I wanted to share an article I wrote about sponsoring events, as it’s often a great way to get eyeballs and you know what in seats. I published it a while back, but the content is just as valid today as it was then. Hope you enjoy!

As you may already know, sponsorship opportunities can be a cost-effective way to build equity in your company’s brand, which in turn helps drive increased market share, mind share, sales, revenues and profits.

However, while sponsorships can be very rewarding – whether by lending your company name to an event, participating as a joint venture partner/underwriter, or through any other vehicle – it’s wise to “look before you leap” and ask yourself these 7 questions to help ensure that the effort is a win for everyone involved:

  1. “Is this a good fit for us?” Evaluate the fit between the sponsorship opportunity and your company’s mission and goals. There should be clear alignment.
  1. “Will we reach the right people?” As with any marketing idea or project, you want to ensure that this sponsorship opportunity will let you engage the right target audience for where your company is right now in its strategic marketing plan.
  1. “Can we make this happen?” Despite you and your team’s best intentions and efforts, you need to take into consideration a number of logistical, financial and administrative factors, including: timing, expense, logistics, workload, and staff. Think with you head AND your heart!
  1. “What kind of support is available?” Do some research on the event organizers to see what kind of support is available. Will they co-produce marketing material to offset your costs? Can they give you access to discounted media rates? It’s also a good idea to ask for testimonials from other satisfied sponsors.
  1. “Who will we be up against?” Find out which other brands are involved in the event, and if there are any speakers (e.g. workshops, lectures, etc.). Pay particular attention on whether any of these people might enhance or, in some cases, may detract or damage your brand.
  1. “How many people will we connect with?” Find out how many people have registered, and whether there’s a guarantee on the number who will attend. Also look into how the event is being promoted, and whether your company will be featured as part of that effort.
  1. “What’s the ROI?” While there are many different ways to measure ROI (much to the bane of some CFOs out there), the important thing to confirm is that there is, in fact, an ROI that makes sense per your strategic marketing plan. For example, if your goal is to increase top-of-funnel leads by 15% next quarter, then see how the potential sponsorship opportunity supports that. Or, if your priority is to increase brand recognition by 20% among your key demographic, then evaluate the opportunity through that lens. Whatever your goal, the point here is that you want to think about ROI before you commit to sponsoring – not after.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, all 7 questions above point to one clear piece of advice: do your homework! That doesn’t mean you should spend weeks or months analyzing every potential sponsorship opportunity. However, it does mean that it’s clearly in your best interest to position your brand for maximum success – and that includes measuring results and conducting a “lessons learned” after each event, so that you’re constantly getting better at the sponsorship game, year after year.

I’ll be the first to agree that event planning is a tough job.

Social media and online marketing can really push your event in front of your target audience, but there’s an enormous marketing opportunity that’s missing.

The number one mistake is that event organizers and speakers stop talking as soon as the event is over!

How’s that a mistake you ask?

It’s all in the follow up.

Thinking back about several recent events, I know it’s overwhelming to stay focused on what you did ‘last week’. Whether you’re a speaker like I am, or an attendee, following up and continuing the conversation is important to building relationships and opening doors of opportunity.

Let’s talk about the ‘why’ first.

[ctt title=”The Importance of a Follow Up Meeting after Events’ you’ll find three key reasons to follow up if you’re event organizer. They’re to collect feedback from attendees, evaluate your budget as well as the overall event strategy. ” tweet=”The Importance of a Follow Up Meeting after Events’ you’ll find three key reasons to follow up if you’re event organizer. They’re to collect feedback from attendees, evaluate your budget as well as the overall event strategy.” coverup=”Zvoub”]

But you’ll learn more…

Steve Randazzo, on Spin Sucks, talks about different ways to keep the conversation going – after the event, if you’re the event organizer. You can read that here; ‘The Most Important Post-Event Engagement Tool’.

He says it’s easy to get so caught up in the pre-event social component that most of us forget about riding the social media train into the future.

[ctt title=”A little more than half of marketers use social media to connect with attendees after events versus three quarters using social media before events. ” tweet=”A little more than half of marketers use social media to connect with attendees after events versus three quarters using social media before events. ” coverup=”d72Jj”]

He suggests a best practice of continuing to use social media long after the event to increase engagement with customers and maximize ROI.

Here’s one more resource I’d like to share with you, ‘The Most Critical 50% of Event Marketing: 4 Tips to Maximize Event Impact’.

[ctt title=”Besides a detailed outline of all your marketing activities, pre-show promotion and your on-site presence should make up only about 50% of your event strategy. The other 50%, which is often overlooked and most critical, should be in the post-show follow up.” tweet=”Besides a detailed outline of all your marketing activities, pre-show promotion and your on-site presence should make up only about 50% of your event strategy. The other 50%, which is often overlooked and most critical, should be in the post-show follow up.” coverup=”eD7kh”]

If you’ve neglected this post event follow up, now’s your chance to plan for your next event.

Make sure you add all of these suggestions to your to-do list and I’m sure you’ll see a huge return on investment on time spend strategizing beforehand.

 

Want to know more about events?  Check out these other articles I’ve written; How to Work a Room without Being There8 Great Way to Promote an Event and Grow Your Business and 5 Ways Businesses Can Use Promotional Products to Boost Profits

Milton, MA…Business and Life Strategist, Robin Samora, recently interviewed celebrity photographer, Nikki Incandela from La Jolla, California on her monthly interview series.  The title was Put Some Pizzazz in Your Picture: What Your Image Says About You.

Nikki spoke about the importance of images in your personal branding. “With the prominence of Facebook and other social media, consistent branding is very important for your on-line presence and distinguishes you in the marketplace,” she said.  Nikki also offered some pointers on the different ways to use your image in your marketing and collateral, and shared her vast experience about being comfortable in front of a camera, style, and how to have an image that “attracts business.”

“A bad image can follow you for years,” said Nikki, “but a great image makes you confident and empowers you in your professional and personal life.  You have about four seconds to create an impression to say who you are as a person.”

“Nikki incorporates an important lesson I’m offering,” said Robin.  “No risk, no reward. Go for it. Don’t wait for someone to discover you. Put yourself out there and celebrate your brand – and  pretend it’s bigger than it is. If you do what it takes, you’ll grow into your new shoes. Nikki works at her public image using networking, social media, and she is a fabulous photographer,” continues Robin. “She also aligns herself with who she is, and where she wants to go!”

Incandela, who started as a fashion designer, was just at the Oscars not only to shoot the most glamorous Hollywood stars as they came down the runway but also had an opportunity to get fitted for a couture dress to wear at the gala event.

“Nikki and I have been working together informally for a couple of years,” said Robin, “but recently – she made a decision to make it big. I see fireworks in what she’s doing. It’s a combination of her inner flame, talent, and doing what she loves. Nothing makes me happier.”

About Robin Samora

Robin’s career began in advertising and then transitioned to media buying in the film industry. She owned two restaurants, became a Major League Baseball licensee, and worked in cable television as an Event and Promotions Manager – with major networks such as ESPN, HGTV, CNN, and MTV.  Robin eventually started her own company in 2002, Partner Promotions, a

Brand Ambassador firm for Fortune 500 companies like Comcast, Tivo, and NBC, marketing products and services – one-on-one in the retail sector, at business events, and in the community.

Wanting to utilize her talents, and years of coaching experience, Robin realized she loved working one on one, with clients, entrepreneurs and small businesses – not just major corporations.  She couldn’t help but notice that she would attract people who wanted to talk, and ask her advice. It became clear to her and those who sought Robin out for her insight, wisdom and advice — that she would be a “calm voice of reason, in a storm,” and provide a path for “next steps” to get recognized and promoted in the marketplace.

With years of business knowledge under her belt, Robin launched — Let’s Make You Shine a business and life strategy company for entrepreneurs who want to boost their bottom line, get attention and stand out in the marketplace. Now, Robin takes great pleasure in teaching others how to realize their dreams and potential, while also making a difference.

Let’s Make You Shine has been created with more than two decades in business development, operations and execution, sales and marketing, and extensive professional training. It’s Robin’s mission to help her clients make more profit, share their gifts and passion with the world, and get recognized for who they really are.