Event Sponsorship – How do I choose?

Choosing the right event is a science“I feel we should be part of this event but is this the right one?”

Time and again marketers receive hundreds of invitations to sponsor events. These could range from sporting events, conferences, award nights, college fests, fashion shows and even festive activities. Choosing the right event sponsorship is crucial. A wrong choice is nothing but thousands of dollars straight down the drain and an irate boss asking why did you choose this sponsorship in the first place?

Here’s a quick 101 on Event Sponsorship.

What is an Event Sponsorship?

Event sponsorships are basically invitations to a Corporate to partner in a particular activity for a negotiated amount. Depending on the agreed amount, the partner (Corporate) is entitled to various ‘deliverables’. The more you pay, the more you get. Event organizers normally tier their sponsorship proposals.

Some examples of sponsorship levels could be:

  • Principal, Presenting or Lead Sponsor
  • Supported by Sponsor
  • Diamond Sponsor
  • Platinum Sponsor
  • Gold Sponsor
  • Silver Sponsor
  • Category Sponsors (F&B, Travel, Print, Outdoor, Technology, Radio etc.)

Levels are decided by the event manager based on how much money he needs, how granular he wants to go with lump sum payments form each sponsor and how much trouble he wishes to take (more sponsors = more demands = more headaches).

Sponsorship Deliverables – What do I get in return?

While negotiating a sponsorship, the sky is the limit with regard to deliverables in exchange for sponsorship amount. Some common deliverables which are offered at higher sponsorship levels include:

  • Key Note or Speaker Session
  • Database of those who register for the event
  • Sponsor Logo or speaker image with topic in newspaper or outdoor ads regarding the event
  • On- ground Event Branding
  • Prominent logo visibility at major on-site locations (Backdrop, Podium, Entrance, Thank you panel, LED Screens)
  • Place for the Corporate on a panel discussion
  • Sponsor mentions during the event
  • Stall space
  • Sponsors Logo placement on the organizer’s website
  • Sponsor is allowed to provide branded takeaways to those who attend the event
  • In conferences, notebook, pen and table branding
  • Dinner or Lunch area branding
  • Networking opportunities
  • Delegate Passes

Why sponsor at all?

Sponsorship is taken up by Corporate for 4 main reasons:

Lead Generation – by taking part you can get yourself a database of an audience relevant to your business

Visibility and Awareness – By associating themselves to an event, Corporates can make themselves visible to the right audiences

Value for Money – Normally, the cost of a sponsorship is significantly less than the value which is required to do an individual event by alone. Since there are multiple sponsors, the entire cost does not fall on a single sponsor. So you end up getting more awareness and visibility tan you paid for.

Less Headaches –  Smaller organizations may not have the manpower or resources to conduct events on their own. Sponsorship helps take care of this. All the stress of setup and execution is transferred to the event organizer.

How do I choose the right sponsorship?

Some questions one must ask before choosing the right sponsorship are:

  1. Is there a fit between my brand and the event?
  2. How many of my target audience will attend this event?
  3. Will I have an exclusive opportunity to present myself at the event?
  4. How many sponsors will there be? Will I get lost in the sea of sponsors?
  5. How will the organizer promote this event? Is there any outdoor, radio, print web presence?
  6. Will a database of attendees be shared post event?
  7. Will the media be present at the event? Will it be telecast?
  8. Is there any post or pre-event coverage which is expected?
  9. Will there be networking opportunities?

Event Sponsorship, when done well lead to promising results. Visibility and awareness shoots up within the right audiences and you have a new set up people to speak to and provide solutions. It’s all about choosing the right sponsorship.

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