When utilized to their full advantage, sponsorships can do wonders for your company -- they assist in creating brand visibility to potential customers in a direct way and can lead to expanding business revenue through a connection to your brand. They provide a leg up in public perception as companies have the opportunity to connect with interested customers in an interactive way.
As director of sales for the Albany Capital Center (ACC), a leading event space and part of the Capital Complex in Albany, N.Y., I have front-row seat to successful sponsorship campaigns, and have seen what works and what doesn't. Here are 10 areas where sponsor message can be incorporated into an event in impactful ways.
Be sure not to underestimate the ground you walk on. Utilizing floor space to your advantage can prove to be valuable usage of your sponsorship. Floor decals are something that can easily draw attention to customers, as your decal contrasts with the surface they are placed onto. The more creative the floor decal, the more it will capture the attention of event attendees and is likely to be shared on their social media via a photo.
Speaking of social media, in the modern age of the smartphone, people are constantly looking downward at their cell phone. Floor decals take advantage of this habit and seize the opportunity as attendees' gaze will likely be downward already.
Illuminate your brand, literally. Whether it is through lighting gobos (a stencil of your logo or design that light will shine through) or LED ceiling lights, branded lighting draws customers to your brand in a visually stimulating way. Lighting presents opportunities to reinforce your sponsor's branding in places that will fall in attendees' paths of vision. The lasting impact your company's branding will have through lighting is up to you and your creativity. The bolder the colors or the more creative the shapes that are being used, the more likely customers are likely to remember your brand in association with the lighting.
Include your branding on materials that are likely to stay with event attendees. Placing your logo or tagline on stationary or a notepad provides them with something they can put to use and are likely to keep. At conferences, panels, and workshops, attendees like to take notes. Branded stationary will provide them with a tool to do so and is a nice keepsake that creates brand recognition serving a dual purpose.
Food and beverage
At events and conferences, attendees look forward to refreshments as a time to refresh and socialize. Sponsoring either a beverage station, snack, bottled water or even naming a mocktail after your company places your brand in event attendees' sweet spot. Utilizing your sponsorship for branding of beverages and food offered at an event provides attendees with satisfaction while conveying your brand's messaging.
As we are currently in the digital age where social media has become the center of everyone's focus, there is a constant need for taking and posting photos. There are many opportunities to convey your brand's messaging through photography. Photo booths, a wall or backdrop for photos, or headshots with a sponsor's logo place your company at the forefront in a visual way. As attendees share their photos from the event, your logo will be shared along with them.
Some things never change, and one of them is the excitement of receiving a swag bag. Sponsoring a gift bag to be handed to event attendees as they leave seizes the opportunity to stick with your audience long after their event is over. A swag bag is an ideal opportunity to place your brand in customers' hands and increase their awareness. If you provide everyday items that your audience is likely to use on a regular basis, you're not only providing the event attendee with awareness for your brand, but others will likely take notice too.
Moveable space and windows
Attendees will need to use the elevators, escalators or bathroom while at an event, so use this extra space to your advantage. Placing branding in the common areas attendees will frequent at the event will make it easier to grab their attention. Inserting window clings on bathroom mirrors, or floor decals on escalators make the most of this opportunity. Always make sure to check with the event venue what materials are allowed, as some areas will be difficult to remove decals and stickers from.
In 2019, it is highly unlikely that the event your audience is attending will not need to use wireless Internet or digital screens. Make sure that in each presentation, each person that needs to sign into the wireless network will see your company's name or use it as the password. Sponsorships do not just have to be physical -- they can be digital. Naming the wireless network of the venue with your company's name or including your logo each time there is a presentation or live stream from the event will ensure that attendees both on-site and attending digitally will hear of your brand and see its footprints in important aspects of the event.
One of the most important logistics of an event for your attendees is parking. Sponsoring parking makes you an attendee's hero, and they will be singing your praises. When people ask where you parked, they will be able to credit your company, and your company can also be included in the event's bulletin or pamphlet. As people arrive and park at the event, they will see your logo or tagline, and when they leave, they will see it again. Parking is something that is never overlooked, and having your company's stamp as the parking provider will make attendees thankful you are here.
Everyone wants to feel like a celebrity. Sponsoring a VIP lounge at a venue stamped with your brand reminds attendees that you are the provider of luxury. Not only will your brand be providing a cool space for attendees to relax, it will be responsible for making them VIPs. Attendees will remember the furniture and aesthetically pleasing space you provided for them and associate you with luxury, which is something every brand wants to be remembered for.
As leaders in event hosting, we have seen what the latest trends in sponsorships are and which ones produce results. We look at sponsorships between our facility and companies as partnerships. They are an opportunity to maximize brand awareness and provide companies the platform to form direct relationships with customers where they are. When sponsorships are maximized to their full potential, customers on the verge of purchase decisions will remember the brands that were put in front of them.
Shannon Licygiewicz is the director of sales for the Albany Capital Center, a premiere event space apart of the Capital Complex. Since its conception in 2017, the Albany Capital Center has hosted hundreds of events in its 13,500-square-foot prefunction space as well as its 9,200 square feet of event space. Licygiewicz has had the opportunity to help her clients navigate which sponsorships present the best results for expanding brand awareness at their event. Shannon and her talented team have many tips and tricks to offer companies investigating sponsorship opportunities at premiere event spaces like the Albany Capital Center and nationwide.