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Questions Answered: Upgrade to Inbound Sponsorship!

Melissa Lombardi |

iStock_000077667249_Small-608x400.jpgIt’s always great to make a webinar and event greater if you feel that people respond to what you say. That was exactly the case for the webinar Upgrade to Inbound Sponsorship - A How To! organized by etouches together with Peter Poehle, CEO & co-founder of SponsorMyEvent.


The webinar covered how organizers and sponsors can embrace inbound marketing techniques for their sponsorships to create a compelling experience that creates a lasting memory for the audience - Peter calls this “inbound sponsorship.”

Many questions couldn't be answered or remained open due to a lack of time.

In this post I'll try to answer the most burning questions:

 If a sponsor doesn't want to plan out their campaign for sponsoring, how do you continue working with them if they don't want to create that engagement experience?

A: Not every sponsor likes the idea of getting involved too much and might prefer to stick with proven sponsorship techniques. There’s nothing bad about it, except that we see that these techniques are by far not creating the conversion rates that inbound sponsorship techniques create. Yet no sponsor should be forced into adopting inbound sponsorship. My advice is to create a solid mix between classic sponsorship packages and more advanced packages so that the sponsor can choose whatever he prefers.

How would you apply the inbound marketing approach to an event that has multiple sponsors in say two categories? i.e. how would you choose who sponsors the photobooth, etc.

A: Sponsorship techniques that require a higher degree of embedding into the event obviously result in a limited availability (and a higher price). Therefore organizers need to wisely choose what package to give to what sponsor. Usually this can be solved easily on a first come/first served basis, but it could be a nice opportunity to start a bidding process, as well.

Can you give me some ideas for golf tournament sponsorship?

A: It would be useful to give sponsors the opportunity to extend the tournament to their website. If there’s a possibility to let the sponsor create dedicated landing pages that carry valuable information about the tournament, i.e. with a live stream,tournament results, interviews with participants, that could be sponsored.

Why not adding a competition? Participants need to make a whole in one on a green. The winner would receive a 30 minute personal coaching session by a pro on the driving range. This would create plenty of possibilities for the sponsor to create a message around this competition.

Q What if the targeted audience is visiting a mandatory congress (such as medical conferences)? How do I draw their attention since they might not be interested in visiting a booth?

A: The key is embedding to support non-intrusive ways to include sponsors into the event.

There's a company called Smartupvisuals that creates life artwork from the content of a conference. The result is comparable to an infographic and retraces what was said during the speeches. It can easily be shared after the conference with attendees and it’s obviously a brilliant opportunity to highlight a sponsor.

Another very simple way would be to sponsor surveys about the conference. People might be interested in returning a survey if they will see a result right away (like a live poll). That would be a great addition to the conference (and useful for everybody involved).

If you have a dinner and a sponsor for the dinner, how much speaking time, if any, do you allow to the sponsor? Don't want to make the dinner seem like an advertisement.

A: Keep it short! Speeches tend to be long and boring. Work with the speakers on the message; ask them to be interesting, compelling and to provide real information. For the sake of your event (as well as the sponsor) you should be very picky when it comes to speaker slots. I recently went to a conference and many of the speaking slots were purchased by companies. It was awful! And a complete waste of money for the companies.

Another idea is to create an immersive experience with the speaker that embraces the attendees by interacting directly with them - but again this requires a well prepared and skilled speaker.

How can I create a sponsor strategy for international events?

A: First: choose your scope. You need to find the kinds of events that brings your brand in front of the right audience.

Second: elaborate on a concept that you can easily adapt to various events (and languages).

Third: get deeply involved with the organizers as soon as possible to make your concept work.

What is one sponsorship trend that has failed and why do you think it failed?

A: On a bigger picture I would say, that the most common way sponsorship fails is adding a banner to an event. This is linked to the fact that people today are used to being flooded with visuals from everywhere (compare the speed of a TV ad from the 70s to today’s TV ads). The human brain is trained to filter in a very efficient way. Victims to this filtering are the logos that are all around us at events. Unless they are linked to a positive experience for the attendee, most likely the attendee will not remember them (unless maybe subconsciously).


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Miss the live webinar about inbound sponsorship?
If you weren't able to attend the live event with Peter, no need to worry! You can tune in to the webinar by registering for the recorded version and learn all about how you can get your attendees engaged. For those of you who have already watched the live webinar, you can relive it now!

Watch it now>>

Tech Trends, Event Tech

This Post was Written by Melissa Lombardi

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