotional pull for in-store traffic. Digital and physical traffic are of value to most businesses.

Are there other, more creative ways for the client to be involved in the event?

It is valuable to think beyond a typical structure to approach new ways to accomplish your business goals. Prior to deciding if an event is right for your company, it is important to first understand the event and receive the package in writing. It seems hard to imagine, but too many companies make decisions without receiving all of the details. When in doubt, contact the coordinator or designer with questions. Sometimes those questions can trigger special considerations that work for both your company and the event producers. Some companies miss perfect matches because they are innovative. Others sign up for the familiar, but ineffective options.

Take advantage of smart, effective event sponsorships and set up a plan to enable your staff to maximize its impact.

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