One of the most significant ways to increase your marketing return on investment is by producing and sponsoring events. Whether your company creates the event or you simply partner with another company for their event, selecting the right event to sponsor is key. Don’t sponsor an event just because someone asks you to. Be sure that the event will have businesses, organizations and executives in attendance that will be interested in your product or services. Event sponsorship should help you reach your target audience, expand your brand awareness and, ultimately, give you more sales.
Event sponsorships allow you the opportunity to socialize with your customers and not just talk business with them. This level of involvement can be significant in developing a deeper and stronger relationship. With event marketing, you’ll be creating a favorable environment for them to be in the spotlight and talk about their business.
Partnering with companies through successful events keeps you at the forefront of their mind and increases your chances of earning future business. Making events part of your marketing strategy not only expands your possibilities, it also informs the community where you live and work that you care. If people in the community perceive your company as one that cares, your chances of doing business with them increases exponentially.
However, it’s not enough to just put your name on an event and assume it will attract the new customers you seek. You must go further if you want to reap the full potential of what event marketing can deliver to your organization. There are three distinct areas to focus on with event sponsorship. Each stage is important and must be executed professionally and strategically.
Before the event
- Announce your sponsorship to your
customers, prospects and relationships
- Encourage them to attend
- Use this nonsales-pitch communiqué
- Invite your important prospects as
your VIP guests
- This affords face-to-face time in an upscale professional atmosphere
- Builds stronger relationships
- Establishyour benchmarks
- Study and target the anticipated attendee list
- Know who you want to meet at the event
- Do your homework; research not only the attendee list, but the sponsor and vendor lists as well
- Prepare an appropriate, impactful
and cutting-edge message
- Include this with your brochure or special handouts
- Get creative and be sure you are talking their language, not yours
During the event
- Display your banners/signage in key
- Use customized messaging for the event and audience b. Be creative and interesting with your display
- Workthe floor
- Meet and greet attendees, introduce yourself as the event sponsor
- Host your guests, help them make important connections
- Make sure that executives get the most out of the event
- Buildyour database and relations
- Exchange business cards with contacts
- Consider utilizing a pocket-sized memento that they will keep
After the event
the final attendee list
- Be sure to get e-mail, phone and address information
- Not a sales pitch but rather a “Nice to have seen you” letter
- Send a personal note to all the people you met
- Nurture relationships and schedule key meetings
- Target only viable new potential prospects for sales messaging
- Informative outreach correspondence works
- Focus on top-of-mind awareness and general positive publicity
- You never know who the new people you have met may influence
Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to increased revenue, great community exposure and more significant relationships that will last a lifetime.
MALCOLM A. TEASDALE is the principal and “Big Idea Catalyst” for Teasdale Worldwide, a strategic marketing firm that is headquartered in Tampa. Reach him at Malcolm@Teasdaleworldwide.com. To obtain more information about upcoming events and possible event sponsorship, visit www.MarketingofDistinction.com. You may also call Kathi Kasel at (813) 868-1520 or e-mail Kathi@MarketingofDistinction.com. For additional articles, register at www.MalcolmOutLoud.com.