Recently, a2z organized an onsite workshop for a2z user group members on how event managers can expedite and increase sponsorship revenue with a2z’s Online Sponsorship Sales solutions. It was an extremely effective meeting where the attendees learned not just about technology but also about best practices at each other’s shows. The a2z team also got many meaningful insights into what’s hot, and what’s not in the event sponsorships and revenue generation techniques. What we heard and observed from our audience is relevant to a majority of tradeshows in the industry, and worthy of being shared here (IMHO).
What’s Hot & What’s Not in Event Sponsorships
It is becoming increasingly difficult to sell the typical old school sponsorships; lanyards, aisle banners, etc. On the other hand, there are many new and awesome ideas that are producing results. Here are some:
- Bundling sponsorship offerings is becoming more and more popular as it allows the exhibitor to get greater and reinforced brand exposure across multiple channels.
- Non-exhibitor sponsorships are beginning to add a new revenue stream for those events that are sold out and cannot expand due to venue constraints. Usually, these do have threshold limits well defined within the package.
- Sponsor exposure and branding has expanded to the home page of the event website, within an interactive slider or carousel. This gives immense exposure to key sponsors, delivering sufficient value to justify the premium pricing.
- Mobile posters are a good way to enhance or replace poster or education boards on the show floor. Attendees often click pictures of these poster boards to take with them. Allowing them to download posters using the event’s mobile app and/or website not just makes them happy, it also makes this is huge exposure sponsorship.
- More and more events are working with respective venue airports to provide exposure sponsorships right when the attendee lands. This is also great for additional exposure to those that might not be “attendees” of the event. Floor clings, escalator wraps, digital signage etc…are some of the offerings mentioned at airports.
- A very cool idea going around is to sponsor a pub crawl in a specific area close to the convention venue. This keeps majority of the attendees in one centralized location, providing high visibility to exhibitors who sponsor these locations. Unique and very cool.
- One sponsorship that has been around for a while now but becoming more popular now – hotel TV ads. After a long day traversing the exhibition halls and attending sessions, many attendees take some relaxation time and pop on the ol’ tele in their hotel rooms. Having your sponsor’s brand there could entice them to visit the sponsor’s booth the following day.
- A futuristic sponsorship idea that can be done in today’s time is Augmented Reality. Many general service contractors have signage that support this augmented reality and with the right app, your attendees can scour the show floor looking for that next virtual clue.
- Becoming more and more popular, events are promoting interactive demos in a sponsor’s booth within the event website and mobile app, say in the session directory.
- Volunteer efforts and causes. This is a great idea that all events should consider undertaking. By having a sponsorship for feel-good volunteer efforts or for a great humanitarian cause, you can get both your sponsor and attendees to connect with the event and your mission at an emotional level.
And now, a quick look at our favorite responses to our ‘What’s Hot, What’s Not’ question:
|Hot: Mobile Barista Coffee Sponsorship|
|Not: Traditional coffee areas|
|Hot: A balanced approach to educational sponsorship offerings|
|Not: Bland logos and self-promotion at a conference session|
|Hot: Learning lounges on the show floor|
|Not: Food & Beverage breaks|
I am sure you are starting to get the idea of the future trends of sponsorships. It’s moving beyond the static signage or logo, and into more personalized content and experiences that can create a strong emotional connection with attendees. Exhibitors and sponsors are doing this in their everyday marketing as well, so making it a part of your events will also help align their outside marketing with the event, making the sponsorship more beneficial and profitable to the brand.
Do you agree or disagree with these findings? Have you seen any other cool sponsorships lately? What is working for you? Post a comment so that all eventprofs can benefit and we can make this industry more effective for exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees.
More to explore
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- 4 Ideas for Recognizing Your Exhibitors and Sponsors on Social Media