Subscribe
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our 4x a week insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Download the Playbook
Fill out the form to get your playbook
Thank you! You have been subscribed.
Close
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
Read the Playbook
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
Free Inbound Marketing Playbook
View The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

4 Simple Reasons Why Your Event Sponsorship Will Fail

By Vin Gaeta

Vin Gaeta also recommends this free guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022.

4 Simple Reasons Why Your Event Sponsorship Will Fail

Events, conferences, trade shows, conventions, symposiums…

So many different words for basically the same thing - a gathering of people that potentially fit your ideal audience that you need to get in front of.

That’s precisely why event sponsorship exists; to ensure your company can have prime placement to market, talk, and sell to your target audience.

With any luck, you already have an idea of how to make your planned event sponsorship a raving success.

That’s all good and well, but I’m here to burst your bubble…

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

In my experience, there are four reasons why your event sponsorship will fail that almost anyone can be guilty of.

Ready to have a real conversation? Let’s dig in!

1. Zero Booth Planning or Training

I know what you’re thinking…

4 Reasons your event sponsorship will fail - duh!

Duh! Of course, if you don’t plan for the event and your booth you’re going to fail.

I usually think of this in two parts:

A. Booth Design & Aesthetics

A key part of planning for your event sponsorship that could result in failure is not thinking about the appearance of your booth.

Having a booth that doesn’t feel “put together” can leave the attendees wondering if your offering will give them that same feeling.

Any area that doesn’t scream super professional or exciting can make attendees t to another booth instead of yours, simply based on first impression.

That’s exactly why putting the proper focus on your aesthetics and appearance can yield great results.

Many events offer turnkey booths with beautifully designed layouts that you can slightly customize, and bring your own banners to get extra exposure from -- which helps the organizer create a consistent experience for attendees and sponsors.

If the event you’re sponsoring doesn’t offer a turnkey booth, don’t fret.

A few simple things can help make sure that your booth will be visually stunning.

For instance, bringing a few important things such as an on-brand tablecloth, backdrop banner or step-and-repeat (such as the one below), and a well thought-out visual for the computer/monitor at the booth will help make sure you’re not on the road to event sponsorship failure.

BMMS-Step-Repeat

B. Booth Behavior

Booth aesthetics aside, another important item you should plan for is your team’s appearance and how well they understand how to manage the booth itself.

Ensuring that your team understands the commitment and expectations of their presence at the booth is key to the sponsorship not failing.

Having a plan for behavior ensures you can provide the best experience possible to your booth-goers.

Dressing nicely, not being on your phone the entire time, and knowing how to talk with prospects sets everyone up for true ROI.

The last thing someone wants to be greeted with is a person totally ignoring them, messing around on their phone or worse, someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

You definitely don’t want to put your company in a bad light by having that be your first impression.

Pro tip: Have the folks responsible for your booth role-play before the event. That helps shake off any nerves and lets them understand how to handle potentially awkward/difficult situations. Don’t go easy on them!

Make sure to have any booth logistics or processes hammered out before you show up (or as much as possible).

A sure-fire way to look like an amateur is to have your on-the-ground team scrambling to use the lead registration page you setup -- or worse, not use it at all because they don’t know how to get it on the monitor.

The last big item on the planning list warrants its own section because of how important it is.

Make sure you plan to provide visitors to your booth and event attendees with an absolutely, no-brainer offer to make sure they convert.

2. A Lackluster Offer

So you bought a booth at a conference, you’ve got a plan for how it’ll look and be setup.

You’re all set, right?

Wrong. If you show up without an amazing offer, you’re practically fighting with one hand tied down.

Your booth setup is what helps start the conversation, your product keeps them there -- the no-brainer offer is what gets them to convert (or even close!) on the floor of the event.

That actually happened for Vidyard last year when they sponsored our event, IMPACT Live.

Vidyard came ready to rock with a show-stopper offer -- 50% off their GoVideo package for attendees only, IF they signed on the floor of the event.

The result? Vidyard walked away with five new customers and more extremely strong conversations to follow up with in the weeks following.

Vidyard-IMPACT-Live-2018

What type of offer could you create for your booth to make it an absolute no-brainer for the attendees?

One of our most successful booth offers is a Website Throwdown -- basically a live 10-minute website critique.

It’s so valuable that we’re even able to get attendees to register before the event for their time slot, and fill in the remaining slots on the floor.

What type of offer could you create that would have attendees signing up before they even arrive?

When you’re thinking about what offer to make, it’s important to ensure that the event organizer is okay with that type of promotion.

Which leads me to the third reason your sponsorship will fail...

3. Limited Communication with Event Organizer

Event organizer communication is another thing that can make or break your sponsorship.

When you’re vetting an event sponsorship, it’s important  to ask what the communication and support will look like.

Is there an on-site kiosk/booth that will be able to help you day-of? Do you get phone numbers for quick texts and questions? Do you have a personal contact? What’s realistic turnaround times if a problem arises?

You should also be able to work with the organizer to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment and that you’ll receive the level of support that you’re comfortable with.

It’s not fun to have things go wrong while you’re setting up and have no way to get in touch with someone for assistance.

It’s like customer service. As a sponsor, you want to be able to reach the person you’re doing business with to get things rectified.

Pro Tip:  Run ideas by your contact. No one should know the event and audience better than they do so they should be able to advise you on what offers or messaging perform well.

If you have speaking time attached to your sponsorship, work closely with the organizer to ensure that your session will actually be valuable.

Inquire about what types of sessions have worked well in the past, and how to really make sure you shine at their event.

The last thing you want to do is have a talk track fall flat in front of the entire audience because it was “salesy” and not valuable. Then you’ll just be the “company that sold their whole session” - and that’s a label no one wants that.

So, make sure that you know what “lifelines” are available to you, and if you didn’t get a phone number -- don’t be shy! Ask for it ;)

4. No Swag!

Last, but not least, not having memorable swag will undoubtedly make your sponsorship fall flat on its face!

giphy

This is potentially a polarizing subject, but in my experience, a great piece of swag can go a loooong way.

What would it mean for your brand to have 100s of people wearing your logo on a shirt? Or have your coffee mug used in their office months after you have a conversation?

The return on investment might not be immediate, but swag is a great way to stay top-of-mind with potential prospects or customers.

Having a ton of branded swag myself -- from chapsticks and bottle openers to charging blocks and t-shirts -- I can say that the companies who gave them to me definitely are present when I’m thinking about organizations I may want to work with (if we don’t already).

Choose items that people will actually use and want.

ReachForce, for example, handed out branded, pre-charged charging blocks at INBOUND last year and it was a lifesaver at the event, and it’s something I still use at home today (Thanks!).

Go Forth and Prosper!

Event sponsorship can be an extremely beneficial way to get in front of your target audience. Avoid these common pitfalls and work with your event organizer to make sure you’re starting on the right foot. If you have a solid plan and give the attendees an amazing offer combined with memorable swag you’re going to be setup for success.

Interested in sponsoring events? We’re looking for amazing brands to be a part of IMPACT Live this year.

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
Read the Playbook
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

Topics:

Event Marketing
Published on April 5, 2019

Recent Articles

5 Best Marketing Events to Attend for the Rest of 2022
June 18, 2022 • 5 min read
8 ways to make your virtual presentation memorable and engaging
January 20, 2021 • 10 min read
6 powerful trade show budget alternatives to drive growth
December 22, 2020 • 7 min read
7 tips for effective virtual event speaker guidelines (examples and best practices)
December 21, 2020 • 8 min read
5 best virtual event software options for businesses and brands
November 30, 2020 • 11 min read
COVID-19 made them a necessity, but virtual events are here to stay
October 1, 2020 • 5 min read
How to find and manage speakers for your virtual events
August 21, 2020 • 8 min read
How long does it really take to plan a successful virtual event?
July 27, 2020 • 9 min read
What does a virtual event sponsorship actually look like?
July 16, 2020 • 7 min read
8 best virtual digital sales and marketing events in 2020
June 22, 2020 • 7 min read
How much does a virtual event consultant cost?
June 10, 2020 • 5 min read
Virtual summits and the future of business events in a post-COVID-19 era [Infographic]
May 31, 2020 • 3 min read
Without COVID-19 vaccine, most marketers won't attend in-person conferences in 2020 (I doubt they're alone)
May 14, 2020 • 4 min read
What a best-in-class virtual events team looks like (recommended roles + examples)
May 12, 2020 • 10 min read
How to promote a virtual event (our 8 best tips and strategies)
May 7, 2020 • 9 min read
Virtual event planning: How we took a 3,000-person virtual sales and marketing event from idea to reality [Interview]
April 30, 2020 • 8 min read
Struggling with event sponsorships? This is likely why
March 11, 2020 • 4 min read
"How Oli Billson Has Driven $1 Million+ In Revenue From 5 Small Events" (Inbound Success Ep. 92)
May 27, 2019 • 30 min read
How to Drive Hundreds of Webinar Registrations [Case Study]
May 9, 2019 • 7 min read
How to Create an Event Marketing Strategy from Scratch [Template]
April 6, 2019 • 4 min read
4 Simple Reasons Why Your Event Sponsorship Will Fail
April 5, 2019 • 5 min read
Google Maps May Soon Let Businesses Create & Share Public Events
April 1, 2019 • 2 min read
Use Text-to-Subscribe at Live Events to Supercharge Your Email Marketing
January 10, 2019 • 6 min read
The 3 Stages of Successful Live Event Marketing (& Tips for Nailing Each)
December 21, 2018 • 9 min read
You’re Thinking About the ROI of Sponsorships All Wrong. Here’s the Reality.
September 24, 2018 • 8 min read