Business owners, especially those currently in the government contracting industry, are all trying to be creative in their marketing efforts to boost their brand’s image and credibility among their target audience. And with this billion-dollar industry’s continued upward trajectory, the business leaders are exploring methods to put their brands at the forefront of the sector—such as event sponsorship!
What is event sponsorship?
Event sponsorship is a partnership between a brand and an event management organization where the brand offers its support to the organizers in exchange for brand exposure. Depending on their agreed terms, the brand can show its support in three different forms, which are listed below:
1. Financial sponsorship
Also known as cash sponsors, means that the brand will offer direct monetary support.
Usually, the event marketers will offer different sponsorship packages in tiers so sponsors can decide how much they want to invest and how it will translate into the organizer’s marketing efforts.
2. Value in-kind sponsorship
Compared to financial sponsors who offer monetary support, in-kind sponsors provide goods or services to event planners.
With in-kind sponsorship, brands now have the option to support the organizers by providing them with a venue, sponsoring for their food & beverages, giving branded merchandise as the event’s prizes, offering the attendees an exclusive free trial of the brand’s service, and more!
3. Media sponsorship
This type of sponsorship is usually applicable to tech and media giants with an established user base. Event organizers typically tap them for support when their event needs significant media coverage to reach a wider audience, such as non-profit and charity events.
But that is just the beginning! Media sponsorship shouldn’t be limited to non-profit events. Tech and media sponsors can offer their support by developing a special mobile event app that can level up the audience’s event experience and help the event organizers gather audience insights.
What are the advantages of sponsoring an event?
Seeing how participating in event sponsorships come with several benefits, more and more companies sponsor events nowadays. Some of the significant advantages of trying out event sponsorship opportunities are as follows:
1. Increase brand awareness
Being an event sponsor is an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the brand. It lets the brand create a bond with the audience in a meaningful way.
With today’s technology, people are already bombarded with intrusive messages via social media posts. By becoming a sponsor, the audience gets to actually know the brand since the event audience reached through organic channels.
2. Establish quality connections
The target market is more receptive to messages when they are in a setting they care about, such as being in a corporate event that interests them. So when a brand tries to connect with its audience while engaged in a positive space, the people are now more open to knowing more about the brand. Additionally, sponsoring also opens up the opportunity for the brand to engage with niche audiences who are typically difficult to reach out to.
Event sponsorship lets a brand create a more emotional connection towards its target market, which will eventually pave the way in building brand loyalty in the long run!
3. Generate qualified leads
If the brand belongs in a highly-competitive industry, such as government contracting, establishing a solid reputation is essential to start doing business. Fortunately, choosing to sponsor events is an excellent way to build a brand’s reputation and gain leads from event-goers.
Being a sponsor improves brand recognition, which will help the brand gain new customers, too.
4. Have a leg up against competitors
In most cases, event planners avoid getting sponsorships from brands that are the direct competitors of each other. So if the organizers reached out to a particular brand to become their sponsor, that brand would now have exclusive access to the event attendees.
Tips on how to sponsor an event
Brands should remember that event sponsorship deals are, first and foremost, a partnership with the organizers. So before jumping into the decision to be event sponsors, the brand must consider these points first:
1. Thoroughly review the organizers’ sponsorship prospectus
A sponsorship prospectus, also known as an event sponsorship proposal, is a document shared with the potential event sponsors containing all the necessary details.
The critical information that event sponsors should focus on are the following:
- A complete description of the event, particularly:
- Date, time, and location of the event
- The event’s central theme and content, and the vision it was anchored on
- The featured industry leaders and keynote speakers
- The event’s unique features and exciting highlights will help create a buzz, redefine the attendee experience, or engage the audience better
- The event’s specific success metrics such as lead generation, increased social media impressions, and more.
- The event’s audience profile and an estimate on how many attendees will join the event.
- The event sponsorship levels and their inclusions
As the saying goes: “first impression lasts.” As a precaution, brands should practice scrutiny when reviewing these proposals. Brands should watch out for proposals that are incomplete and crafted in a very unprofessional manner. This may suggest the inadequacy of the organizers and their incompetency in fulfilling their promised ROI for the brand.
2. Assess if the event is relevant to the brand’s target people
Since event sponsorship allows brands to reach a wider audience, and even those hard-to-reach niche audiences, they should aim to make the most out of this opportunity and know if they are spending money in the right place. So using the event data laid out in the sponsorship prospectus earlier, the brands can now evaluate whether the interest of the target audience aligns with the brand’s offered products and services.
Furthermore, brands should also take into account the attendees’ current industries and affiliations. By doing so, the brand’s reach can transcend the event halls—from the event’s audience to the audience’s branch of networks that might also be interested in the brand.
3. Determine if the sponsorship packages are worth it
With the advantages of modern media, advertising has become more of an open playground where brands can have more freedom in thinking creatively to market their products or services.
On the other hand, sponsoring events is a traditional way of advertising. Going old school has its fair share of pros and cons. To ensure that the brands can achieve their target event ROI, they can try putting the overall cost of the proposed event marketing materials against the cost incurred from traditional advertising.
Packages can be as simple as including the sponsor’s logo into the web pages affiliated with the account or as intricate as integrating the sponsor’s content and messaging across all of the event’s promotional efforts.
4. Strategize on how the brand can maximize the sponsorship package
Whether the sponsoring company supports the event financially, in-kind, or by offering media promotion, the brand can make the most of the partnership deal by being creative.
For example, an events planner who wants to organize an online business summit taps an online solutions brand to be the main sponsor for the event. Should the brand choose to accept the sponsorship deal, they can decide whether to offer financial support or in-kind sponsorship where they can have the opportunity to demonstrate their company’s expertise.
As the main sponsor of the business summit, and as stipulated in their agreed sponsorship contract, the brand will be in charge of developing and designing the event website and mobile app. Since the summit’s core is its online functionality, the brand now has a more significant influence over the attendees.
5. See the event organizers’ past performance
To assess whether the organizers can deliver their promised ROI, the brand should request a copy of their success metrics to see how well they managed related events in the past. Usually, though, event sponsorship proposals sent by the organizers include data regarding their previous performance with past sponsors to prove their credibility and competence as potential partners.
In addition, brands can also other methods to evaluate the organizer’s performance, such as gathering attendee testimonials from their other events and checking if the organizers have a harmonious working relationship with other sponsors.
Where to find the right event to sponsor?
In most cases, event planners are the ones who will reach out to potential sponsors first. But that doesn’t mean that the brand should sit tight and wait for a sponsorship opportunity to fall on its lap.
For brands who are still beginning to navigate this sphere of marketing, being proactive can help seal a sponsorship proposal or more. An excellent first step in this journey is to start sponsoring relevant events in their local community. By making their brand known that they are open for event sponsorships, organizers can consider the brand a potential event sponsor for future events.
Another way to make the brand known as a potential sponsor is by regularly checking GovCon Wire’s sponsorship page here. GCW offers different event sponsorship packages that can help the brands achieve their marketing and event goals. Additionally, GCW can help its potential sponsors network with key decision-makers and executives to significantly boost the brand’s credibility among its market!
As for the convention planners, here are related readings on finding event sponsors, thriving as a convention planner despite the pandemic, and using the internet as a promotional tool.
To always stay in the loop of upcoming events to sponsor and the latest news about the federal government, its key decision-makers, and the government contracting industry, subscribe to GovCon Wire’s daily newsletter today!