Why sponsor or exhibit at an event?
Why would a brand sponsor your event, or take exhibition space? Turning the tables, why would you sponsor or exhibit at an industry or other event, what’s in it for your brand? Let’s explore that.
We are more connected and have more access to information than ever before, thanks to rapidly advancing technologies. This means we have plenty of opportunities to reach our customers and clients. That extends to current and future employees (and past ones too, a group not to forget as SHRM notes in this post “Stay in Touch with Former Employees; One Could Be Your Next Hire”).
With tightening belts, slimmer budgets and a general pressure to do more with less, many companies are (rightly) exploring what online and social media can offer. But does this replace sponsoring and taking exhibition space at events, where face-to-face interaction is possible? Even in this enabling digital age with many cost effective ways to engage, the value of meeting face to face cannot be underestimated, and online channels definitely can’t simply replace it.
According research by Oxford Economics, ‘in-person meetings are 85% more effective when meeting with prospects, and 65% more effective when meeting with customers.’ We go to events to meet customers and prospective customers, and to forge and cement current and new relationships and partnerships. From a people perspective, (listen up HR) every person who gets a chance to experience your brand first hand through the people who act as ambassadors for your organisation at an event, is a potential future client, customer, supplier or employee. Your presence through both sponsorships and taking exhibition space provides an access point to your organistion, a living, breathing one. An exhibition stand or sponsorship package provides a portal to talent. View it as a chance to market and sell your organisation as an attractive one to work for. And then ensure the people who’ll be at the event can do that, well. Building your brand presence at events could attract the talent and skills or services you need. In a competitive talent market, it would be a waste not to capitalize on this. So what are the things you can do?
- Find out who is going to the event and what they’ll be doing there, these are your ambassadors
Is their brief just to deliver a presentation, generate sales leads, answer detailed questions about your products, or to promote your service offering? Or are they promoting your brand? Are they selling your company, or just their particular product? Are they good ambassadors for your brand, do they live the company values, can they speak to them?
- Let ambassadors know what areas the company needs skills in, or what you are looking for
Make the process easy, providing details of who to contact, how, for the opportunities that might exist at your company. Provide response times and time frames. Commit to following up and honour your commitments. Even if the fit is not right now, in future it could be, and you’ve created a good experience through the interaction.
- Offer training for employees, or pointers on how to get the most from your investment of resources at an event. ‘The reality is that in order to improve your sales and marketing effectiveness, you have to excel in face-to-face meetings.’
We’re not talking about detailed product knowledge and price points here, we‘re talking about how to start a conversation, surface a need, to actively engage and attract people to your stand. Because too often we walk through exhibition floors and find people sat smiling at us from behind tables, offering pens or peppermints or clearing away crumbs and paper plates from a takeaway lunch, or checking up on emails from behind a screen. That’s a poor spend of cash in a tight economy. It will guarantee only this – a poor return on investment. And it could damage your brand. Don’t let it.
Showcase what you offer, use your presence to promote your brand and why people would want to work for you. It’s the perfect opportunity. What’s in it for your brand? Everything.
The IPM produces multiple events across the calendar year, as well as the flagship event the IPM Annual Convention and Exhibition. There are many sponsorship opportunities, small and large, and we are open to your creative ideas and suggestions. Bookings are also already open on the Exhibition floor at Emperors Palace where this years Convention will be hosted. First come, first served. Why don’t you send us a mail to find out more?