As the economy rebounds, exhibiting companies are asking show organizers for higher return on their investment, increased value for their limited budgets and more meaningful face to face interactions with their potential customers. A basic profile listing and logo are no longer enough to drive growth.
Having conducted a number of roundtables at the a2z user group meetings recently, it is clear that the nature of sponsorship sales in the events industry is changing. I have compiled a few trends that came out of the many insightful discussions with leading trade show organizers.
Customization and Bundling – Taking the time to ask companies about their goals in sponsorship is becoming more and more critical. You not only let them know they are important to your show, but also work with them to customize and bundle sponsorship packages to increase their ROI from their participation, and potentially show the value of less popular sponsorship options in the process.
Creativity and Collaboration – Some of the most successful sponsorships are those that create unique and experiential interactions for attendees. From sponsored pub crawls and corn-hole tournaments, specialty coffee and drink stations to paid exhibitor presentation tracks, exhibitors want to stay in front of their audiences.
Exhibitors are creating more events off the show floor and after hours. Some shows are taking the spending power of multiple exhibitors and buying out large venues to create a one-stop after hours shop for attendees. Large scale and memorable venues (e.g. NASCAR Hall of Fame, Stadiums, etc.) create lasting memories for both the exhibitors and attendees. Exhibitors can still theme, ticket, cater, and create their own custom experience in different sub-venues while the attendee can visit just one place. Exhibitors will also see increased networking with attendees with this approach.
Connected – Let’s face it, most attendees are carrying two to three digital devices nowadays. A dead cell phone or tablet can keep attendees out of your show app and off the show floor in search of power. Keeping attendees connected at your show is a necessity now. This means additional opportunities for brands to stand out in the crowd by sponsoring charging stations and WiFi hot spots in the exhibits halls.
You can read about other technology sponsorship ideas in this blog post. What changes are you seeing? Have other ideas, please comment below.
More to explore: