Event marketing is smart marketing. Events allow you to physically see what your clientele looks like in the flesh. You can see what wows your consumers, what sparks their interest and learn about their routines.
Picking events to sponsor should be very strategic. Companies who place the quantity over the quality of events don't end up with the best results. Sponsoring multiple events that don't necessarily fit your company's mission isn't the best way to spread your company's message. The events you select to spend your dollars on should be so selective, that it could almost be an extension of your very own brand.
You may already be an expert at picking the right events for your brand, but in the "event" you need a refresher consider these 7 suggestions before signing that sponsorship check.
1. Have a new perspective on your spending: Don't become hesitant when it comes to spending dollars on event sponsorships---its a great marketing strategy. However, you must keep your marketing budget in mind. If you look at sponsorships as an investment you'll value the experience more.
2. Study your audience: Analytics are simply your friend. You can learn so much about the crowds that follow your company on social media. Dedicate time to compare trends in your audience dashboards monthly. Twitter does a great job of showing the interests of your followers as well as background information (education, gender, age and work industries). The more you know about your followers, the better your company will be at selecting the right sponsorships. Also, ask coordinators of the event you want to sponsor, for an audience demographic chart and compare it with your own.
3. Pick a message to convey at an event: You need to be strategic about what role your company will play on-site. It's ineffective to promote too many messages at one time. Prior to the event, it should be decided as to what message you want to push. Is your company launching a new product? Or is your company trying to sell memberships for an outstanding network? Whatever your message is, it should be clear, garner leads and most of all it should be attractive. Events are made to be interactive and entertaining. An exhibit with tons of paper and business cards and no interactive elements won't keep a crowd.
4. Be responsible: As a sponsor, it is also your job to promote the event. It essentially helps your brand and enhances the partnership with the company hosting the event. You should retweet and share posts about the event and create original content to let your followers know where you will be. Cross promotion could boost ticket sales and introduce your brand to new clients.
5. Have measurable goals: Prior to the event create a list of goals. Having measurable goals will determine how successful the event was for your company and if you would participate again. Examples of measurable goals would be, setting a number of emails you want to collect, or how many products you want to sell, or a number of items to giveaway.
6. Think about your staff: Your staff is important. They are the ones that sell your company, so you want to make sure they're accommodated. If you are fortunate enough to have multiple team members work at your exhibit during an event, make the shift times for 4 hour periods. More than likely the event you'll sponsor will be after work hours on the weekday or during the weekend. Make your staff feel good about working off the clock. This can be done by providing a stipend for lunch and parking or giving your staff time off the following week. These accommodations should be included in your marketing budget as well.
7. Request a recap: To further measure your goals you should request an event recap that shows the analytics of the actual event promotion. You'll want to know how many attendees were present, how many purchased tickets, how many ads were placed, and etc. Having these numbers will help determine your ROI and measure the success of the event. Your exhibit may have had all the works, but did the event live up to the initial pitch that made you a sponsor? A recap is important to keep on file, so if you return as a sponsor for another year you can measure the growth of the event with your team.
Best of luck!