Event sponsorships have always been a big part of the marketing mix to promote products, network in the industry, meet face to face with clients, and promote executives and brands as thought leaders in the industry. Unlike the general perceptiaon that event sponsorship is best used as a platform for B2C events only, a number of B2B businesses are using and benefitting from sponsorship.
However, conferences are expensive, time-consuming and, depending on what you’re selling, it can take months before you see a positive ROI. In all the years that we have been working with B2B event sponsorships at Onspon, we have seen a lot of disappointment among sponsors related to conferences. So, we came up with some of the points that go wrong at a B2B event sponsorship:
- Networking constraint
Conversations don’t start by themselves. Plenty of the sponsors practice the 'sit and wait' approach which doesn’t work eventually. Studies show that only 20% of the attendees at a conference come up to a booth of the exhibitor and start a conversation. Therefore, the responsibility lies with the sponsors to aggressively work towards engaging the audience by going to them and discussing what you have to offer.
- Visibility constraint
As sponsorship is generally perceived, the visibility for a sponsor is only assumed as logos put on a hoarding which are not effective in creating awareness or generating valuable leads and during a large event, 50 logos are crammed on a single billboard or booths of same design are put in a dedicated space which the audience can conveniently avoid. The question is are any of these marketing strategies really adding up to brand value addition or awareness as a whole?
- Time Constraint
One of the major setbacks faced by a sponsor at a conference is the amount of time they get in between sessions to interact with the attendees. Most conferences have back to back sessions, therefore leaving only the break time for the sponsors to interact with their target audience. The focus is always on the ongoing sessions and while it is unlikely for the audience to visit the booths to find out the offers by the sponsors, it also becomes a hassle for the sponsors to make use of the little time they get in between the sessions or during the break time.
Now that the problems have been listed, we intend to help you with the solutions to these as well:
- Technology making networking easy
With the advent of mobile event apps and social networking platforms, networking opportunities have increased many-fold. Not only are event apps making it easy for the attendees and organizers to have a one-on-one conversation but also the sponsors who are generally left behind, can showcase their offers and network with their target audience. Social media platforms can be very effective when trying to connect with new customers and also revitalizing the existing customers as well.
- Enhanced visibility
Visibility, more specifically - event branding is about capturing the essence of your brand and giving it its proper due in the event marketing efforts. If the event has a dedicated app, your brand logo can be placed throughout the event pages. Apps like eventonapp have a dedicated section to sponsors which would give them an opportunity to showcase their offerings. By planning, packaging and promoting the many ways your sponsors can reach and engage your attendees in a dynamic event experience, your app will more than pay for itself.
- Plan for short attention spans
This is a problem that’s only getting worse?—?embrace it, mix up the content, make sessions shorter. Create more opportunities for sponsors by taking short breaks in between sessions. Get the audience in the hallways more often. Not only does this technique work for the sponsors, it also gives a breathing time to your attendees so that they can pay full attention to the next session on the schedule.
- Make the sponsors a part of the event
Audiences are usually in the habit of avoiding booths and tables but if the sponsors are given a timeframe to speak or organize some contests in between the sessions, the attendees are bound to pay more attention than the brands coming up with written brochures or representatives speaking at the booth itself.
Today’s marketers are under increasing pressure to maximize their ROI and demonstrate that sponsoring B2B events meets key business development deliverables. So if your brand is looking to spice things up a notch at the next B2B event that you are about to sponsor, we hope that these points can help your brand to stand out from the crowd and catch some much-needed eyeballs.