Until about five years ago, sponsorship of your meeting, event or trade show was as simple as taking candy from a baby. You had to do a brief pitch to the hotel, CVB or partner, give them a membership list and 5-minute commercial at the start of your meeting. However, over the last few years, sponsorship dollars have become harder and take more time to secure. This doesn't mean it is impossible, it just means your approach needs to change.
In a recent edition of BizBash Magazine, they identified the things sponsors want right now. Below are four of the ways to work with potential sponsors and get them committed to your event every time.
COMPELLING CONTENT WORKS
Do not approach sponsors until you have your agenda fully developed — complete with speakers and key takeaways. When sponsors can get excited about your content and are jazzed to participate in your event, you know you have sold them.
CONTENT WITH LEGS
The ability to promote your sponsors in the digital space is very important. How will you use social backchannels to promote your content and sponsors at the same time? Rent iPads for your attendees and encourage them to use Twitter as a way to stay connected to their followers. In addition, hosting a "Tweetup" where Twitter followers can meet one another face-to-face can energize attendees and encourage them to follow more individuals. Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs can also weave in sponsor messaging. The more buzz about the conference in the digital arena, the more likely sponsors are going to want to sign up for your session.
Attendees, exhibitors, speakers and sponsors want robust Internet access when and where they need it. The ability for sponsors to respond to inquiries, hold contests or survey attendees on a real-time basis is what they expect. If there is any delay or inability to gain access the Wi-Fi, your ability to retain that sponsor is very low.
"You can design and activate all the compelling online social media activations you could possibly imagine, but if your guests or patrons cannot access the information in a timely fashion — or the sponsor cannot deliver all of the information that is created — the content can be devalued from a performance and impression standpoint," stated Mark Yumkas, President at Angel City Designs.
Attendees don't just want to look at meeting materials, they want to interact with the products or services. Sponsors want attendees to experience their brand because they know a great experience will help with retention when participants are ready to buy.
"Experiential marketing has been a consistent and significant part of our arsenal. It's an element that is a cornerstone of our activations," said Adam Paige, Department Manager Brand Public Relations, Mercedes-Benz USA.
Are you event planning in California? AV Event Solutions has iPads, computer kiosks, touch screen displays and Wi-Fi network arrays to make your sponsors shine!