Next week I’ll be traveling to Phoenix for a conference (The Unstoppable Confidence Networking Conference to be precise!). Not simply to attend the conference, but as an event sponsor.
As I make my travel arrangements, I’m getting more and more excited about attending this event. I mean, at the very least, the conference name alone should tell me I’m going to come away from the event with at least one or two great contacts! Not to mention heaps of information and loads of insights that go along with attending live events.
While I frequently blog about the benefits of attending live events (You can catch up on one of those posts here !) I rarely write about the benefits of sponsoring events like this.
So, what are the benefits of sponsoring events? Let’s discuss!
Visibility/Exposure. The absolute biggest benefit of being an event sponsor is visibility. One of the most important things to do is to find an event that will be attended by members of your target audience. Then look at the different levels of sponsorship to see what might make the most sense for you. If you’ve created a new perfume, for instance, it might be worth it for you to be a gift bag sponsor at the Academy Awards. Yes, that is a dramatic example, but you see how that might pay off for a new company. Since I am speaking to small businesses … speakers, coaches, consultants and other service based businesses, a more realistic example might be a speaker or coach sponsoring a welcome bag at an event like I’m attending, or a much larger event like the annual eWomen Conference. In this case, her might be on the bag. Or, the goody bag might include a branded pen or mouse pad or something else attendees might use on a regular basis. For more exposure, you might want to up your game and have an exhibit table where you can showcase your business and talents and have an opportunity to speak with attendees during breaks as they meander through the exhibit hall. As an event sponsor, there are typically several other “higher value” opportunities that will be a bigger investment, but will also provide a greater level of visibility and exposure for you. You just have to look at the options and decide which one best fits your company and what you want to achieve as an event sponsor. It’s all about visibility, and putting yourself out there in front of your target market or ideal client.Event sponsorship Is all about visibility, and getting out in front of your target market.Click To Tweet
Brand Association. If your company truly resonates with the event you’re sponsoring (which it really should, otherwise it’s the wrong event for you), you will benefit by some positive brand association. At some of the smaller more intimate events, if the attendees of a conference I’m attending absolutely ADORE the person putting on the event, they might be a bit more interested in my company just because I’ve supported it. And if they like the event, they might be more apt to like me by association. Awww! Think about that when you’re looking for sponsorship opportunities. Make sure your values align with those of the event promoter and that it is a great fit for you to be part of.
Increased Business/Sales. If you’re a service provider and you attend the event you’ve sponsored, in addition to having a “presence” at an exhibit table, your logo and company name will most likely be included on the event website as a sponsor. The same is typically included in the event program. And depending on your level of sponsorship, you might even have an ad in the event program, and your name and business mentioned on stage. Again, it’s all about exposure, which will certainly increase the odds of your getting some new business as a result. This is so much more powerful if you’re actually in attendance, so you can be introduced, rather than just mentioned.
Gratification. There’s also that “feel good feeling” you can sometimes get from being an event sponsor. It can be very gratifying to be part of something bigger! Sponsoring a worthy cause or an event that might help make peoples’ lives and businesses better can feel pretty good. Sometimes that feel good feeling is worth the sponsorship investment right there!
Business Expense. We small business owners are always searching for legitimate business expenses to help us out at tax time. Not only do you get the benefit of everything you learn by simply attending a live event, and the benefit of meeting and networking with so many other business owners – many of whom are your target market or possibly even your ideal client; sponsoring an event is a great way to network and mingle and promote your business – with the additional benefit of being able to claim all of your related expense on your taxes.
So, what do you think? Does being an event sponsor sound a bit more appealing to you now? If nothing else, keep the idea of event sponsorship in mind when looking at the next event you’d like to attend. Look at the next event you’d like to attend through the eyes of a sponsor and weigh the benefits over the additional cost. If you’re a little nervous starting out … start with something small like a local Chamber Event … just don’t discount the idea! You might just like it … I sure did!
Also published on Medium.