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How to Add Value for Your Event Sponsors

Events are fun, packed with valuable information, a great opportunity to make new connections and … expensive. Even with attendees paying admission, this usually doesn’t cover the cost of all that is needed to make onsite and digital event magic happen. How can event planners make up the difference? Opening up space for companies to sponsor your event can be a great opportunity for symbiotic gain, and improving your sponsorship offering can add value to your event sponsors. 

Competitive offerings for sponsors are important. Whether digital or in-person, companies spending tens of thousands of dollars on their sponsorship packages want to feel like they’re going to return their ROI for sponsoring at your event. How can you ensure that your event packages will attract the right sponsors and raise the money needed to help pay for the event? By investing in the right digital tools and creating specific opportunities for brand visibility, you can ensure that your sponsors connect with their audience and gain the leads and brand visibility they need to justify their sponsorship spend.

Before the Event

Before the attendee registration launches, working to onboarding sponsors can ensure everything you need from them is ready to be featured on the website. A perfect tool to do this is an exhibitor resource center (ERC). But what exactly is an ERC? An ERC is an event portal where exhibitors can do everything from applying for their sponsor, to paying for fees to checking off tasks in once central place. Easy to navigate and custom branded for your event, an ERC is a perfect way to showcase exhibitor tasks, present clear deadlines and as a space for sponsors to upload assets. 

For you and your team it means the ability to quickly see which sponsors are missing information and assets. Removing a significant workload from your sponsor team, an ERC can help ease pain points associated with sponsor updates, late additions and task timeline follow up. Remember, just because sponsors are paying doesn’t always mean they are attention to emails from your sponsorship team.  

After assets have been collected, another way to capture value is sponsor assets on your event/registration site. Do you have a sponsor page? Does it feature pop outs with links to their websites or assets? Are you showcasing top tier sponsor logos on your homepage or in emails? There are many opportunities to capture value for your sponsors, it just takes planning and strategic design.

During the Event

During the event, sponsors still need attention. Especially in a digital platform, there are opportunities to create value beyond just having a logo on the sponsors page. Below are strategies for ways to offer value to sponsors in a digital environment.

Arcade GamesArcade games can help fill time between content,keep people engaged in your site and can be customized to match a sponsor’s colors. These games can add points to the event’s leaderboard and can be sold as a premium sponsor feature.
Banners on Broadcast Viewer Pages
While livestreaming, your page is extremely valuable digital real estate. Including sponsor “ads” or banners on the page can be an effective selling point for sponsors. 
Gamification and LeaderboardsLooking to drive your attendees to visit sponsor pages? Incentivize these actions by gamifying them and include points on the leaderboard. 
Session SponsorFrom the name of the session, to the  description and content itself, allowing sponsors to tie in information to their company is a valuable marketing experience.
Sponsor BoothsDigital sponsor booths are the digital equivalent of an expo showfloor.  With the ability to add videos, info about sponsors, video chant, direct message, and set up 1:1 meetings, this can be an awesome opportunity for sponsors to connect with people unable to attend an event in person.

A little more tangible, offering value onsite is especially important to cover the cost of fun and dazzling elements of an event that keep your attendees engaged. Below are strategies for ways to offer value to sponsors in a digital environment.

Badge SponsorLooking to fill space on your badge design? A sponsor will pay for that! Featuring their Logo on badge is a great opportunity for sponsors as it has high and frequent visibility with attendees.
Coffee/Ice Cream/Cheese BarAttendees love snacks. No matter how great your event’s content is, attendees need to stretch their legs and refresh in order to better process what they are learning. Coffee carts, ice cream carts, candy/snacks bars, and cheese carts provide delicious energy and can be branded with the company’s name on stands/ napkins. Looking to make it unique? Your food cart can feature a local delicacy.
Digital Signage SponsorSigns are important to events so attendees know where to go. Especially in terms of sustainability, digital signage is a popular tool and can be co branded with sponsor logos.
Executive Event SponsorYoga, golf, networking, or whatever specialty opportunity you’re offering to a select group of attendees is an opportunity for a sponsor to claim value. Branded yoga mats, golf balls, or co branding on the agenda can be a way for a sponsor to spread brand awareness while connecting with executive attendees.
Lead RetrievalLead retrieval is an important tool for sponsors gathering onsite leads. It can often be integrated with a sponsor’s CRM and the survey tools help to qualify leads for sales. 
Lunch/Breakfast SponsorAttendees love food. Sponsors can claim value by sponsoring the tables or the lunch itself. Make sure to complete that value add by adding their name in the agenda next to this as well. 
Networking SessionNetworking is one of the most important reasons for event attendance. Put your sponsor in the limelight by allowing their name to be co-branded as a sponsor for a networking session. 
Session SponsorFrom the name of the session, to the  description and content itself, allowing sponsors to tie in information to their company is a valuable marketing experience.
Showfloor ExhibitorFor large events, an expo floor is a must. Make sure attendees have reasons to go in there- food, games, and happy hours.
Wifi SponsorThe most frequently asked questions at an event- “What is the wifi?” Have “wifi presented by ‘sponsor’” every time the network name and password are shared. The sponsor who pays for this package will have high visibility among all attendees. 

Conclusion

Taking care of sponsors is important. Still unsure what strategy is best for your sponsors? We can help! Our event tech consultants have experience working on thousands of events, and have attended in person hundreds more. Using our knowledge of event platforms, technology and industry trends, we can help sift through the clutter to find and implement a strategy that is best for your event. 

Have any more questions? Or want to get in touch with us directly? Fill out our contact form or reach out to [email protected]

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