If it wasn’t for your sponsors, your event might not have gotten off the ground; that’s what makes the relationship so important. Part of that relationship is based on your willingness to promote sponsors throughout your events, and it’s an obligation you should take seriously.
Often, most promoters focus on acknowledging sponsors using standard methods; you’ll list the company on promotional flyers, emails, and signage, and then (many) simply call it a day. But coming up with unique ways to promote your event sponsors you can build stronger relationships. And, over time, this could lead to more influential events in the future.
So, what are some out-of-the-box ways you can promote your event sponsors? Here are some tips to get you started on the path to promotional glory.
- Event Apps and Wi-Fi
Let’s face facts; the app has become a staple in the world of events. Most participants look to apps to maintain their schedules, find their way around, and even schedule appointments. And it’s that desire to use such technology that presents a perfect promotional opportunity.
When you open an app, you are often first greeted by a title or splash page as the app loads. And that page is a promotional gold mine. For a few moments, those opening the app are essentially a captive audience, so placing sponsors business names and logos on these pages almost guarantees significant exposure.
The key to using this successfully is to develop pages that present a sponsor’s message without affecting the user experience. That means this isn’t a promotional offering you can use with every sponsor, but it is something you can use with a choice few.
Similarly, if you are in control of the user agreement associated with local Wi-Fi, this can be an excellent point to present a sponsor’s message. You can also direct event participants to a particular web page (possibly through the app) to locate the Wi-Fi password. And that password could be sponsored by a particular business.
Heck, you can even make the password a reference to the company. Having event goers actually type in the words can certainly help cement the sponsor into their memory.
- Charging Stations
Another point of interest for your tech-savvy attendees could be a charging station, especially if the event has many participants frequently using the app on their mobile devices. And, what could every charging station use? A sponsor. While most of the sponsorship acknowledgment would be signage based, this is some signage that is sure to get noticed.
If you want to go a step further, consider offering portable external battery packs or power banks to interested participants. And, when they check out a backup power source to keep their device going while they are on the move, that charger could be branded with a sponsoring company’s information.
- QR-Code Scavenger Hunt
Want to get attendees using your app and those charging stations? Consider adding a QR-Code scavenger hunt. Have the app provide the first clue, which ultimately relates to a particular trade show booth or sponsor location. Once there, they can ask a representative for the booth’s clue (another QR-Code) which they scan to get the next clue or combine QR-Codes with passwords that must be entered to proceed. Then, make the password something that requires them to engage with the sponsoring booth directly.
For example, the password could relate to the sponsor’s newest product offering or a fact about the business. That way, the sponsor gets access to the attendee in a meaningful way, and the participant is given an easy way to engage in conversation with sponsors. You can have visitors bouncing from booth to booth, having them interact with sponsoring businesses and their representatives along the way until they complete the hunt.
Once a person reaches the end, you could reward them a small (sponsored?) prize, enter them into a drawing for a large prize, or both.
- Interactive Content Station
If some of your sponsors are in the products game, consider creating an interactive content station (or even a TECHbar), similar to sections in electronics stores where you can get hands-on time with a product. Why separate these options from sponsor booths? Because sometimes attendees want to explore the products without automatically hearing the sales pitch.
Instead, keep a handful of skilled station hosts available to make sure everything is operating correctly, and then let the visitors try out the products on their own. You can even add some fun by having available tech feature games, contests, or challenges for participants to partake in.
The idea is to create a comfortable space where attendees can explore a sponsor’s latest tech in a neutral space, because sometimes a low-pressure, soft sell approach is incredibly effective.
- Custom Refreshment Naming Rights
Any event that is going to be going on throughout the majority of a day (or more) likely needs refreshments available onsite. Now, you can choose to work with a single sponsor to create the station, giving them named credit for the refreshment station as a whole, or you can have some fun with it.
First, make sure the station is hosted and not self-serve. This may take a few volunteers or employees to operate the location, but it will be worth it. Next, name every snack or beverage after a particular sponsor or create a signature food or drink item named for the sponsor. For example, you could provide signature cocktails named after sponsoring brands.
And, make sure that you offer multiple variants. For example, include two punches, two cakes, two sandwiches. Why? Because then the attendees stopping by will need to specify their selection based on the sponsor’s name. And, if it is particularly good, and they want to tell someone about it, they have to say the sponsor’s name again.
Essentially, it is creating a context to get more sponsor information into normal conversation. And repeatedly hearing and saying a sponsor’s name can help cement it into the memories of all of your event participants.
- Interactive, Digital Smart Walls
For a twist on signage, consider adding an interactive, digital smart wall. Attendees may pass by traditional signs, but it is hard to ignore 8+ feet of modern, digital glory. The experience can include portals to access information about the event, details about sponsors, a variety of games, and even virtual graffiti.
You can also use it as a prominent point to display a social media hashtag for the event’s activities, and keep a running feed of related posts streaming down the screen. That way, visitors can see details about current happenings, and you (and your sponsors) get a valuable source of content that is created by participants.
Don’t Be Afraid to Think Outside of the Box
The key to creating unique offerings is to be willing to step away from the traditional. While sponsor information on invitations, newsletters, and signage has its place, consider if there are new ways for them to connect with the audience at large. Then, monitor the results from event to event and adjust accordingly. You may be surprised at which promotions take the event by storm.