Involve sponsors in your event

by ,

In today’s world you practically can’t make a good event without a sponsor or couple of them (sometimes a hundred). Unless you inherited some great fortune and sleep on money. But if you’re a regular, normal person with a great idea for a conference or other event, sponsorship is the way to go.

My question is: does a sponsor need to be like a good uncle that always sends you money, but never actually sees your face? Maybe it’s time to change the old ways. Maybe it’s time to get them involved a little more. My perspective – if I’m paying for something I would like to know what it is and does it work…

We all know why companies get into sponsoring right ? It’s not very economical when we look at the small picture, because they pay money and not get any money in return… But looking at the big picture – they get something a bit more precious…

They can for example build a positive image of the company, introduce their product to a new market, evaluate products potential, make people equate the company with some type of lifestyle, boost their sales numbers and so on. Biggest perk of being a sponsor is that you give something to someone – not sell. And people appreciate givers.

As it’s well known, organizations have to communicate with potential buyers to show them, how a product can satisfy their needs. Usually companies do it via TV commercials, special events, discounts and so forth. Sponsoring is another great way to get closer with a specific target group. For example if a company offers a new microchip, a conference about modern technologies would be a perfect place to advertise the new product.

But… And it’s a big BUT. If a sponsor is only mentioned during the conference couple of times, his logo is put on the invites or brochures and he distributes some gadgets to the attendees – the advertisement will not be very effective. Some people will check it out – others won’t.

But imagine if the sponsor would actually be involved in the conference. He could answer the questions about his product, ask people how they feel about it, what are its flaws and advantages. Now THAT I would call an active promotion.

If you’re using an event application or a conference application and especially when you’re using mobile applications for events – simply putting your sponsors logo somewhere for your attendees to see won’t cut it… So try something else. Use a smart conference app and involve your sponsors in your event.

Now I can almost hear screams “why do I care? I got what I wanted from the sponsors and I don’t really care if they get something out of it…”. That’s exactly what I thought! But then I started wondering… I might try to organize some other event in couple of months/a year/ couple of years. What then? Those unsatisfied sponsors won’t like the idea of giving me more money and getting nothing in return.

Where will I find money? I may search for other companies, even further away from my location. But if they also put my event on the “sponsorship black list”? On some point you simply have to take into consideration the reasons behind another person’s generosity. When it comes to sponsors it simple – they give money in order to get some long-term benefits.

Don’t forget that some of your attendees might also appreciate a chance to instantly contact your sponsors. I can’t really think of any reason you shouldn’t do it. Believe me – it’ll be worth it. Or don’t believe me just check it out for yourself. Use some kind of conference networking tools or simply use a special event application which allows your sponsors and your attendees to get social.

Everybody wins. Sponsors get closer with their target group, your attendees get more information if they want and you’ll have easier time finding sponsors for your next amazing event.