By: Jessica Sharp, Co-Founder and Principal of Maven Communications
Sponsoring an industry event can be a powerful way to connect with key audiences and expand your network of potential business. But sponsorship isn’t a silver bullet. It takes some strategy and work to translate sponsorship dollars into business.
Here are a few ways that you can work your sponsorship to ensure that you receive some ROI:
- Choose the right group. First, make sure that you’ve chosen an appropriate group to sponsor. Before paying your sponsor dollars, attend other events put on by the association, talk to members and get a good feel for the group. Ensure that decision makers are part of the membership, and get a feel for how actively involved they are.
- Do your homework. Before attending the event you’re sponsoring, do your homework to find out who else is attending. As a sponsor, organizations are usually willing to share the attendee list with you. Determine whom you’d like to speak with ahead of time, and if you don’t know what they look like, look them up online.
- Create a mini event. If the event has a large attendance and you’re concerned that you won’t have the opportunity to connect with everyone you’d like to, consider creating a smaller event for a select audience. Be sure to connect with the event organizers for ideas and support.
- Keep up communication. Find out if attendee email addresses are part of your sponsorship. If they are, add them to any digital marketing lists you may have, such as e-newsletters, alerts, etc.
- Connect afterward. Connect with everyone you personally meet at the event on LinkedIn (and then make sure you’re working it on LinkedIn).
- Generate content. If the event you sponsored was an educational one, write a blog post recapping the takeaways, or giving your own perspective about how it applies to your own business. Then share the blog post socially using hash tags of the event as well as the handles of speakers, other relevant attendees and the industry association.
Sponsoring an event correctly takes time and effort, but you’ll find that, if done right, the reward of increased business is well worth it.
About the Author:
As Principal of Maven Communications, Jessica Sharp works closely with clients to integrate the goals of their marketing program into the larger business objectives of the company. Together with her team of communication professionals, Jessica creates measurement-focused programs that meet the diverse needs of companies in an ever-changing business environment.
Jessica is skilled in developing and implementing strategic communications programs for corporations, products and individuals and has knack for identifying and targeting new customer opportunities for established businesses. She has been integral in implementing plans that have created new visibility for little-known products and services, has worked closely with executives and marketing departments through high stakes acquisitions, and has successfully positioned numerous individuals as thought leaders.
Before co-founding Maven Communications, Jessica was with Tierney Communications in Philadelphia, the Mid-Atlantic region’s largest full-service communications agency.
Jessica sits on the board of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation where she chairs the marketing communications committee, is a board member of the Legal Marketing Association, Metro Philadelphia Chapter, and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Philadelphia Public Relations Association. She holds a Masters in Communication Management from Temple University and a Bachelors in Corporate Communications from Drexel University.
When not wearing her Maven hat, Jessica can be found running along Kelly Drive, enjoying time with her husband and daughters, or eating out at one of Philly's great restaurants.