Five Steps to Boost Sponsorship Revenue

It’s a no brainer – you have to get your attendees motivated and engaged in your event to make it successful AND you have to get them to interact with your sponsors. How do you do it?

Gamification Matters. Gamification increases traffic to sponsor booths, encourages attendees to interact, gets attendees to post on social emdia and creates a fun event experience that builds conversation and buzz. Event app games can ensure attendees play an engaging, business-objective-based game that also achieves brand awareness for sponsors. It gets attendees engaged, motivated and, most of all, gets them to interact with the sponsor of the game. Attendees can play scavenger hunt type games where they answer questions about your sponsor, phost photos of a sponsor booth and win prizes. It’s fun, it’s really easy, and your sponsors will be hugely happy with the result. It’s a win win.

Event Location Matters. We say this time and time again – giving your attendees great restaurant information encourages their happiness and conversation and engagement in an event. Let’s face it, a lot of convention centers and hotel meeting rooms look the same — few windows, neutral colored carpet and ugly furniture. If someone is traveling to a destination they’ve never been to before, those bland rooms are not going to be all they want to see when they’re there. Who doesn’t love exploring a new city, especially when exploring means new restaurants? Food and drink are an important aspect of the decision to travel to a specific destination. Attendees might not remember a specific piece of information from the session they attended on Saturday afternoon but they will remember the great dinner they had on Saturday night at the cozy restaurant down the block frequented only by locals. And they’ll talk about it …. to other attendees … .and they’ll keep talking about it long after the event is over!

Social Interaction Matters. Your sponsors will be thrilled with photo galleries, social walls and activity feeds. Why? Because it means attendees are interacting within the event and they’re having fun. So it’s extremely important to include as many of these features within your event app as possible. Here are some suggestions:

a. Session Chatting is Key: You want your event attendees to be engaged in their sessions. To share their ideas. Their questions. Their thoughts. And not just on a main Twitter feed but on a specific session-by-session basis. That builds discussion and discussion builds buzz. So include a Conversations feature.

b. Photo Sharing Can Be Fun: Sharing photos generates conversation. This may seem like an obvious point but photos provide a fun and interactive way to share both serious parts of the event, and the non serious parts of the event, even when you are at home. The ability to save event photos and email them after continues the event experience long after it is over, and continues the connection between attendees. So make sure to have a Photo Gallery.

c. Get Attendees Active: Get attendees active and involved before, during, and after their time at the event. Whether it is finding out who is attending the opening reception or planning to meet for breakfast before attending a session, attendees should be able interact with one another by posting questions, comments, and more. So make sure to add an Attendee Networking feature. Social Walls are Big: The Social Wall is a social media aggregate that pulls from the popular Social Media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc) to show what everyone is talking about at your event in one place. As posts come in, no matter what social site it’s from, they mingle together to show what attendees are talking about, taking pictures of, and posting. The event organizer then has the option to project the Social Wall to a screen at their event so attendees can see everything blown up. Many clients choose to project the Social Wall at their social events such as the welcome reception or a networking lunch.

Provide Good Data. Your sponsors want to know that you stand behind your event. So the best way to boost sponsorship revenue is to give your sponsor immediate data in the form of attendee feedback, specific data on banner ads, and information of where attendees actually clicked in the app. Sponsors can see exactly how many “clicks” there were on each banner ad in addition to seeing how many clicks there were on their detailed information pages within the sponsor section of the app. That way they will know what works and what doesn’t and will be more inclined to be a sponsor again because you have encouraged a “nothing to hide” strategy. Because attendees are interacting constantly with their event app, that format is the best vehicle to amass that data. You can deliver all sorts of analytics within an event app, including session specific and overall survey responses, the number of clicks on specific sections of the app (ie. How many clicks where there of people visiting the Schedule), and detailed rating reports from your survey questions. The event organizer can assign rating questions and can then see a detailed combined rating report showing the averages and scores that were assigned to speakers, questions, and sessions.

Unique Sponsorship Opportunities Matter. Banner ads are a huge way of generating sponsorship revenue. And they do work. Attendees are interacting with an event app on a constant basis, and they are going to see the banner ad on a recurring basis, emphasizing a sponsor’s message with every view. They are easy to swap in and out, and easy to rotate so you can offer multiple sponsorship opportunities just within the banner ad space; but limit that rotation so you don’t completely dilute the effectiveness. Sponsorship revenue can be increased by giving your sponsors lots of options in their ads that slice and dice who they reach. So for example, within an event app, you can offer targeted banner ads, not just general ones, so that sponsors can select who those ads go to. Or you can offer timed splash pages so that the information gets delivered at the time a sponsor wants. If an app is sponsored by a single brand, the sponsor can go further in branding the app in keeping with their marketing adjectives. Branded icons: Sponsors can brand the icons used within the event app. Branded Color: Sponsors can dictate the color scheme used within the event app. Branded Look and Feel: Sponsors can dictate the overall look and feel of the app.

Offer sponsors extensions of their sponsorships that cross all communications platforms. So if a sponsor is part of an event app, then you can offer a really cool printed companion piece with a QR code to direct them to the event app. Sponsors reach attendees at every touchpoint and increase their exposure, and it also increases sponsorship revenue for the organizer.

Provide unique sponsorship opportunities tied to food or cocktails; that’s what attendees want. Try a sponsored pop-up mixology session in various locations in the exhibit hall or after-hours in a unique location. Offer a sponsored evening ping-pong tournament with customized glow-in-the-dark balls. Or try a sponsored rooftop beach volleyball competition, complete with customized t-shirts and, of course, volleyballs.

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