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Event Sponsorship Ideas

This guide will discuss some event sponsorship ideas that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Event sponsorship is an essential element of planning. Without sponsorship to fund your concept, you’re not going anywhere. The days of having a sponsor stand in a prominent position and their name on your lanyards and swag bags are long gone. Event sponsors now want a much higher return for their money and it’s your job to come up with ideas to help achieve that.

Ideas for event sponsorship

To get a sponsor to buy into your vision, you have to develop original and eye-catching ideas that will not only promote the brand in a positive way but also be unique, memorable and most of all, original.

Not only are sponsors harder to please, so are your audience. People are far harder to amaze now thanks to the internet, social media and big budget productions. If you don’t have the budget, you need to use your imagination. Given the speed at which the events industry is developing, there is no shortage of imagination and creativity out there!

If you’re looking for a little inspiration for your next event sponsorship idea, why not try one of these?

Virtual reality

Virtual reality, VR, is the future. It is already being used in the events and conference industry but there are still many new ways you can use it. You could produce a product or service demonstration to promote the sponsor. Create a virtual world where the sponsor is front and centre. Create an experience that promotes the sponsor in a positive light or any manner of situations.

Professional services

Getting a sponsor that offers relevant professional service can work wonders. For example, a sports drink sponsor for a mud run or cycle sportive. Or a massage company to offer a free massage after the event. A car detailing company that offers a free clean to attendee’s cars while they enjoy the event or mini treatments from a health club or spa. The sponsor doesn’t have to sit side by side with your event, they can play an integral part in it.

Celebrity ambassadors

Every company likes celebrity endorsement, especially in this time of social media. Having a keynote speaker, special guest, headline act or talent promote the sponsor, wear sponsor clothing or using sponsor products offers the value for money that sponsor is looking for. The bigger the celebrity, the larger the sponsor you can attract.

Event apps

Event apps are the modern version of the paper map that also had the schedule and other information. The app can be dynamic, showing build-up news before the event, display the event map, list attendees, headliners, keynote speakers or other relevant data with the sponsor’s name spread liberally across it. The map can also link to social media so attendees can share, offer feedback and do some of your marketing for you.

Apps can be made for anything and feature all kinds of innovative touches and can be a powerful lure for a major sponsor.

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Sponsored phone charging stations

Sponsored phone charging stations are something we are seeing more and more of. Spread liberally around a venue, these sponsored chargers have small lockers where attendees can place their phones for a free recharge. They are relatively cheap, low maintenance and offer a valuable service. All things your sponsor and your audience will appreciate.

Pic n’ Mix

Who doesn’t love Pic n’ Mix whenever they go to the cinema or an event? It can work much like those sponsored phone chargers, be branded and offer bags of sweets to attendees with the name on the stand, on the bags and anything else you might like to offer. If you don’t offer sweets, you could offer popcorn or other snacks.

Water station

Free water stations go down well for some events, especially those that involve a lot of walking or standing around, live events, gigs and so on. As long as you avoid using single use plastic, a sponsor should be more than happy to be involved with offering free water. It’s simple to set up and offers real value to attendees. Win win!

Event radio station or DJ

Setting up a mini radio station or having an event DJ to play music and shout out during the event is another way to attract sponsors. As long as the quality is good and the offering is relevant to the type of event and the sponsor in question, it can raise awareness of who is sponsoring the event as well as provide information and entertainment to the audience.

Props or brand characters

Props or brand characters are nothing new but done well, they can still attract sponsorship. Whether you go large, offer smaller brand character giveaways, create an app or game featuring the character, have them walking around the event or create large signature props, this is a tried and tested method that can still be unique with a little ingenuity.

Sponsored WiFi

Free WiFi is another value-add service that attendees will appreciate for certain events. While mobile data is ubiquitous, not every venue has good coverage and not everyone has a corporate data plan. Offering free WiFi throughout the event with a sponsor page or sponsored login page can generate positive PR and goodwill.

Lounges or chillout areas

Having a quiet lounge or chillout area works well for live events, gigs or shows where there is a lot of sight and sound. They provide somewhere for people to sit back and relax and let them recover from the sensory assault of the event. Offering fruit juice, water, tea, coffee or branded beanbags is another way to please a sponsor while also offering a valuable service.

Concierges and wayfinders

Having a concierge and/or wayfinders wearing sponsored clothing is a simple way to get attention. We have all been lost at a conference or event and having wayfinders dotted strategically around a venue is a great way to help attendees while generating positive PR. We have all been pointed in the right direction by someone. If that someone is wearing corporate colours, we will remember that too.

Live streams

Live streaming or virtual attendance is another trend that is gathering pace. The ease at which you can live stream an event and the increases in video quality means you can sponsor a live stream alongside the other sponsorship opportunities. The stream can be promoted or shared online, be ticket only or be limited to attendees, either way, it’s cheap, easy to set up and offers another channel of engagement.

Sustainable swag bags

Swag bags are another staple of some events and conferences but have to change to remain relevant. Come up with a sustainable swag bag that minimises plastic and waste and doesn’t include single use items or throwaway items and you can combine sponsorship opportunities with a sustainable ethos. Another win win!

Want to find out more? Download our FREE Event Management Guide
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