Using Sponsorships to Lighten Up Your Spend

Using Sponsorships to Lighten Up Your Spend

Producing brilliant experiences can attract additional visitors during off-peak seasons and non-peak hours, but it can sometimes come with a price. However, don’t let a limited budget make you believe that you can’t create a crowd-pleasing experience that meets your objectives and revenue goals.  

Funding shouldn’t be a deterrent when deciding to create or upgrade a seasonal experience at your venue. Instead, focus on incorporating sponsorships into your experience which can reduce costs and provide an opportunity for you to amplify the promotion of your event through those sponsors.

First things first, start with a list of organizations and businesses that would be interested in sponsoring your event.  Begin with brainstorming the local businesses in your community as they likely already have strong ties to your venue.

Then ask yourself, if you should focus on endemic or non-endemic sponsorship, or maybe both?

Using Sponsorship to Lighten Up Your Spend

With endemic, you are incorporating sponsors who are invested in the success of your facility.  Perhaps it’s the electric company that powers your venue or the local water supply company. These event experiences can give your sponsors the opportunity to meet and engage new audiences, and increase community relations by providing a “A Night Lit Up by ABC Power & Electric” theme.

For non-endemic sponsors, such as businesses whose products and/or services are not directly linked to the success of your facility, but still benefit from the marketing strategy and audience engagement, ask them to sponsor an activation that supports your objectives, e.g. a local food or beverage company sponsoring a VIP area with quality eats and drinks.

Cash is king and you would prefer selling your sponsorships, but don’t discount the opportunity to barter with a potential sponsor. The local food or beverage company could offer their products/services in exchange for the sponsorship exposure providing substantial savings to your budget.

Finally, decide how much control of the experience you are willing to give in exchange for funding.  The partnership has to be mutually beneficial to both sides. Ideate with your sponsors on an activation outside of your current plans that will amplify the visitor experience or spread the word via social platforms. I hear you, social selfie stations!

Pulling in the right sponsorship resources can offset the costs when you strategically partner with those who can help bring your activation to light.

Download the Essential Event Planning Guide

About the Author

Sally McComic

Sally is the Marketing Director for GES Live Events and oversees the production of GES’ booth experience at various industry events. She has a broad history of developing and implementing comprehensive marketing plans and strategies for a variety of organizations across markets. When she's not busy with her three kids and three dogs, she loves serving her local community by volunteering.

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