Let’s face it: Hosting an event can be expensive—and ticket sales aren’t always enough to offset costs. That’s where sponsorships come in.
The best event sponsorships can boost an event’s budget while also enhancing its value, credibility, and appeal to potential attendees. On the flip side, live events and conferences present a unique opportunity for sponsors to engage with their target audience in out-of-the-box ways.
Win-win, right? Absolutely! But like all-things events, strategy is key. Here at SEQ, we have vast experience conceptualizing, designing, and executing sponsor integrations at all levels, keeping strategy and ROI front-of-mind every step of the way.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how we approach this process.
Strategic Alignment: The Core of Successful Sponsorships
A successful partnership needs to align with both the event's objectives and the sponsors' goals. By targeting the right sponsors, helping them define clear objectives, creating engaging on-site experiences, and providing valuable post-event analysis, we create an environment where sponsors can effectively connect with their target audiences while adding value to the overall event experience.
Done correctly, conferences become a prime stage for sponsors to showcase their products and services. But misalignments in sponsorships can lead to attendee confusion, detracting from the event's central theme and its overarching objectives.
Targeting the Right Sponsors
Before approaching potential sponsors, it's crucial to have a deep understanding of your event's goals and audience—because you better believe that sponsors will want to know these things before they consider investing.
Consider what sets your event apart from others in the sector, and have a clear understanding of attendees’ demographic data, interests, and behaviors. This is also the time to consider your event theme, and target sponsors whose products or services complement it.
Also, think through what your potential sponsors would be looking to achieve. Are they aiming for brand exposure and social media impressions, lead generation, or the chance to demonstrate new products or reach new audiences? Knowing their objectives can help you tailor opportunities that align with both their goals and your conference's theme.
Once a sponsor is confirmed, SEQ leans into collaborative goal setting, continuing to work closely with brands to help draft a sponsorship package that’s comprehensive, on brand, and fully vetted by the venue.
For custom sponsor opportunities, we like to conduct a mini version of our discovery process to ask fundamental questions, collect information, and ultimately best customize ideas. Questions include:
- What about this particular audience is key to your brand or communications mission?
- What is the impression of your brand that you want people to walk away with?
- How is your brand unique within your business segment?
- What has driven value for your brand with past sponsorship activations?
As the event approaches, SEQ serves as the sponsors’ point-of-contact to ensure deliverables are confirmed and expectations surpassed. It’s crucial to maintain open lines of communication with sponsors before, during, and after the event. Regular updates, clear instructions, and post-event reports help build long-term relationships with sponsors.
For custom sponsorships, our creative department uses what we learned during discovery to ideate unique branding opportunities throughout the event. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all sponsorship packages—now, sponsors look for creative and customized options like premium booth space, speaking opportunities, technology integrations, branded items, digital exposure via event apps and social media, and more.
The key? Creating environments that can foster meaningful conversations between sponsors and attendees—that go beyond a simple sales pitch.
We work throughout the event to help sponsors see the value in their partnership—and ideally, decide to return for future years. We like to collect data on attendee engagement with sponsored areas or sessions, using tools like surveys, event apps, and RFID technology. After the event, we provide sponsors with detailed reports on their sponsorship performance, including metrics like foot traffic, lead generation numbers, and attendee feedback.
Need help maximizing your event’s potential through sponsorships? Let’s connect.