Sponsoring industry events, trade shows and exhibitions can have an incredible return on investment. A carefully selected sponsorship agreement can give you a lot of bang for your marketing buck, boost your brand reach and supplement your print and online marketing efforts.
Research has found about 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority and 67% of all attendees represent a new prospect and potential customer for exhibiting companies. This means your company has a fantastic opportunity to showcase and sell your product to a highly engaged target market. More money is being spent on sponsorship worldwide as technology advances and trade shows can now give sponsors even more data and insight into their target market.
Still not sure whether event sponsorship is right for you? Let’s take a look at the 7 most important reasons why your business should consider sponsoring an event.
1. Put your business front and center
Sponsoring an event or conference gives your business authority in your industry and this boosts your credibility. Your brand will be seen throughout various elements of the event and attendees eager to learn more about your business will come to find you. And sponsoring an event or tradeshow can mean a lot more than displaying your logo. Some B2B events offer sponsorship packages that include a speaking spot. This is a fantastic way to showcase your expertise to a large engaged audience. Just don’t make the mistake of boasting too much about your product or service in your presentation. Using the stage as a platform for a sales pitch is considered a real audience turn off.
2. Get in front of your target market
If your business chooses to sponsor an event, 90% of the decision will be based on who is attending the event. And this makes sense. A brand like Trim Milk wouldn’t sponsor a vegan convention as none of their target market would be there. If the event you’re sponsoring is the best fit, you’re likely to have access to thousands of people in your target market, who you can build relationships with.
3. Brand awareness & media exposure
Event sponsorship also gives your brand the opportunity to generate awareness, boost the perceived image of your business and gain media exposure. Certain elements of your sponsorship are negotiable. This includes naming rights, when your brand is mentioned and what collateral your brand will be included on. For example, conference apps and maps can prominently display your logo.
Similarly, if there’s an element of the event you can have naming rights to, chances are the media will use this name too. Sporting and event stadiums are notorious for this, for example the Telstra Dome, ANZ Stadium or Etihad Stadium. The same can be seen with B2B or B2C event extras such as dinners, awards or presentations. The key to achieving great brand awareness is familiarity. The more your brand name is associated with positive experiences or emotions the stronger your brand awareness will be.
4. Increase your reach and exposure to new clients, customers and businesses
Events don’t just have the audience in the room. Think about all the ways the organisers have promoted the event - social media, magazine and newspaper advertising, radio, emails and possibly even television commercials. As a sponsor your name and logo will potentially be used during these outreach campaigns. It will also be used when approaching other businesses for sponsorship - again increasing your reach and boosting your authority in your industry.
5. Reconnect with customers and engage with an audience
If you’re in a relatively small industry there’s a chance you will have the opportunity to speak with some of your current customers by sponsoring an event. This will give you a great chance to reconnect and get feedback on how your service or product is performing. You can also use the event as an opportunity to educate your customers about any upcoming upgrades or releases.
6. Generate strong leads
Events and conference are a great way to generate quality leads because they’re full of people actively interested in learning and improving aspects of their business operations. Take CeBIT, many of the people who attend our events are interested in learning more about B2B technology solutions. But new leads don’t just magically appear from sponsoring the event or by standing in your booth. You need to get out there, interact with event attendees and stand out amongst the crowd. You’ll also need a way to store the leads on the day. At CeBIT, we offer our exhibitors technology to easily captures data from people at your stand - however not every event has this and you’ll need to think of a clever way to capture a lead’s data.
7. Deliver great ROI
Sponsoring an event can often be cheaper and have a higher return on investment (ROI) than a TV commercial or other above the line advertising methods. This is because events, especially B2B tradeshows, have a very specific target market. General advertising is usually less specific and therefore less likely to have a high concentration of your target audience. This isn’t always the case, but it’s absolutely worth doing a comparative ROI analysis on what your business has achieved in the past through advertising and what they can expect from sponsoring an event.
Sponsoring an event can be well worth the investment if you are clear about your goals. A well-planned event presence can generate quality leads, deliver great ROI, increase your brand reach and exposure, put you in front of your target market and best of all, build your brand’s authority.
Already signed a sponsorship agreement and ready for the next step? Learn how to convert your event leads into sales in our ebook.