Sponsoring an exhibition is easy, but getting what you want in return is not. You may be trying to increase your brand visibility or simply generate leads, one thing’s for sure – not all events are worth your time, money and effort. You need to tread carefully, and here’s how you can do it
Here’s The Art Of Successfully Sponsoring an Exhibition
Set the business and marketing objectives
Doing so will help you in two ways – first of all, you can filter the sponsorship offers that are not in sync with your objectives and choose among the ones that are. Secondly, once the exhibition is over, you will need something, say, a matrix of sorts, to measure the success, and at that point of time, these objectives will come in handy.
Be clear on who you are targeting
Have you defined your target audience yet? If is imperative to study all demographics and psychographics of the people attending the event. Then segregate the most relevant ones for your marketing objective. Next, estimate a realistic number of possible conversions. Are they enough for you to get a substantial return on investment?
If you have your eye on a new target segment, perhaps before a product or service launch, look for exhibitions that they are most likely to attend.
Focus on effectiveness and not price
If you are given a chance to speak at the exhibition, you will be achieving far better results than a passive sponsor would. Similarly, sponsoring on-site media may prove beneficial because there’ll be some real-time conversations happening there, which are usually missing in case of the conventional offline sponsorships. Take your pick carefully.
Talk to the organizers and ask for customization
Give them a call, and if possible, ask about the experiences of the sponsors from previous years’ exhibitions. Listen to their success stories, and if they are honest enough to share about any unsuccessful attempts by the sponsors in the past, do find out what went wrong. Once you have made up your mind, make sure that the exhibition goes well with your brand, your theme, and your target audience, and if it does not, insist on customization. The organizers may suggest otherwise, but as David Hewson said, “What must be done must be done, whatever the price, the cost, the pain…”
Don’t be reluctant to negotiate
Sponsorships are no different than a tour package; if there’s something you don’t like, you get it removed or replaced, and ask the organizer for a better price. Also, you can rightfully ask for freebies and extras. For instance, if they agree to giving you a 120-day right of first refusal, you’ll surely be in a win-win situation. Put your negotiation skills at work!
Always measure the impact
Have some effective measures in place; you must measure the qualitative and quantitative impact of your sponsorship. And if the exhibition organizers are willing to provide you with a post-exhibition report, there’s nothing like it. However, some will hold onto it, unless you ask. 74% of the exhibitors don’t; make sure you do!
A lot of exhibitions may be taking place around you right at this moment or might be scheduled for later, and the organizers of many, if not all, would contact you for sponsorship, but unless you are sure what’s in it for you, don’t sign up.