When you want to stand out from the crowd as a brand you need a constant stream of sponsorship ideas that are creative, fun and ahead of the game. Here are 15 more ideas to keep in your back pocket for next time.
Using creative ideas will help you to create a perfect sponsorship proposal for trade shows, exhibitions or conferences. Event planners need to step up their game from previous sponsorship success so here are 15 more creative sponsorship ideas to see you through.
Stair or Escalator Clings
These are types of wraps that go on each step (some on top, others on the side) that when looked at from certain angles show your brand. They are particularly useful for events with prominent staircases and with activity taking place on different levels because you are guaranteed exposure. Escalator branding is also handy because while standing and going up your brand is introduced straight away and this helps to cement it in their mind from the outset. These also make for great entrance Instagram pictures too that your attendees will love to pose with and this means, even more brand awareness.
For large trade shows or exhibitions invest in a useful and handy event app that attendees can access before the event to see what is on and where. Provide important event information, an event map, live updates connected to social media, a schedule with reminders to keep your guests notified and opportunities to connect attendees and event stakeholders. Use the app to create a buzz before the event with countdowns, offers and sneak-previews exclusive for your guests. Most importantly ensure that your sponsors are well promoted and offer enticing ways to give value back to your attendees.
For evening events why not create a signature cocktail or mocktail that incorporates your brand into the drink name, uses your company colors and is served in a branded glass. You could have branded waiters offering them around the room and a mixologist specifically preparing them at the bar (ideally with lots of “flair”). Make sure it is delicious and memorable and well named (names with puns work well).
For seated events you can create lavish centerpieces that stand out. You can get creative by making them out of flowers, food or something in keeping with the theme (e.g. recycled materials for an eco-friendly event). The key point to remember is to ensure it reflects the brand style and personality of the sponsor.
Event managers can encourage more revenue by offering the opportunity to sponsor individual tables and the centerpiece, as well as providing the “host” of the table to chat to guests. Run a competition for attendees to vote which centerpiece design is best and encourage picture sharing on social media.
Running out of battery at an event is a catastrophe for attendees. They can’t share on social media, interact with their friends, check in or in some cases arrange transport to get home safely. Branded charging stations can offer a beacon of hope and the sponsor will definitely be remembered as their savior once this is over. While they wait for their device to charge ensure the sponsor provides leaflets, brochures or product samples.
Give the event an exclusive feel by providing a red carpet entranceway and backboards to take photos against. Almost all celebrities post for photos in front of branded back boards so allow your guests to do the same, plus when they blast them all over social media it’s free (and memorable) branding. You could always take it one step further and hire photographers in branded clothing to take photos as guests enter (which can be uploaded to your website or Facebook page after the event). Alternatively you can have logos or any design of your choosing printed onto a carpet for your event.
Is the event being covered by a local radio station? Or perhaps there is an in-house DJ that is providing music throughout the day. Sponsoring the radio station and encouraging them to come down to the event and broadcast live can help to reach your demographic in the local area who did not attend as well as provide exclusivity for guests that are there. You could opt to have your own radio co-host who could interview attendees and play quick and silly games to get your awareness over the airwaves.
For larger trade shows or exhibitions your company can offer guided tours of the event based on a specific niche so that the attendees are getting exactly the type of content and insight they want in an efficient way. For example you could offer tours for the stalls with the latest innovations, eco-friendly qualities or demo products so that guests have a running theme to follow. Ensure that your guide is well read, prepared to answer questions and comes across as bubbly and presentable.
Pick n’ Mix
Provide a creative exhibition booth that allows attendees to pick a small selection of branded sweets or food. There is nothing guests love more than free food, especially when at large events with plenty of walking (they need to stay refueled!). This adds a more creative twist on the traditional “sweets in the goody bag” routine and allows your sponsors to physically interact with attendees as they are choosing.
Nothing screams “I am here” more than a giant prop at the event. This could be a promotional brand character or an element relating to your latest project and can be set up inside or outside the venue. A great example of this was the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and slime that “invaded” London’s Waterloo train station overnight as a promotion for the new Ghostbusters movie and you could use this type of creativity at an event.
Free Water Station
When guests are in need of a pit stop, water stations can be a cute, mini and non-intrusive way to get sponsorship out there. You could also have branded paper cups so that attendees carry them around and it gets more attention. A free water stop can also be a great place for people to stop and have discussions and chances are you’ll get a mention for the fab free service.
The keynote address at events can be the highlight for many attendees, especially at tech conferences such as Apple Events and it provides a unique opportunity to brand around the stage that is capturing the focus of many attendees. You could opt to provide large branded screens, a bespoke stage set, funky furniture, lighting and branded stage hands helping to coordinate everyone's movements.
Alternatively you could sponsor the speaker themselves and aim to attract a celebrity guest to the event to drive extra buzz and boost social media interaction.
We’ve talked about sponsored live streaming, but what about the actual internet access at the event? For larger events such as festivals and exhibitions, WiFi can be big expenditure so try sponsoring and providing an excellent temporary WiFi solution to give attendees a great experience and take all the credit, whilst recouping some of the temporary WiFi costs. Provide branding on the login pages and even a relevant network name and password. Add permission to collect data such as names and email addresses for people to access the sevice. Just make sure to avoid an #Eventfail by battle testing your WiFi supplier before the event starts.
A place to sit down and relax can be a welcome oasis in the middle of a busy exhibition or conference that have a lot of walking. An inviting space for people to network or catch up on emails will be well used by attendees taking time out.
For events that allow children you could provide activity or coloring tables, some books or a selection of toys. This area is exactly where the parents are going to be getting dragged back to. The options here are also limitless because you can use couches, cushions and chairs to reflect the sponsor's brand and have sample products and leaflets on display to give them something to read and look at while they sit down and take a load off. Don’t forget to have staff close by for those that want to learn more about the product or service.
Provide competitions that run throughout the event to keep attendees coming back to see how they are doing. You could opt to keep a “leaderboard” on display or make the competition a virtual one by encouraging attendees to capture the best picture of the day, tagging you on social media and getting followers to interact because this extends your reach and includes those who are not attending. Generally the better the prize, the more rewarding the competition will be. You could offer exclusive prizes of one of your new products, your own services or even a luxury break courtesy of your company.
Don’t be boring and do the same old thing, it makes sense to maintain a fresh level of sponsorship ideas. Here are some ways to get your brand noticed and attendees interacting with your stakeholders and sharing on social media. Getting creative can mean putting an interesting twist on some original classics to create something that no-one has seen before.