Why are events still so important in the marketing landscape in this digitally-focused day and age? Companies choose to participate in an event for various reasons. A small company may want the exposure that a live webinar can provide, while a large company may need the face-to-face interaction that a trade-show affords.
There are many reasons for a company may want to sponsor an event, but here are the top nine that we see consistently throughout our events.
The number one reason we see for businesses to sponsor an event is to generate qualified leads. And what better way to do so than to be part of an event where your target demographic is present? The right event allows your company to interact with a group of prospects that already have an interest in who you are and what you do. In these days of social media, face-to-face content can really enhance your online connection with your potential customers. Make sure you are using the Twitter hashtags regularly and watch the social media marketing that happens for the event on Facebook so you can comment on the posts and gain visibility with other attendees before the event.
2. Customer Engagement
Events offer an unparalleled level of customer engagement, with an opportunity for positive, personal interaction that builds loyalty. Plus, every marketer knows that companies can realize the biggest ROI on their marketing dollars by retaining and growing existing customers. The challenge is to gain the attention of your customers amid the distractions of daily work. At events, you enjoy the chance to connect with customers by introducing them to products and services that they may not know about—or may not realize could address their needs.
3. Branding & Awareness
A key reason for a business to participate in an event is to establish and build its brand. Event marketing allows your company to cultivate and express its identity firsthand. Through events, you gain the perfect venue to share your ideas, thoughts, and name in the exact manner you want to present them.
Most people attend events to network and be educated. Both are powerful draws in their own ways. No matter what type of event you are at, it is critical to impart knowledge that the audience will value—and that sets your company apart.
5. Associating your company’s name with a trusted brand
Driving awareness of your brand is one thing. Inspiring respect and admiration are another. Thus, event sponsorships are a great way to drive positive PR and build credibility. You can also use events to position your brand in your niche accurately. This includes advertising that is associated with the events. For smaller companies, events are active venues to be cast alongside heavyweights and be showcased in all the promotional activity leading up to and the day of the event
6. Direct access to the ideal customer profile.
Another pro is in-person interactions with customers. Events are fantastic opportunities to drive a connection between your brand and your ideal customer. This is your chance to create personalized experiences with demos/emails/swag, etc.
7. Social media, website traffic, and focuses on content strategy.
Major events represent a wellspring for high-quality content. As events are promoted, traffic is being driven to the sponsor’s websites, social pages, and other digital channels.
8. Audience Insight
Demographic data and audience preferences from events are ideal for your nurture campaigns. It shows which segment of your market likes a particular type of event and which aren’t.
9. Expanded Reach
Tapping into the audience and reach of a larger event expands the exposure beyond a social network, website traffic, and advertising budget that many companies can provide.
How to Know if you are sponsoring the right event.
Event sponsorship is not as simple as it sounds. Sponsoring the wrong event can probably do more harm than good. That’s why it’s important to ask yourself these questions before you sign up:
- Is my audience there?
- Does this event match my brand?
- Does this event align with your values as a company?
- Does this fit into your marketing budget?
- What are your objectives for sponsoring an event?
- What are the measurable returns?
The answers to these questions are key to understand when building a solid event marketing strategy. And making sure that you are aligning yourself with a credible event, with solid resources to help your company measure these results is crucial.
Use these ideas to create your airtight event strategy. Above all, setting aside a budget and choosing the right events are your initial hurdles. Nail these and events are one of the most lucrative ways to get in front of your target audience. Spend more time on your event sponsorship strategy and generate more leads.
Bottom line: being a smart event sponsor delivers excellent ROI.
Please reach out with any questions or for help. Virginia Media is here to help, and we’d love to work with you.