I was talking to one of the Event Management agency, who handles lots of conferences per year for their end-clients. While the end-client budget seems more challenging year-on-year, there is a need to meet the shortfall of revenue through sponsorship, which in this case, goes directly to the Event Management agency, who is responsible to drive that piece of revenue on their own.
The key to getting sponsors in return for dollars is the value that they perceive in the sponsorship package. So what are some of the ideas that will interest potential sponsors? We take a look at 10 sponsorship ideas, which you may want to consider for your next Event.
1. WiFi Sponsor
If you are holding a conference where there are significant overseas delegates, provision of Wifi would almost be a need, given the experience users would face if they face a no-internet period, which would be critical for accessing your conference mobile app, or tweeting about your event.
To bring greater value for Wifi sponsor, the User ID and password should be named after the sponsor and their products. For example, you could name the User ID as “Coca-Cola” and the Password as “Coke-Zero” if Coca Cola were to sponsor the Wifi connection and want to promote Coke Zero to the conference delegates. The number of times conference delegates enter the ID and password would be equivalent to the number of brand impressions that they would have the sponsor, which can easily be tracked at the backend. If you need, you can also set a session timeout after 1-2 hours, so that there is a need to re-key in the ID and password for increased brand recall.
2. Lunchtime Sponsor
Lunchtime sponsor would enjoy almost exclusive mileage as for most events, there would only be one lunchtime sponsor, where besides standard announcement of the sponsorship, they would be given about 10 to 15 minutes air time on the stage (or lunch area, depending on the setting) to do a soft launch or an elevator pitch to the audience, where at times, it can be accompanied by a lunch time lucky draw or quiz relating to the content provided by the lunchtime sponsor.
3. Charging station Sponsor
In a technological world dominated by smart devices, battery life has apparently not caught up with the advancement of technology. So it is very common where by noon, an attendee’s smart device would have run out of juice. Charging station sponsor would be greatly appreciated by the attendees and the goodwill associated with being a sponsor and the brand exposure can be worth some sponsorship dollars.
4. Paid Blog Sponsor
Events blog are not common based on the events that I have seen but I bet there are tons of exhibitors and sponsors who are willing to be on the featured blogs, especially nearer the date of the event. Blogs also provide a good platform for Search Engine Optimisation for the event itself so it will be beneficial for the Event Organiser to start the sponsored blogs early, with a variation in cost leading to higher rates closer to the date of the event.
5. Mobile App Sponsor
Mobile app acting as a show guide is very common in today’s MICE industry. Most mobile apps would come with a splash screen, which would be ideal as a sponsorship placement area. Depending on the design elements of the mobile app, sponsorship banners, and featured exhibitors are also some ideas to generate sponsorship dollars out of the mobile app, such that it is almost self-funded.
6. VIP Lounge Sponsor
For larger conferences, VIP lounges are becoming a norm, where the C-level executives network with each other. You might be surprised that financial institutions might be your target audience in terms of sponsors, as they target high network individuals with highly customised branding campaigns. Unlock your creative juice for a non-intrusive campaign where the likes of gamification might just provide the key to unlocking sponsorship value for the VIP lounge.
7. Post-conference Party Sponsor
I know of quite a number of frequent event attendees who look forward to post conference parties, especially for those who travel from one country to another for an event, as these parties provide an ideal environment for networking without pressure. Post conference parties are often sponsored, are party invites are named after the sponsor for brand mileage. Roving personnel can also conduct quick surveys at the post conference parties to gather intelligence about the party attendees.
8. Shoe Shine Sponsor
So far, I have been to one event in Las Vegas where there is a sponsored shoe shine service, which works great for C-level executives. The shoe polisher in that case, is a human being who add a soft human touch to the shoe polishing experience, while wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo of the sponsor. Not bad for a dedicated attention, while reading a sponsored magazine during the shoe polishing process.
9. Official Latte sponsor
When I attend overseas or even local conferences, most of the time, I would be working late the night before as I would be making sure I clear my work to allow time to attend a conference. So coffee sponsors would be appreciated by delegates by me, who will sip the cup of flat white while touring the exhibition, providing roving brand mileage around the branded cup of sponsored coffee.
10. Sponsored Tweets
This seems rare but real, where sponsored tweets are getting increasingly popular in the US, where events that runs annually, built up their Twitter following over the years to have a sizeable enough Twitter following to warrant sponsored tweets to the Event followers. Typically, this can be worked into a package for premium sponsors, or just a standalone package based on x number of tweets over the build up to the conference, where actual day tweets might cost more to sponsor than pre-event tweets.
The sponsorship story is endless and I’m sure that you have your own sponsorship stories to share too!
UPDATE: If you need more sponsorship ideas, check out 4 New Sponsorship Ideas to Thrill in 2016.