Sponsors can contribute as a useful, and sometimes necessary, component of your experiential marketing campaign.
But there are different ways to do event sponsorship. Just throwing in sponsorship isn’t enough.
It won’t ensure your success or create the positive outcomes that encourage future collaborations.
Sponsorship, when done well, creates a seamless and memorable consumer experience.
1. Find sponsors that fit.
First of all, a sponsor-brand relationship ought to make sense. Otherwise, consumers will be distracted wondering what one has to do with the other. Make sure the connection is clear.
If it doesn’t make sense at first glance, make it make sense. Explain by images or words throughout the event, how your sponsor got involved in your brand, and why the involvement makes so much sense.
Once you’ve got a sponsor, in the consumer’s eyes, you two are a pair, a team. What are you both focused on that sets you up for success?
2. Come up with a seamless integration.
Just because your sponsors fit into the overall message of your brand, doesn’t mean your work is done. Next, you’ve got to fit them into the event.
When and where are they positioned? Keep in mind that consumers don’t want to see your sponsor as being an intrusive part of the event you’re running.
Part of that battle is just starting with a sponsor whose values align with those of your brand.
But the other part is positioning them so that they are visible, in a way that makes sense for the event and doesn’t stop the flow of things.
3. Get creative.
You can veer away from conventional presentation when it comes to experiential marketing campaigns. In fact, with more businesses using experiential marketing, it’s critical to be creative and memorable.
So when you do showcase a sponsorship at an event, you can surprise consumers. You don’t have to be in their face with branding.
Look at other ways, in the details of the presentation, for example, to represent what you and your event sponsor both stand for.
4. Use technology to enliven the experience.
Technology offers a number of sponsorship opportunities. If you’re utilizing technology heavily in the experience you’ve created, this provides space to mention sponsors.
You can display ads in an event-specific app, or in a login screen for wifi provided at the event. Additionally, wifi and charging stations are an expectation at experiential events these days, so having a sponsor can help you cover these costs.
5. Think locally.
It can be beneficial to have a smaller, local business sponsor some part of your event, as opposed to going after the big heavy hitters.
In fact, local sponsors can work in your favor, showing a community in which your event takes place that you support them and their initiatives.
So if you do end up going local, let your audience know. Use it in the marketing of your event, and in the event itself.
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