Participating in events and having your business featured in a booth or as a sponsor can be an effective way to promote your brand and engage with potential customers. However, many business owners and marketers make common mistakes when it comes to event sponsorships, which can lead to a waste of resources and lost opportunities. In this guide, we'll discuss some of the mistakes to avoid and provide tips and insights for planning and executing a successful event sponsorship.
One of the primary mistakes many businesses make with event sponsorships is not planning and preparing adequately. The first thing you should do is meet with your team to establish expectations and guidelines for working in the booth. No one should sit behind a chair and play on their phone; they should actively engage with attendees by smiling, chatting, shaking hands, introducing themselves, asking questions, and handing out items or inviting people to register.
Pay attention to every detail, even down to the event attire. Dressing appropriately for the event isn’t just about looking professional; it's about representing your brand the right way. Furthermore, consider rotating your team members between manning the booth and visiting others. Your target audience might be the attendees, but opportunities may also lie with other businesses participating in the event. Having a well-prepared team is critical, so ensure that everyone has their 30-second commercial down pat and is ready to bring their A-game. This strategy will help maximize your visibility, foster networking, and potentially create mutual beneficial partnerships.
Setting goals for the event is another important step in preparing for a successful sponsorship. Who is your target audience, and what do you want to accomplish? Identifying your goals ahead of time will help you determine the best way to achieve them. Consider creating a specific plan for each goal, including tactics to execute and how to measure success.
When setting goals for your event sponsorship, consider a variety of objectives that align with your overall business strategy. For example, one goal could be increasing brand visibility. For this, you might focus on handing out promotional items and ensuring your logo is prominently displayed at your booth. Another common goal is lead generation. To achieve this, you could offer a prize draw where attendees provide their contact information to enter. If your aim is building relationships, a goal might involve networking with other businesses, influencers, or VIP attendees. Finally, you might set a goal for educating attendees about your products or services, which could involve interactive demonstrations or informative presentations
Pre-promoting your participation in the event is also vital. If you have access to an attendee list prior to the event, use this information to your advantage. Tailor a pre-event campaign that directly targets these potential visitors with personalized communication. This could be an invitation to visit your booth, an exclusive offer to redeem at the event, or a registration to enter for a prized draw. Engage with them through various channels such as email or social media. Consider creating a unique hashtag for the event to encourage online discussion and participation. Additionally, you might want to develop a custom landing page on your website dedicated to the event. This can provide exclusive information and offers for attendees, and can also serve as a place to inject some fun - maybe with countdowns, quizzes, or interactive maps of the event. Remember, the goal is to make attendees excited about your presence at the event before it even begins.
If you can't get an attendee list, you can still run marketing campaigns to inform the public that you'll be there. Consider using social media, radio, or other channels to spread the word and encourage attendance. You'll want to have a plan in place for creating a buzz before the event ever starts.
Many businesses make the mistake of setting up a booth that is bland and uninviting. You want to stand out from the crowd and create a fun and engaging setup that will attract attendees. Consider incorporating interactive elements, games, or activities that align with your brand. Avoid traditional setups with brochures and peppermints and look for ways to creatively showcase your products or services.
To spice up your event, try adding some interactive elements. Host Q&A sessions where participants can ask questions and get direct responses. Don't forget to create networking opportunities for attendees to connect and share ideas. Boost social media engagement by using popular hashtags or running live polls to gather instant feedback.
Lastly, one of the most crucial aspects of a successful event sponsorship is proper follow-up with attendees. Collecting contact information and categorizing it by those who showed interest in your business and those who didn't will enable you to tailor your follow-up approach. A well-executed follow-up can turn leads into conversions, so make sure you have a plan in place to reach out to every person you engaged with.
To ensure a successful post-event strategy, it is crucial to plan. Prepare your follow-up campaign before the event begins so that it doesn't get pushed to the back burner in the wake of a post-event flurry of activity. Make the time to send personalized thank you emails to key prospects, which not only show appreciation but also help maintain a positive connection with attendees. To keep the momentum going, engage attendees with relevant content and exclusive offers that align with their interests and needs.
Participating in events and having your business featured in a booth or as a sponsor can be an excellent way to promote your brand, engage with potential customers, and generate leads. However, it takes strategic planning and execution to make the most of these opportunities. By avoiding common mistakes and following the tips and insights shared in this guide, you can optimize your investment, time, and manpower and achieve a successful event sponsorship. With the right preparation, you can make your next event sponsorship an unforgettable success for your business.