Are you considering sponsoring an upcoming event? Sponsorships can greatly benefit your company by increasing brand recognition, improving industry credibility, and elevating your brand above its competitors. But benefits and rising popularity in the U.S. aside, how do you know if sponsorships are right for you?
According to The Tradeshow Coach, Susan Friedman, there are six main reasons why companies buy convention sponsorships. They include: image enhancement; driving sales; increasing visibility with positive publicity; taking on a “good citizen” role; differentiating from one’s competitors; and enhancing business, consumer, and VIP relations.
You'll want to compare the sponsorship opportunity against the aforementioned objectives to determine if it complements or improves your corporate image. If the sponsorship aligns with one or more of your goals, you should consider locking in the deal. But before putting pen to paper ask yourself the following:
1. Will it drive sales?
Event sponsorships can be an extremely effective promotional tool if it is the right match. Get answers to the tough questions before committing. Will you be able to showcase your product, technology, etc.. through the sponsorship? Will your brand have premium visibility? Will your target market be at this event?
2. What is the show’s image?
Essentially, you are forming a business partnership and financially supporting the event, so familiarize yourself with its reputation in the industry. What was it like in the past? What are the numbers for attendees, exhibitors? Who else sponsors? Is it at a nice location? Does it offer good media coverage?
3. Do you have a relationship with the event hosts?
You are promoting yourself in association with the event hosts when you sponsor their event. Are you a member of their organization? Do you have a mutually beneficial relationship with them? Are they easy to work with?
4. Are you diluting your brand?
Consumers need to see your brand to be reminded of it, but being everywhere may be perceived as negative. Be picky with sponsorship commitments. Only sponsor events that align most with your industry, brand, and objectives. How many other events have you sponsored? Are these going to be repeat consumers? Are there any new audiences to reach here?
Each opportunity requires a review of this process to ensure only quality sponsorships and quality shows are associated with your brand. Show teams and managers have the information you need to make choices about event sponsorships. Be open about your needs and requirements, and work with the event managers to come up with the best solution for your brand. At the end of the event everyone wins!