Many exhibition organizers still thrive on selling traditional sponsorships like banners and brownie breaks. But event technology sponsorships are helping them expand the inventory of sponsorship offerings and meet sponsor objectives more effectively.
Technology sponsorships fall into three categories:
New technologies. Think about a product placement or banner advertisement inside a virtual reality environment. Attendees naturally gravitate to what’s new. Sponsors benefit from the exposure.
In-demand services. Some services are always popular because they are a basic necessity in an increasingly digital world. Sponsors foster goodwill when they associate their brands with meeting attendee needs.
Data acquisition. The digital capabilities associated with event technology sponsorships set them apart from their analog counterparts. An afternoon ice cream bar can leave a nice impression, but it can’t help a sponsor build its database.
New technologies can help sponsors leverage the curiosity factor.
Back when smartphones and apps and the occasional wearable started appearing at events, many organizers were apprehensive. They were nervous about rolling out new technology, lest it not work or ruins the attendee experience. Others simply couldn’t afford it. A few sponsors, on the other hand, were interested in riding that new technology rocket ship to brand awareness. And those that signed on early raked in the attendee eyeballs.
Smartphones were the new kid on the block seven years ago. Beacons and chatbots are getting attendees excited today. In the not-so-distant future, augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality and artificial intelligence applications will become the must-have sponsorships.
Some sponsors want to help deliver the new conference creature comforts.
It is safe to say, that there are a handful of amenities that no conference or trade show can afford to do without. And the smartest sponsors know it. For example:
WiFi: For most attendees, an event without Internet access is a deal breaker. Not only do they take it as a sign that the organizer doesn’t care about them, but they also line up at the complaint desk (aka Twitter). Consequently, the majority of organizers make the Internet available with the help of smart sponsors looking for brand love and clickthroughs from the splash page.
Charging stations: Convention centers will never have enough electrical outlets. That’s why some smart technology companies invented kiosks that can charge smartphones and laptops. Sponsors love them because they provide exposure (most can be branded or wrapped), tell a story (some have video screens) or collect information (a few models can gather email addresses or survey responses).
Mobile apps: More organizers are replacing expensive conference guides and other types of attendee applications with a single, comprehensive mobile application. The more robust the conference app is, the more sponsorship opportunities there are. Sponsors want to be the first thing attendees see when they open the app that more attendees rely on and consult during the event.
Sponsors are falling in love with the data from digital technologies.
One of the reasons why digital technologies are more valuable to sponsors than their non-digital predecessors is because they deliver business intelligence. It takes some creativity to give them more than just clicks, but it’s possible. Game applications can compel players to take specific actions (visit a booth, complete a survey, or cast a vote). Digital swag walls ask attendees for email addresses in exchange for coupons and discounts. Lead-capture applications enable sponsors to gather specific information from prospects in sponsored presentations or VIP lounges and events within the event.
Event technologies represent the new frontier for sponsorship. While traditional sponsorship offerings are effective and desirable in their own ways, they can’t compete with the flexibility, measurability, and usability of event technology sponsorships. For more information on how to use event technology to meet sponsor objectives, contact the team at Smartsourcerentals.com