Event sponsorship is something you’ve probably considered as a startup or business owner. More likely than not you’ve been approached to sponsor a social gathering or event, be it a charity function or business-oriented seminar. Although it’s likely that the promoters of these functions have promised you the sun, moon and stars in exchange for your hard earned money, it’s difficult to gauge if it will be worth it for your business. Just how effective will your participation be in generating positive publicity for your own business, particularly if you have little previous experience with sponsorship.

Businesses around the world successfully and rewardingly support events every day, and many of them do reap a variety of both social and financial rewards from their support. That being said, these corporate sponsors have discovered unique and innovative ways to ensure that those attending the event are exposed to the products and services they’re hoping to market. They’ve figured out how to maximize their sponsorship dollars and avoid all the hoopla. Next time you’re approached by a smooth business man (or woman) who slightly resembles a used car salesman trying to sell you event sponsorship, keep these tips in mind before you make the leap.

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Consider the following before sponsoring an event…

Strategy #1 : Make Sure The Event Aligns With Your Own Values And Brand

This may seem like a very simple idea, but the opportunity to get your brand name or services in front of an attentive, captive audience whose values and preferences align with your own business strategy is valuable indeed. Patience is a virtue when it comes to sponsoring events. Although you may be eager to demonstrate to the public that your business is successful enough to “share the wealth”, waiting for the right event to come along can drastically improve your ROI. After all, paying to sponsor an event with attendees who are not in your target demographic doesn’t make much fiscal sense.

Strategy #2 : Discuss The Exact Terms Of Your Sponsorship With The Event Organizers

Even after you’ve found the perfect event that aligns with your brand, it’s absolutely essential to know exactly what you will be receiving from the event in exchange for your financial support. By agreeing upon a specific promotional platform with event sponsors, you can devote the necessary time and effort to ensuring that you maximize your on-site visibility using the available resources. As a general rule of thumb, the more visibility the better. And the more you can get the event organizers to promote your brand before AND during the event, the better your investment.

Strategy #3 : Be As Helpful And Active As Possible.

Don’t just settle for your name at the bottom of a program. If you really want to inspire confidence, trust and interest in your brand, it’s absolutely essential that you appear as supportive and helpful as possible throughout the process. Not only will this increase your overall visibility at the event in question, but it will ensure that those who do see you leave with a very favorable impression.

Strategy #4 : Make It Impossible To Ignore Your Product or Brand

As part of your event sponsorship, consider distributing promotional items and/or promotion to the event attendees. If you can create a positive first impression with a customer who initially discovered your business at a seminar, not only will you have gained a potential new client/customer, but you will have discovered a winning strategy with proven results that can be used repeatedly at future events.

Event sponsorship is an integral part of an overall marketing strategy that many businesses often overlook or don’t take seriously. By following these simple rules of thumb, sponsoring an event could be just what your business needs to boost brand credibility, make valuable contacts and become a staple within a certain community.

Event Sponsorship - worth the money?
Event Sponsorship – worth the money?