The question we all want the answer to – What do sponsors really want from their sponsorship?
Partnering up with the right event is the perfect way for brands to place themselves in front of new and existing audiences and increase their long-term value and growth, setting them apart from their competitors and showcasing their product offerings in a memorable way. Even during a time where there remains a cloud of uncertainty around the prospect of live events and we have witnessed a significant shift towards digital and hybrid events – we know that event sponsorship is and continues to be, an effective way of increasing the visibility of a brand.
Whether an event can take place in-person or not, with the technological advances that now exist to create highly-immersive and engaging experiences for consumers, brands are able to flex their partnership investment and see favourable returns on investment no matter the circumstances. However, the real question – is what do sponsors really want from their sponsorship?
At Panoptic Events, we believe the goal is not selling a brand a sponsorship deal, but instead helping them to achieve certain goals through the sponsorship opportunity. With that, there are several important criterion that come up time and time again as constant themes in regards to what sponsors are really looking for, such as audience relevance and reach, shared values, measurable returns on investment, positive public relations and strong opportunities for activation to name a few. So, let’s take a closer look at what sponsors really want from their sponsorship.
Audience Relevance and Reach
When pitching your event to prospective sponsors, carrying out extensive research on the brand and its relevance to the event is vital. The prospective brand, it’s core values and it’s target consumer segment must align perfectly with that of your event.
Sponsors are now looking for robust data on event attendees – from specific information on their age, occupation and demographic, to detailed information on their purchasing habits. If the event audience is irrelevant to the sponsoring brand’s ideal target segment, it is highly unlikely that the event will be able to deliver on the sponsor’s desired outcomes and that they will get the most out of their sponsorship in terms of reach and consumer engagement.
A lot of organisations are utilising the ‘try before you buy’ approach, and scaling up events year by year. This is because they tend to lack the confidence in the events they want to be part of, they want to be sure they are on the right path, and by testing events year by year, they can eventually scale up to desired level of attendance and sponsorship input.
As we all know, one of the primary reasons organisations sponsor events is linked to the strong, heightened brand awareness that follows suit, and brands will often sponsor an event so they can place themselves in front of their ideal target customer.This is especially relevant for businesses that are relatively new to the market.
With this approach, new and upcoming brands looking to get their name out there can have access to their ideal consumer segment in a far quicker manner than other methods, through sponsoring events that align with their brand, their values and their target audience.
Enhancing Brand Image – Corporate Responsibility
On top of organisations that are new to the market, it is no secret that well-established brands are also huge fans of event sponsorship, especially if those looking to enhance or reposition their brand. Just take a look at Coca-Cola or Emirates, for example. Currently, implementing sustainability practices, goals and values has been generating significant importance amongst leading brands, alongside inclusiveness. Being a part of events that promote similar goals and values naturally enhances the image of sponsoring brands in the most positive way, especially if this is done through the engagement of communities and leading global conversations.
Moreover, sponsorship is an excellent way to enhance brand image for even the most established brands that already have a major presence in the market.
What DON’T sponsors want from their sponsorship?
While event sponsorship is a perfect way for brands to enhance their image and increase their visibility, there are unfortunately sometimes cases where sponsorship can go wrong.
One of the main downfalls we often witness happen to many sponsorships is a lack of planning once the agreement is signed and event organisers have received their investment. Thus, it is crucial that event organisers assist brands with achieving their desires and goals through the sponsorship. Particularly, executing a strong brand activation at the event is key.
Therefore, there should be clear plans in place for brands to activate properly at and around the event timeline to ensure sponsors get the most from their sponsorship in terms of reach, brand awareness and consumer engagement.
How can event organisers ensure that sponsors get the most out of their sponsorship?
Essentially, sponsorship is a collection of marketing tools which can be cleverly utilised to help brands achieve their goals and desires while providing an event with the investment it needs to be a success. Therefore, the main takeaway for event organisers is: never forget to ask your sponsoring brands what they want to achieve.
It is vital that event organisers clarify with the sponsoring brand exactly what they would like in return for their investment, they ensure there is regular communication at and around the event timeline, there are clear brand activation plans in place, and there is clear planning once the investment is received to ensure all of the sponsoring brands’ outcomes and desires are delivered on.
To summarise, it is evident that sponsorship means much more than just ‘sponsorship’. Brands are looking for tools to help them achieve their goals and measure their marketing investment, documentation of the benefits being delivered, flexibility around their investment and forecasting of the business impact. In today’s current climate, sponsors are now expecting a lot more from their sponsorship investment and it is crucial that event organisers can provide this added value.
At Panoptic Events, we deliver world-class experiences cross-sector that amaze and inspire. We have the network, expertise and solutions to source the perfect sponsor for your event. Simply tell us your story, and we will create your legacy. If you would like to find out more about our services, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.