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Tips for Getting More Mileage from Sponsorships

Whether you are considering sponsoring a local charity fundraiser or a trade show premium, you can get more value from the money spent with a bit of planning. Before you write the check, consider how you can turn the investment into a win-win for your organization, as well as for the event attendees.

Charity Events for Team-Building
Supporting community events not only gives back to the community but can also provide a great way to do team building with a purpose. Take your charity sponsorship to the next level by promoting active volunteer participation with your employees. Your employees lead busy lives and while they may want to support charity events, they may find it hard to make the time. A few considerations:

  • Choose an event that happens during your slow season. 
  • Let your employees participate in choosing the event to support.
  • Be ready to lead by example and commit your own time.

Thought Leadership for the Community
When it comes your turn to sponsor the local Chamber of Commerce meeting, take the opportunity to do more than stand up and take a bow. Work with the organizers to demonstrate your commitment to technology thought leadership. A few ideas include:

  • Present a scholarship to a student or fund a classroom technology upgrade.
  • Invite a Microsoft speaker to talk about the future of technology in business. 
  • If you have the opportunity to make a presentation, profile a local business or charity technology project you have completed.

Promote Reseller Events
ISVs are often asked to sponsor customer events held by resellers. These meetings can be a valuable chance to connect directly with shared customers, or they can be a monumental waste of time as you address an empty conference room. To make sure it is worth your time, help the reseller attract more customers with:  

  • A newsletter article or blog post giving real examples of how customers benefit by coming to an event like this.
  • A raffle that the reseller can promote to attract more attendees. Coordinate with other ISVs to make it an even more valuable prize.
  • An offer to help with promotion, like blog posts on your Web site or sending out invitations to prospects in the area.

Trade Show Premiums that Work
In addition to the booth, there are often opportunities to sponsor additional events at your industry trade shows. Before you agree to participate in any tradeshow premiums, find out exactly what you get for the money. Will you get access to attendee e-mails? Will they include your name on promotional e-mails?

Instead of hoping that attendees will remember your name from the lanyard, find an active way to connect with your audience. A few ideas include:

  • Sponsor a before- or after-hour event that gives you a chance to interact with attendees. Take as many of your employees as allowed to maximize your connections.
  • Offer to provide a free training class in a new technology.
  • Use social media to promote premium activities you sponsor. 

Sponsorships are a great way to increase your exposure in the community and in your profession. Don't just write the check and forget it. Actively participate to connect with more people and make for a more memorable event.   

How have you gotten more mileage from a sponsorship? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 25, 2014