It took me quite a while to appreciate what advantages sponsoring an event would bring, as sponsoring events can be quite expensive! In my past experience though, prices tend to range from a couple of hundred euro up to several thousand.
When you start to sponsor events you have reached a certain perception to your audience that you're fairly stable and your brand is already fairly recognisable. Most of the businesses I see at these events are regulars who have honed their message and already have a good feel for what their audience wants to see.
Don't let that put you off though! They all started some where once! I would recommend you spend some time writing down your FAQ's and seeing how you best utilise this information into creating something useful that you can put on a stand. This could be a product, book or even a short, looping video?
Simply put: the more expensive the fee, the greater expectation that the end product will look better. The venue of the event obviously plays a large role in pricing as does the number of people anticipated to come to it. They will all want teas and coffees and if its a whole day event, they'll want feeding too. None of this comes cheaply however. Even when attending an event is free for attendees there is normally a registration area to get a ticket. This is to ensure enough food and drink is available to everyone on the day.
Then there is all the paid promotion that the event will be doing, either in radio or maybe press releases. Some will most likely do paid-for social media promotion as well. You need to ask exactly what you're paying for to really grasp what they are going to be doing for you. Ultimately, they are working for you. You're not doing them a favour, you're the boss!
This very much depends on the type of event that is being run. Here in Ireland we have vast events for Construction, Tourism, Social Media and for SME's of all types. I have personally attended lots of those here in my role as a Director of a Social Media Training and Management company but also a fair few in my role as a Journalist.
Ultimately you will have to know your audience pretty well. You need to know what demograph this particular event is targeting. If it's the same audience as you are then it may be worth while going† If they have run previous events, then they will be expected to have a record of the footfall / viewership. They will have built up a bank of information on what Ads and promotion worked as well.If you plan to invest large sums of money into a one or more day event, you need to ensure you at least get back what you've spent by customers in the following weeks and months.
Believe it or not, there is something expected of you as well. Some of the more established events will send you branded images that you can share socially. They will invite you to make time and schedule and talk about their event in the lead up to the big day as well. This can be done by:
The more you build up their event, you're ultimately sharing your participation and vice a versa.
This would be a very personal decision. Although there is an expectation of how an event will go, there is absolutely no guarantee of what the end outcome will be. So you need to have in mind that you may make nothing at all from the event!
This could be for a number of reasons. If you're a Sole Trader like myself and can't attend for some reason, you may lose the lot! However, some times you just have to take the risk. For me its panned out quite well but not as well each time!
Remember, your outlay is not going to only be what you pay to the event. It's going to be for preparing a talk, creating and planning a stand and potentially having hotel accommodation too. These all need to be add up and accounted for and included in your marketing budget for each project / event.
If you are paying out a large sum, don't be afraid to make your event organiser accountable. To a certain degree they expect it.
It's not all about money! Though it helps...It could also be about raising awareness and building rapport and trust with your (potential) audience. These types of events and marketing towards them also makes you more personable and engaging if you do it right. To do this you need to step in front of your brand. People buy from People not logos.If you see your email list grow, even better. Cold leads become warm leads. You can start to build a relationship with people here. This engenders trust (all part a Sales Funnel).
Finally, those that have contacted you, met you and heard of you are in a better position to recommend you. Whether they have bought from you or not, you are "top of mind" so to speak.
So the next time you hear of event that you can attend and potentially sponsor make sure you have the following in mind:
To learn more about what you can put up on a stand if you're a service please read my blog 7 Ways to make your Business Exhibition stand out as a Service.
Hit me up with any other questions - I'll be happy to respond! firstname.lastname@example.org