There are 2 ways to sponsor a festival- the wrong way or the right way, clever I know ;)
Businesses that sponsor festivals should see a return on their sponsorship dollars. Sponsoring should include an engaging activation, brand awareness, and brand ambassadors at the event spreading the word about how amazing your brand is. Most of the time, we see a company pay thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars just to have their logo on a banner or printed in a brochure. The banner gets ignored and the brochures ultimately end up in the trash.
Here’s a few things to think about when your company is weighing the options of sponsoring a festival or event of any kind.
#01 Do you share the same target audience?
When it comes to sponsoring and having a presence at an event, the first question you have to ask is does it make sense? Are the people that we want to attract going to be at this shindig? That could be in the form of potential customers, future employees, etc. Does your business plan on attracting potential customers from this sponsorship or maybe you’re looking to support an event from a community standpoint? Do your values line up with the event’s mission and goals?
#02 Are there any direct competitors already sponsoring the event?
You never really see Coke and Pepsi sponsor the same event. You need to think about that when you are sponsor or going after sponsors for festivals and events.
If you are a sponsor you want to make sure you are getting all the spotlight- you did pay for it after all. Same principle goes for event organizers. You want to make sure your sponsors are happy and getting what they want out of their sponsorship so you can build long lasting supporting relationships.
#03 What are the marketing goals for the business?
Set goals for this piece of your marketing budget. If your goal is to get 500 new customers to download your app then you need to think about how you’re going to achieve that. Work with the event organizers or a sponsorship team to ensure they know what your goals are so they can assist in getting you there as well.
If you are an event organizer, it is crucial that you ask your sponsors what they expect to gain from the sponsorship and then help them. If they need 500 downloads you should brainstorm ways to make that happen. If you want returning sponsors for events- businesses need to see the value in sponsoring your event.
#04 How can we be a part of the experience?
Those 500 attendees aren’t going to download your app just because they saw your logo on a banner with “download the app” next to it. The best way to get engagement at an event is to be a part of the experience. Think about the audience that will be attending this event. What are their interests and how can you connect with them in a way that’s going to add to their overall experience? That doesn’t mean you have to throw your own mini-festival inside a bigger one. Just put yourself in the attendee’s shoes. Why are they attending this event and what can you do to give them an even better reason to remember their time spent there?
Examples: Contests leading up to the event, a fun game that families can participate in while at a community festival, or a branded section of the festival that includes product samples and an awesome experience.
#05 Do we have the resources to pull it off?
Say you have a great opportunity and would love to be a part of an event, but you just don’t have the time or the funds to really do something great. While having a budget of some kind is important for getting the most out of your event sponsorship, you don’t have to have 10 team members and $200,000 to be a part of the experience. Think about what you can do with the resources you have or consider working with a company like us to come up with a concept that fits within your budget while achieving your goals.
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