Organizing events so that they’re well-funded and can run smoothly is no easy task. There are literally dozens of hurdles to overcome, endless lists of people to contact, and important relationships to build with those who have the means to help you out.
One of the greatest challenges that events organizers face is securing event sponsorship packages - in fact, most people in the world of events would argue it’s among the most time-consuming and difficult tasks they deal with!
In fact, getting hold of sponsorship packages is probably more challenging than ever before. There are many reasons for this, but the key factor boils down to the reality that brands are now looking for deeper, more immersive and meaningful connections with event attendees.
Where once they were satisfied with simply having their name plastered over some posters, printed on free giveaways, or included on a website header or two, they’re now seeking out something more lasting… and as a result, the stakes are higher,higher and such sponsorship packages have become harder to win.
At Ultimate Experience, we’ve watched this paradigm shift happen with real interest - after all, it’s part of a bigger picture which we’ve had to adapt to and seek out solutions for.
We’ve discovered that the key to scoring great events sponsorship packages comes from firstly having a deeper understanding of the needs of your attendees… and then proving that you can match those needs to the objectives of your prospective sponsors.
Secondly, it requires some real inventiveness on your part; the more innovative and unique your ideas are for sponsorship experiences, the better your chances are of getting a great deal.
Let’s take a look at some truly inventive sponsorship package ideas for you to implement at your next big event!
Sponsorship packages are, in essence, a connection between yourselves as event organisers, the company or brand sponsoring the event, and the attendees who come along and encounter both the event and the branding.
This three-way bridge is - when it works - a highly effective, mutually beneficial deal, where everyone ends up a winner. You receive vital funding for your event, and the brand benefits from a great level of exposure and the opportunity to show off what they do best.
On top of this, your attendees get to enjoy the event and potentially discover a brand which has been selected for their suitability for the attendees’ own needs or lifestyle.
The world of sponsorship (and the world of events, too) has changed quickly over the past decade.
Brands are no longer satisfied with traditional sponsorship packages - they want your attendees to come away with the most positive association with their message, and a deep connection with what it is they do.
Naturally, this kind of association isn’t going to come about if your attendees have no encounter more significant than merely seeing a brand logo or name all over your event space. Innovative approaches, therefore, are key to tempting those sponsorship packages on board.
This can involve many things: gamified aspects to your event via which the brand can put across a strong message, opportunities for the brand to offer some kind of valued service to your attendees, brand-based prizes or competitions that really have some significance… it’s important that you’re exploring really interesting, memorable connections between your guests and your sponsors.
Offer these to the brands you want to get involved with your event, and the chances of scoring those event sponsorship packages should go through the roof!
We’re always on the lookout for interesting and memorable sponsorship concepts, and there’s no doubt about the fact that plenty of events organisers have really upped their game in this regard. We’ve gathered together some of our favourites - take a look at the examples below, and start thinking about how you can implement these for your next big event!
Wi-Fi and Phone Charging Stations
If you can arrange for a sponsored phone charging station, you’re offering your attendees a lifeline which is going to be enormously popular, and received with genuine thankfulness. We’ve seen this used to fantastic effect at music festivals in the UK, and it’s a powerful way for brands to make a lasting connection with attendees, while also boosting your online presence and shared content, too.
The same can be said for WiFi. Sponsored wireless internet is making real waves on the events scene, and brands are clamouring to get involved with this kind of sponsorship package.
If you need some inspiration for building a real relationship with a brand, look no further than the connection that has been forged between TED talks and Rolex.
Both the event and the brand are keen to put across their sophisticated, worldly identity, and they’ve grown together over the past decade to become a pairing which is instantly recognisable, and which has brought great benefits to each member of the partnership.
Rolex have really gone the extra mile when it comes to their sponsorship package, as they understand the significant crossover between their own customer base, and that of the event they’re sponsoring.
The watch manufacturer has produced branded TED videos, explaining the history, concept and values of Rolex, and even produced an app which helped potential customers discover TED talks that suited their location, interests, and values. Impressive stuff indeed!
Contingent Parking and Priority Access
Some of the best sponsorship packages we’ve seen are those which hit the double-whammy of brand exposure; they firstly have clear and consistent visibility, and secondly, they demonstrate the benefits of being a customer of the brand.
ING achieved this to fantastic effect at a string of recent music festivals. They offered their customers contingent parking (something that was surely received very, very well by those attending!) and priority access, too.
This meant that the attendees to the festival who weren’t already ING customers would stand in long queues, watching the others breeze through to be the first inside and enjoy the music.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the effect; plenty of people left that event with a clear understanding of the benefits of being associated with that particular brand!
Recent years has have seen a flurry of priority apps and opportunities at outdoor events and festivals, and offering your attendees this kind of experience is a fantastic way to make that sponsor-customer connection.
In-Person Connections: Taking Free Samples to the Next Level
Giving away free samples and branded produce is by no means a new idea when it comes to sponsorship packages, but all too often, the process is a faceless one, and brands are looking to up their game in this regard.
Recent events have seen representatives of brands bringing more personalised, face-to-face encounters to this concept, and to great effect.
By having someone from the sponsoring company present at your event, and giving away free gifts or branded goods to your attendees, the possibility of a deeper connection being made is significantly heightened.
This can lead to a whole range of opportunities: brands can offer ‘sneak peaks’ of new products,products and can lead to new brand ambassadors being recruited as part of the sponsorship package. This concept has worked particularly well in the food and wellness trade, as we saw with Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farm’s recent sponsorship efforts.
Meaningful Competitions and Games
Bringing games and competitions to your event is never a bad idea; it’s the perfect way to increase attendee participation, and boost things like social media presence and the overall morale and atmosphere of an event.
It’s also the perfect way to get great sponsorship packages, as it helps your attendees forge a positive, fun and memorable connection with a brand.
We’ve seen some great ideas based on this concept. Some of the best involve giving your attendees the possibility to upgrade to VIP tickets, or even win tickets for next year’s event, by engaging in a branded fairground-style game.
With this, the possibilities for innovation and inventiveness are almost endless, and brands are more than keen to get involved with anything that allows this kind of light-hearted interaction.
As we all know, getting the right sponsorship package for your event is something which requires some out-of-the-box thinking and leftfield approaches.
With the ideas above, you can really boost your chances of getting a deal that works for everybody, and heighten attendee participation and engagement at the same time. The key? Be bold, creative, and don’t hesitate to approach sponsors with a wide range of concepts and proposals.
At Ultimate Experience, we’ve got the insider knowledge and skills you need to make your event a truly memorable success. With years of experience and a creative, inventive team, we’re able to help you hit the high notes at your next event… so get in touch today, and see what we can do!