A truly successful corporate event is one that provides a positive ROI and a long-term revenue increase for your organisation. By developing strategies to engage sponsors for your event, you'll ensure you accomplish these objectives.
Here's some insightful advice about how to ensure you're maximising the revenue generated by your sponsors.
1. Empathise with your sponsors
Just as every business is unique, so are the needs of corporate event sponsors. It's important to both anticipate the businesses that you want to sponsor your event, and relate this to your overall business strategy for the future. Consider not only which sponsor you wish to engage for your upcoming event, but how this will reflect on your public image, and who you can direct your business toward years down the line.
Being aware of your sponsors' needs will enforce a mutual sense of success, making them more likely to promote your business in the future.
The most important element of this is to foster strong relationships with your sponsors, and understand what they'll be gaining through offering their support. Empathise with your sponsor and help justify their spend and support to those higher up in their own business. If you can't do this, it's unlikely their decision-makers will choose to renew sponsorship for another year - or trust in your ability as a leader on a global scale.
Business success is about trust, authority, and transparency, and knowing exactly how much to administer and when. Be upfront with your sponsors in finding out their goals and objectives - they'll respect your candid nature, and this will ensure mutual agreement and understanding as to the purpose of their support.
Research their sponsorship history, attune yourself to not just who they work with but why, and approach them from an informed position. It shows you've spent the time to both research their history and learn what they require from a partner, and establishes you as the leader of a business set in their goals and ambition.
Your sponsors' goals will differ depending on their business objectives, which could be any of the following:
- Brand awareness: They want to grow their visibility among your attendees, who may not know who they are, or what they do. Sponsorship is an expression of both support and trust, so ensure your sponsor is equally visible.
- Increase engagement: Your sponsor might want to improve levels of brand engagement among your attendees in the case that they are already familiar with their business.
- Promote a product or service: If your sponsor has recently launched - or plans to launch - a new product or service, they might be looking to promote this and increase sales.
Understand what sponsors hope to achieve by sponsoring your event.
Use all the information you have available and tailor your sponsorship offerings to their needs. If your sponsors can see the benefit for their business, their decision-makers will be more likely to sponsor your event (in the case that you're trying to secure their sponsorship), or happy to spend more (in the case that they are already on board), bringing you additional revenue and building positive, long-lasting relationships.
2. Dig deeper into attendee data
Once you've collected information about your sponsors, they'll need information from you about who will attend your event. With the introduction of the GDPR, there are new rules around data collection - we recommend reading our guide to the GDPR so you're not jeopardising the privacy of people whose information you are sharing.
Go beyond the basics and provide your sponsors with more information they can use to make their offering relevant and interesting to your delegates.
Information about your delegates' age range and job title can be useful, but it's important to go beyond this so that your sponsors have more to work with. The more information they have, the more likely they are to appeal to your audience, and in turn the better reception they're likely to receive. It's a win-win situation, as your delegates will feel there's value in the sponsors who are there, and your sponsors will be able to engage more with them, hopefully resulting in greater ROI for their company.
3. Offer connection, not just visibility
Consider how your sponsors can contribute to all event touch points, reaching your audience at key moments that will delight and excite them.
Sponsors don't just want visibility anymore, they also want to generate meaningful interactions with people.
In addition to banner ads and other elements designed to increase visibility, offer sponsors the opportunity to connect. Incorporating your sponsors into gamified elements of your event is one way to do this - for example:
- Create an event-long challenge whereby delegates earn points when they visit a sponsor's stand.
- Offer additional points for interacting with sponsors and finding out the answers to key questions, e.g. what product/service they are launching soon, how many people work for their company, and so on, encouraging delegates to learn more about their business.
- Incorporate social media platforms such as Snapchat into the game, encouraging attendees to scan sponsors' snap codes and follow them on Snapchat in exchange for extra incentives.
4. Be flexible with your sponsorship offerings
Different sponsors will have different strategic objectives, and they'll want assurance that they'll be able to achieve theirs by supporting your event. That's why it's important to offer sponsors flexibility when it comes to your sponsorship package, rather than taking a 'one size fits all' approach.
Don't just give your sponsors a 'one size fits all' package - offer options to cater to different goals and budgets.
B2B sponsorship packages are common, but rather than giving sponsors a set menu of options to choose from - some of which won't meet their needs - customise your offering according to what they're looking to bring to the table, and how this fits in with the interests of those attending your event. Allowing sponsors to choose the opportunities they pursue demonstrates you're genuinely interested in their goals and will result in a higher level of trust - and a better ROI for them.
5. Don't end the journey when the event is over
Successful sponsorship is hard work, and requires you to maintain relationships - so don't neglect your sponsors once this year's event is over.
Reach out to them once the event is finished. Summarise the overall results of your event and provide them with feedback collected from your attendees. Relate everything back to the goals they wished to achieve through their support and what you planned to deliver, so that they can concretely determine whether it was a worthwhile investment, and pinpoint areas where they could improve their offering to your attendees next year.
Most importantly, ask for their feedback in turn and what they'd like to see improved upon. Making post-event feedback a two-way conversation again reinforces trust and respect and is more likely to result in the sponsor returning next time. This kind of open communication demonstrates that you value their long-term commitment.
For help maximising your sponsorship revenue, reach out to the B2B event experts at cievents.