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17 Creative Event Sponsorship Ideas

Sponsorship Ideas
This post was originally published on the Eventbrite blog. Read the original post here.

Event sponsors are critical to helping you fund and improve the attendee experience. But to stand out in a sea of sponsorship ideas, you need to think beyond brand awareness and create worthwhile opportunities that help sponsors achieve their goals.

Before you get to work putting your sponsorship ideas in motion, keep in mind three important factors. First, why people attend your event and the problems they’re experiencing. Second, your sponsor’s needs and how your event can meet them. And third, the brand activations that will bring it all together.

Ready to take your sponsorship to the next level? Here are 17 sponsorship ideas for your next event.

1 | Social mixers

Networking is one of the top reasons attendees go to conferences and other B2B events, but you might not have the bandwidth to organize after-hours parties. A sponsor can create exciting, off-site networking opportunities, which in turn give the sponsor the face-to-face interactions they’re looking for.

2 | Event apps

No matter the size of your event, an event app is a must for providing a personalized experience for your attendees. Tech-savvy attendees expect them and sponsors love to provide them because of the granular data they yield on what’s most interesting to your audience.

3 | Wellness breaks

Taking small breaks throughout the day is important to retaining focus, but it’s not enough just to switch from one sedentary activity to another. You need to move your body to really hit the reset button. Short movement classes like gentle yoga, hula-hooping, or even Zumba can help attendees take a mental break, while helping your sponsor connect with your audience.

4 | Stair or elevator wraps

Does your venue have a grand entrance? Or maybe a few escalators you hadn’t really given a second thought to? Using intriguing stairs or escalator wrap can surprise attendees and offer your sponsors a creative space to do something.

5 | Social photo booths

Similar to an old-fashioned photo booth, social photo booths allow attendees to take selfies, but they also allow users to create looping videos and GIFs and post them directly online. When photos are paired with your event hashtag, it can be some of the most potent social content your attendees can share at your event. Make it even easier with a sponsored social photo booth. 

6 | Wi-Fi

For most events, Wi-Fi access is a must. Especially if you want to encourage people to engage with your event on social media, or livestream speeches or panels. Sponsors can display their logo in the event brochure, on the event app, or signage around the event. Wi-Fi network splash page is another great opportunity not only for branding, but also to link to the sponsor’s website.

7 | Social media displays

A social media display highlights posts and photos that are tagged with your event’s hashtag on social networks like Instagram and Twitter. By offering a social media display as a sponsorship package, sponsors can control the flow of posts and add their brand’s call outs to a regular circuit.

8 | Livestreaming

Did you know that 30% of people who watch a livestream will attend that same event the following year? Live video can extend your reach and have a real impact on your bottom line. Offering a livestream as a sponsorship package can provide brands with the opportunity to engage with audiences beyond attendees.

9 | Activity-based prizes

Looking for an experiential and memorable way to get your sponsors in front of your attendees? Suggest sponsors award a useful or interesting prize to your attendees (like cupcakes or T-shirts) that they’re willing to do an activity for, like squats or a hashtagged selfie share. To increase engagement, consider making the activity a competition or a scavenger hunt that expands across the event.

10 | Virtual or augmented reality

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) allows sponsors to interact with attendees in ways they couldn’t otherwise. Help people experience the new product with AR or VR, like commercial van manufacturer FCA. FCA used augmented reality to show off a new line of vans and all the different color schemes with only one van physically present. It was an efficient use of space — and budget.

11 | DIY craft area

Everyone has a crafty side, so why not engage your attendees creative side with a craft area? Depending on how intricate your sponsors want to get, you could have premade crematic for guests to paint, build your own terrarium stations, or just stick to glitter and glue. This not only gives attendees a chance to share what they’ve made on their social media channels, but it serves as a reminder long after they’ve left your event. 

12 | Give back

Use the spotlight of your event to draw attention to charities or causes your sponsors work with. You can host a sponsored charity drive — for example, attendees can opt to “sponsor” animals or land for wildlife conversations. You can even combine this sponsorship idea with the craft area to really make attendees feel like they’re getting involved for a good cause. 

13 | Treat yourself

Similar to wellness breaks, this gives attendees the opportunity to feel pampered, and ultimately, leave with a great impression of your sponsors. Offering 5-10 minute mini massages is a good way to organically engage guests with your sponsor’s brand. Even if your sponsors don’t provide these types of services, you can hire trained staff for the day, and have them wear sponsor branded clothing. 

14 | Play area

Looking to have attendees blow off some steam, but want to skip the workout? How about a play area. Giant games of Jenga, chess, board games, or even a ball pit are excellent ways to capture guests’ attention. And it’s a creative way to give your sponsor branded game pieces that will get posted and talked about.

15 | Premium swag bags

Customize a swag bag with premium merch not available to all attendees. If you really want to go for it, get sponsors involved to offer more high-end gifts, like massages, tickets to shows, or wine.

16 | Digital swag bags (learn more)

In addition to the traditional bag, you can now offer a digital one. New services allow you to set up a page with offers from sponsors before, during, and after your event. By extending the time that sponsors can connect with attendees, you’ll provide more activation opportunities. What’s more, these services provide sponsors with meaningful data to measure against their goals. 

17 | Privacy pods

These fully enclosed booths offer a quiet place to make a phone call or have a meeting. They come in various sizes from one person (like a phone booth) to larger versions which seat four. They are usually made of mostly glass and can be wrapped with a brand or provided by a sponsor. Many come with power and WiFi. 

About Larry Weil:

Sponsorship engagement strategist and customer acquisition specialist for some of the nation’s most recognized brands Larry has over $200MM in sponsorship transactions to his credit. He has a Rolodex of over 4,000 brand and industry contacts. Larry is an expert seller, negotiator, presenter, and strategist. He has successfully represented properties and sponsors in numerous categories including Conferences, Trade Shows, Convention, and Visitors Bureaus, Entertainment and Sports Properties, and Tech.

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Activation Trends in Sponsorship

In part 4 of Larry’s interview at Eventbrite he discusses how integrating digital content can add sponsor value for your event.


Want more? Join TheSponsorshipGuy.com’s mailing list and get insights and updates every couple of weeks.

About Larry Weil:

Sponsorship engagement strategist and customer acquisition specialist for some of the nation’s most recognized brands Larry has over $200MM in sponsorship transactions to his credit. He has a Rolodex of over 4,000 brand and industry contacts. Larry is an expert seller, negotiator, presenter, and strategist. He has successfully represented properties and sponsors in numerous categories including Conferences, Trade Shows, Convention, and Visitors Bureaus, Entertainment and Sports Properties, and Tech.

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6 Apps to Increase Productivity

Man looking at his phone

6 Apps & Extensions You Have Probably Never Heard Of, But Will Be Glad You Did.

There are many challenges to running a successful agency. The biggest for most of us is finding ways to save time and improve performance. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorites. I’m sure these would work for plenty of other businesses, but they have become a necessity for me. And no, I’m not getting compensated for clicks, some of these are free:

Instapaper. One of my most used apps, Instapaper allows you to save article, webpages and pretty much anything you are viewing in your browser to a clean format to read later. This is not cut and paste. You can file the information into categories you create and even share it. I use it to read stuff I don’t have time for, later when I do. This is by far the cleanest format I have seen. It works on any screen, so if you are browsing your feed on your phone and want to save it, you are two clicks away. It will be at the top when you get around to opening it later.

Clipboard History Pro. This one is a life saver. Anything you copy and paste is saved for you to access later. You can even save to a favorite’s category for frequently used links or descriptions. This extension for Chrome lives at the top of your browser. Once installed you don’t have to do anything, it saves automatically. If you need something you copied, you click and a drop-down box appears.

Lola.com. My new favorite business travel app. Designed for SMB’s lola.com gives you a platform for booking, controlling business travel expense, enforcing travel policy and managing reporting and categorizing for accounting. But one feature is really irreplaceable and that is the customer service. I was recently stuck at DFW Airport due to ongoing weather delays and while my airline was very slow to update me, the team at lola.com kept me updated by looking at the inbound aircraft status. When the airline said it was another hour delay, I knew the plane hadn’t even departed the previous location and instead of waiting around, they booked me on a flight the next morning while everyone else was scrambling.

Calendly. Scheduling calls and appointments can be a real time waster with all the back and forth. This Chrome extension allows you to set up your appointment criteria for different lengths and types of calls or meetings. Then, when you are suggesting a meeting you simply click on the type of meeting (I use 15-minute intro call, 30-minute conference call and others). It creates a link which you paste into an email that allows the recipient to click on the link, select an available time on your calendar and confirm the appointment. It adds it to your calendar once accepted. It will also send reminders.

TinEye. TinEye is a reverse image search extension. I use this mostly when I am suspicious that I have received a connection request that looks off. You simply right click on the image, select TinEye and it scours the web to find the image. I have used it the most on LinkedIn and Fiverr when someone in a profile is suspiciously good looking. I know, sounds dumb, but when you find out that you are looking at a stock photo, you know to delete.

The Great Suspender. If you are like me, you have way too many tabs open and it eats up your computer’s memory. The extension automatically suspends unused tabs to free up system resources. The tab still appears on your browser, but when you open it is asleep. Just click on it and comes right back.

Pipedrive CRM. I can’t imagine you don’t have a CRM. But if you don’t or you don’t like the one you have, Pipedrive does everything I need it to do at a very reasonable price. It is web based and has iPhone and Android versions. It integrates with many other platforms, is customizable and easy to learn. Support is just an instant message away. I’m leery of any CRM that requires you hire a consultant to help you implement it, Pipedrive is simple and feature filled.

It would be great to hear back from you about your favorite time saving apps and extensions.


Want more? Join TheSponsorshipGuy.com’s mailing list and get insights and updates every couple of weeks.

About Larry Weil:

Sponsorship engagement strategist and customer acquisition specialist for some of the nation’s most recognized brands Larry has over $200MM in sponsorship transactions to his credit. He has a Rolodex of over 4,000 brand and industry contacts. Larry is an expert seller, negotiator, presenter, and strategist. He has successfully represented properties and sponsors in numerous categories including Conferences, Trade Shows, Convention, and Visitors Bureaus, Entertainment and Sports Properties, and Tech.

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Innovative New Technology for Events

What are some of the best ways to use Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for events?  In this clip from my interview with Dan Kimball the Senior Vice President of Marketing at eventbrite.com headquarters in San Francisco we discuss some specific examples of successful integration of VR and AR.


Want more? Join TheSponsorshipGuy.com’s mailing list and get insights and updates every couple of weeks.

About Larry Weil:

Sponsorship engagement strategist and customer acquisition specialist for some of the nation’s most recognized brands Larry has over $200MM in sponsorship transactions to his credit. He has a Rolodex of over 4,000 brand and industry contacts. Larry is an expert seller, negotiator, presenter, and strategist. He has successfully represented properties and sponsors in numerous categories including Conferences, Trade Shows, Convention, and Visitors Bureaus, Entertainment and Sports Properties, and Tech.

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Lola.com

Lola.com

#1 rated travel management app.

Save time and money using the fastest and simplest corporate travel platform with over $30 billion in buying power behind you.

November 6, 2019 – 9:00am-5:00pm

Join Finance and Operations leaders from around the country for a full day of thought-provoking content, inspiring keynotes, and lots of good food and networking.

Register now! lola.com/AOS

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How Technology is Changing Sponsorship

Technology is changing how events are produced and how sponsors activate. In this clip from my interview with Dan Kimball the Senior Vice President of Marketing at eventbrite.com headquarters in San Francisco we discuss the impact of this technology on events and sponsorship.


Want more? Join TheSponsorshipGuy.com’s mailing list and get insights and updates every couple of weeks.

About Larry Weil:

Sponsorship engagement strategist and customer acquisition specialist for some of the nation’s most recognized brands Larry has over $200MM in sponsorship transactions to his credit. He has a Rolodex of over 4,000 brand and industry contacts. Larry is an expert seller, negotiator, presenter, and strategist. He has successfully represented properties and sponsors in numerous categories including Conferences, Trade Shows, Convention, and Visitors Bureaus, Entertainment and Sports Properties, and Tech.

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How the US Women’s National Team could Approach Sponsorships after World Cup Win

US Women's World Cup

Larry Weil, a branding and sponsorship expert who goes by the title “The Sponsorship Guy,” said that “part of the challenge here is frequency.”

“There’s going to be a crest in sponsorship….

Read Full Article Here

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Want more? Join TheSponsorshipGuy.com’s mailing list and get insights and updates every couple of weeks.

About Larry Weil:

Sponsorship engagement strategist and customer acquisition specialist for some of the nation’s most recognized brands Larry has over $200MM in sponsorship transactions to his credit. He has a Rolodex of over 4,000 brand and industry contacts. Larry is an expert seller, negotiator, presenter, and strategist. He has successfully represented properties and sponsors in numerous categories including Conferences, Trade Shows, Convention, and Visitors Bureaus, Entertainment and Sports Properties, and Tech.

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Using Data to Grow and Sell Sponsorship

Using data to grow sponsorship is often overlooked or improperly implemented. In this clip from my interview with Dan Kimball the Senior Vice President of Marketing at eventbrite.com headquarters in San Francisco we discuss tactics and trends for the successful use of data to influence and close sponsorship deals. 

About Larry Weil:

Sponsorship engagement strategist and customer acquisition specialist for some of the nation’s most recognized brands Larry has over $200MM in sponsorship transactions to his credit. He has a Rolodex of over 4,000 brand and industry contacts. Larry is an expert seller, negotiator, presenter, and strategist. He has successfully represented properties and sponsors in numerous categories including Conferences, Trade Shows, Convention, and Visitors Bureaus, Entertainment and Sports Properties, and Tech.