Building on IEG 2016 Conference Sponsorship Topic
By Rebecca Bennett
The traditional sponsored banner ad model lacks human connection, which is why sponsorships have traditionally been not as sought after. However, with the new creative engagement tactics now, sponsorships offer a more personal connection to your audience. We listed 10 creative strategies event sponsorships can offer that are worth considering. You can mix and match these ideas to come up with other variations or even apply some to your online sponsorships.
10 Creative Strategies to Consider for Your Sponsorship
- Video Interviews.
Event hosts can conduct video interviews on your company for consumers to learn more about, which they can publish on their website and social media outlets. It’s a great way to really give a face to your company. It also provides you content to post on your website and social media accounts, blog, email communications, etc.
- Guest Blog.
Often event hosts have a blog in which you can be featured, giving you an opportunity to demonstrate your thought leadership to your audience.
- Sponsored QR Scavenger Hunt.
QR codes are becoming more ubiquitous and participating in a QR code scavenger hunt is a fun way to boost traffic, in person and online. You can even incorporate a prize give away for the nth person to scan your code and visit your content.
- Social Media Promotion.
Event hosts can promote your company via their social media outlets. These can be on a daily or weekly basis. These places are high traffic and will attract a lot of eyes.
For example, an event host might tweet things like “This week’s sponsor is CityFitLA – we love how they take care of our members. Be sure to read their recommendation on the best fitness activities in town (link).”
- Special Offers.
You can run special discounts exclusive for attendees. Your event host can promote these for you via email, social media, digital displays, or other marketing methods.
- Inspire Your Audience to Create Content for You.
Instead of spending tons of resources on creating custom content for your sponsorship, you can let your attendees do it for you. This really engages your audience at an individual level and creates a personal connection for them to your brand. And, no doubt, they are going to share the content they made for you with all their friends.
- Digital Displays.
One of the most versatile tools offered are digital displays. They can show anything and, unlike print display, are adaptable during your event. Usually event hosts allocate about 25% of screen time to their sponsors and display new content approximately every 60 seconds. Given this, your content must be consumable in less than that amount of time. If you are the single sponsor then this will generally mean that you will have about 15 spots per hour. This gives you the opportunity to create 15 unique pieces of content.
Take a look at the ROI of digital displays after Enplug, a digital display service company, installed social displays in nearly 1,000 locations across the world. According to their founding CTO, Alex Ross, they saw an immediate increase of 500% in social engagement across the board. Users of all ages were sharing on Instagram or Twitter just to see it display on a public screen. A significant number of folks engaging with their social displays created a social media account just to share the moment in real time. He concluded that most people, tech-savvy or not, want the thrill of their message showing up in front of others. Moments of fame have appeal.
- Inspire Your Audience to Engage.
Many events display “social walls” that feature selected posts. The best return on your investment is when event hosts have displays where they show one social media post at a time and guarantee screen time to the poster. If event hosts display many posts on one screen at the same time, then the messages get diluted, as well as the poster’s moment of fame, thus reducing the incentive for your audience to actually engage. The audience needs to be immediately rewarded in order for social walls to be effective.
- Single Sponsor.
Single sponsorship opportunities offer the biggest return on investment because your message automatically rises above everyone else’s. When your logo or message is displayed in a mix with other sponsors you don’t stand out.
- Promotional Bags.
There is always a plethora of promotional goodies attendees collect during their conferences and trade shows. Many companies may have cool promotional item giveaways such as self-designed water bottles, stress-relief squish balls, notepads, pens, etc. But guess what? It doesn’t matter how cool your item is if it’s being carried in a bag by another brand! Bags are always in need at events. People carry them on their bodies, giving your brand a lot of visibility versus the cool water bottle hidden inside the bag. By all means be creative and come up with cool promotional items to giveaway, but branded bags are a must have at these events.
When your audience leaves their event they aren’t going to remember who sponsored it from that banner display, they are going to remember their experience and interactions. The modern sponsorship leverages social media and digital technology in creative ways to make it more engagement focused. It has become a much more desired and effective marketing strategy opportunity than in the past. Audiences leave their events with a connection to your brand rather than just knowing that your brand was the sponsor.
Ross, Alex. “Ideas for Using Social Media in Your Event Sponsorship Strategy.” Dec 3, 2014.