Tag Archives: sponsorship

12 Things You Want To Know About Event Sponsorship


I was chatting recently, with a bunch of my friends, about the array of large sports events on offer this year. There are the Rio Olympics, Euro 2016, the Tour De France, the Cricket Series and the Ryder Cup, to mention but a few. The conversation came around to money which led us, inevitably, on to sponsorship.

Some of you that know my background will appreciate that this topic is one of my favourites.

In fairness, my friends stayed with me as I espoused brand fit and awareness, crowd loyalty and the attitude of rights owners. They know that brand communication is what I do for a living, so they were sympathetic.

As usual, I ended up discussing (arguing) the difference between advertising and sponsorship – even if I knew they were just doing it to get me going.

For the record, guys, of course, both advertising and sponsorship have massive power and they do go hand-in-hand mostly. But, I believe there are different reasons for using them separately.

My discussion prompted me to write this post about sponsorship. I will outline 3 important pre-sponsorship agreement areas to attend to and then list 9 reasons why event sponsorship is effective.


Advertising is perfect (and necessary, we could argue) for establishing a brand and raising awareness. It usually is a campaign so it is for a specific duration with measurable results.

Sponsorship, on the other hand, is usually a long-term commitment between a business and an event. The objective is to build a strong and sustainable relationship with an audience. Preferably the audience should be mutually sought after by the business and the event. With a good partnership, research shows that good event sponsorship can lead to high levels of awareness, recognition and loyalty.

Event sponsorship is best where businesses genuinely have a joint objective, with the rights holder. In essence, it should fit both of their images, values and audiences.

From a sponsor’s point of view, they should be relevant to the nature of the sponsorship (similar attitudes as the audience). They should have some similar demographics e.g. geographical, and should be in it for the long term. As a result, they will have a greater chance of affecting the attitude of their target audience.

As I’ve pointed out in previous posts on sponsorship, changed attitudes can lead to changed behaviour. At the end of the day, with clear marketing communication objectives, a business will be able to decide whether to use advertising, sponsorship or both.

An up-front effort will ensure that you start off on the right foot.

Traditionally there have been seven sponsorship platforms:

  1. Arts & Culture
  2. Broadcast
  3. Cause
  4. Fashion
  5. Film
  6. Music
  7. Sport

You could probably add digital (eGaming), on to that list now. To a certain extent, nearly all of them can be approached in the same way. This is because the most important part of a sponsorship is that the partnership is a win-win-win situation i.e. for the audience, the event owner and you, the sponsor. You getting bang-for-your-buck is, of course, essential if the partnership is to endure.

We would suggest three essential things to do before entering a sponsorship arrangement.

The first one is at the identification stage. You really should undertake research to determine what relevant opportunities are available. Needless to say that there will be many events looking for a sponsor. However, you should only consider those that have the same values, audience and attitude as your brand. We call this, having a good brand fit.

When you have a list of potential prospects, be tenacious when meeting with them by asking pertinent questions. For example, determining the timing and place of the event is important because it must fit your business calendar or portfolio of other sponsorships.

Also, find out if there is a communications / event theme (does it match yours?), is there a marketing budget / team (will you have to do it all?), what is the size of the database (will they get the audience they propose?) and who are the other sponsors / suppliers (any competitors in there?).

The second most important thing is determining if your business audience is the same as the event audience. It’s best to have a narrow focus rather than accepting a general description such as male / female / young / old etc.

The third is, determining what value you will receive for your investment. I do not mean simple branding opportunities here. If you have certain objectives that you want to achieve (speaking opportunities, meetin’ greets, VIP hospitality etc.), make sure all of them are achieved and ignore the distractions of signage / tickets / mentions etc. if not required.

You may or may not be the sponsorship decision maker

If you are a small business and the sponsorship investment is large, the decision may have to go to a Board. In a medium to large business, if you’re not the final decision maker you will have to make the case internally. In either case, the best suggestion we can offer you is to include the results of your research, outlined above.

Your outline should include such items as, brand fit, audience profile, predicted ROI, benefit packages and your personal recommendation. These are the basic necessities and if the decision maker needs more information, at least they’ve shown an interest in pursuing the proposal further. Negotiations with the rights owner can commence.

Outsourcing vs In-house

It might be that you are a business owner and you don’t have time to undertake the research above. Your options would be to outsource the job or employ a sponsorship manager. The difference is usually experience and cost.

From my own background, I am aware that a sponsorship manager wears many hats. These hats can be business development, events manager, marketing, social media or even a CSR expert!

Anyway, whatever ‘hat’ the person is to wear, you should look for as many of the following attributes as possible. If hiring a sponsorship manager they should be / a:

– good negotiator                                                  – proactive but patient

– somewhat creative                                            – self-confident and committed

– great communicator                                         – multi-tasker (team player if relevant)

– good with people                                               – decision-maker

I’m not sure where I read the following quote but it stuck in my mind ever since.

“We hire people based on the skills we are looking for, and we fire them based on the people they are”.

If you are thinking about outsourcing, here are a few questions to consider:

– do I / my team have the time                          – look for experience of sponsorship previously

– do I / my team have the experience              – are they active in the industry and online

– do I have the budget                                        – get specific references from other experts

Tips and Timesavers for Event Sponsorship

More and more marketing communication options are becoming available due to technology. At the same time, the CFOs (or your business partner) are looking for more powerful ways of differentiating your brand from competitors. Whilst you could argue that traditional marketing channels have lost some impact, one option that doesn’t appear to have lost its effectiveness is event sponsorship.

Here are 9 reasons why it’s still a powerful way to achieve business objectives:

  1. Brand awareness and recognition
  2. Targeted marketing (see above)
  3. Brand credibility enhancement
  4. Online / offline media exposure
  5. Lead generation and new business partnerships
  6. Community impact
  7. Sampling / special offers
  8. Data-base / mailing-list usage
  9. Measurable*

*I smile when I think about the traditional ad measurement of ‘opportunities-to-see’ loved by the media so much. This is like counting how many people look at your shop window but don’t go in and buy anything. I mean, what’s the point?

Bad sponsorships have been guilty of measuring the wrong numbers also. Logo exposure, name recall, share-of-voice, anyone? Businesses now realise that these common measurements have no effect on the bottom line. An example of what should be measured would be loyalty, propensity to buy and brand perception.


Event sponsorship is still a powerful marketing communications tool. As a sponsor, however, it is important to have your sponsorship objectives linked to your business objectives. Also, a business benchmark should be agreed prior to the event (Guinness do this by installing pumps in surrounding bars before an event and measuring any increase in sales + pouring rights revenue, of course).

A final heads-up is to be realistic with your target figures. Make sure they are achievable and measurable. If you have business measurement tools in place – include sponsorship in them.

Event sponsorship offers you the privilege of connecting with people and building relationships with them through something that they care about. Get it right, at the start.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email, when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K


Can You Handle the Truth about Event Marketing and Engagement?


Straight up, here’s the truth – using events as part of your marketing activity is the real engagement that people need and want.

In this post, after initially discussing event marketing, we are going to look at ways to evaluate third party event sponsorship. Thereafter we will provide our usual section on marketing tips and timesavers. This time, the tips are focused on event planners.

We totally subscribe to the fact that we have all become more connected than ever and that the volume of communication has risen.  We would also agree that, to most smartphone owners, connecting online has become as normal as talking to a neighbour across the fence.

What we’d like to suggest, however, is that the value of that communication has decreased. This is mainly because brands appear to be focussing on the channels / tools more than the audience. And anyway, in reality, an online relationship isn’t always reciprocal.

If you look at it from a business point of view – we have staff working in digital marketing, we have community managers, content marketing, online publications and many more methods of communicating with prospects. The trouble is, as we see it, brands are in danger of losing sight of what they are trying to do – which is to make a person feel important.

After all, it is these people that are the lifeblood of our businesses. With our constant analysis, projections, ROI and margins sometimes the human touch gets lost in it all.

Get back to the future by using event marketing to talk to people

Look at this another way – how do we engage with our friends? Well, I for one prefer to talk to them face-to-face. We usually enjoy similar interests but still appreciate each other, if not. Basically, we have trust and we help each other out.

Now we know that a brand is not going to have such a close relationship. Surely, though, it should, at least, try to create an authentic and relevant interaction about whatever it is the customer is using / buying. An excellent place for such interaction is at an event. What people don’t want is for irrelevant brands to interrupt or waste their valuable time.

Since the dawn of time, marketers have known that it is emotions that drive action so I guess we need to go back to the future here. Being real and talking to people through event marketing allow brands to have a better chance of moving people from being watchers and listeners to doers.

At an event, people get to meet the real you, your people and the brand’s personality. We don’t believe that relationships can be based on online impressions, likes, click-thru’s and web traffic. True relationships are action based and as such are about reciprocal bonding – just like in the old days of the local shopkeeper.
Even our friends at www.twitter.com have realised this by recently removing their ‘share counters’ and changing the favourite button to a heart button.

We would argue that the driver of engagement is not online activity but real-life experience. Certainly engaging in relevant conversations online can help nurture relationships. However, by facilitating participation, that allows people to come into real contact with your brand, is how you ensure people will remember you / your business.

Just observe the attendees of any sports event, theatre production etc. what do you see? Emotion – that’s what. It is only by sharing these emotional experiences with them will you truly engage with people and manifest your brand in the real world.

Evaluating 3rd party event sponsorships

In a previous life as Head of Sponsorship in AIB Bank, my constant battle was with our finance people about sponsoring unplanned for, third party events (i.e. not your own hospitality). These would have been outside of my initial budget. They could have ranged from exhibitions at trade shows to large sports activities and small student events.

The most important part of my arsenal was the research element undertaken before I approached them.

Of course, there can be many reasons why a business might sponsor a specific third party event and there are too many to cover here. Suffice to say, though, whatever the reason a business gets involved in an event it must always be based on advancing an overall business objective – in a measurable way.

From a sponsors point of view, here are some items to address in your proposal to the CFO (or to ask yourself, if a business owner).

  • Stick to the details – does the timing and location ‘fit’ with your other marketing activity? How large an audience will there be and does the activity and theme ‘fit’ with your brand message? Don’t engage in deficit funding i.e. absorb the risk from the event owner. Are there other sponsors (are they complementary) and is there a hierarchy (gold/ silver etc.)?
  • Look at the people involved – are the event owners ready and able for a professional sponsorship? Can they deliver on their promises and your objectives? Is the promised audience actually going to turn up? Look at audience demographics from previous events, what level of leads might they be, (executive vs manager)? Can the event add value for your internal audience in any way?
  • Determine what value you will get – Speaking or customer engagement opportunities, lead generation, branding basics, outside-the-box promotional opportunities, digital visibility opportunities, content creation or savings from an advertising budget. How will the audience / customer benefit from your sponsorship involvement? Make sure you include a figure for activation – depending on the type of event start-off with a €1:€1buget.
  • Measurement – measure by cost per 1,000 attendees not media value, how many new customers / leads? include digital analytics if available and summarise with the overall impact the sponsorship should have on business growth.

Here is a very good article based on recent research, from marketingprofs.com, which proves that businesses are using events to reach customers. For example, “nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents say events are one of the better sales and marketing approaches that a firm can employ to engage customers.”

Tips and Timesavers

Whether working with businesses or event owners, a constant obstacle that we come across is the expectation that each party has of each other. This obstacle usually relates to money i.e. who is paying who to do what. That is, the event planner is relying on sponsorship funds to make the event bigger and better – the sponsoring business wants a top return on its investment. Obviously, a clear agreement, backed up by an activation plan, is paramount at the start of the relationship.

We have covered sponsorship from a sponsors’ point-of-view previously, (e.g. here), so here are six tips for the event owner / planner:

  1. Planning and logistics are very important but a waste of time if there is no audience. Make sure you outline a realistic marketing budget and then allow the potential sponsor to augment it
  2. Don’t presume a sponsor will undertake the marketing for the event. Brainstorm to develop some creative marketing ideas – think about digital opportunities the sponsor might want
  3. Don’t be a one-man show. Use a community of designers, social media influencers, techies and PR people. Many start-up businesses might be glad to be involved for awareness and networking reasons
  4. The event really must have its own website. If you don’t have the expertise there are many free templates etc. out there (e.g. www.wordpress.com ). Attach google analytics so you can show results to your sponsor and you can undertake simple SEO yourself
  5. Do we even need to mention that social media should play a large part in the marketing of an event? How about inviting a well-known speaker / performer that you are connected to online? They might even guest write for you or offer a promotion on their own media sites.
  6. Will the event be interesting to any specific media? Don’t just circulate a press release, think about who would want to cover the event story in a specific way e.g. sports vs lifestyle. Link your database to an email marketing system such as mailchimp.com. You will need to send a group promotion piece, so depending on the number, it might be worth upgrading to a system that can handle your requirements.

One caveat to the above tips is that the event you are planning must be relevant to someone, preferably a specific audience and that it would be affordable for that audience to attend.


At the end of the day, an event should be a win: win: win for all parties involved. The owner / planner wants to host a successful event, the audience want to have a wonderful experience and the sponsor / business wants to achieve a business objective. So really, it’s a combination of how the success of the event is measured by all parties, that leads to a better understanding of its value, in the long run.

Here are three other ways to think about an event – i) did it grow (year-on-year)? ii) do the activation insights show an increased appreciation in general? and iii) one for the financial guys – how was the cost per attendee? – total promotional spend / no. of actual attendees = cost per attendee.

As we’re prone to saying here in Ireland – ‘is there any better way to engage with people than to throw a bit of a party’.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K

Sponsorship can change a person’s perceptions of a brand.

sponsorship dilemma

“We want to create value for you by sharing marketing tips and timesavers” – O’C&K.

Smart, savvy businesses are looking for 3 things from an event sponsorship.

It is said that business success is equal to how good a product / service is, multiplied by how good the marketing is. So it follows that being smarter about your marketing will help your business to be more successful. Despite the perceived attention companies pay to marketing however, only a small percentage of them get sponsorship right.

Let’s face it, sponsorship is changing. Smart business owners and corporates now have expectations that as a marketing tool, it will engage customers in a real way. There is a definite focus on using sponsorship to backup online activity by making connections and increasing affinity. Most savvy operators will agree that businesses need to do more work on building an emotional relationship with their customers, to ensure sustainability.

In O’C&K we agree that one of the most successful ways of building true connections that last, is through sponsorship because we believe that it can change a person’s perception and ultimately their behaviour.

Of course, not all businesses that sponsor or organisations that get sponsored, instinctively know how best to use sponsorship as an effective marketing tool. What I want to do in this post therefore is to offer some tips for both sponsors and sponsees, on how to get ready for sponsorship.

The role that sponsorship can play in brand building/management cannot be overstated.

Does it matter?

Research shows that sponsorship can lead to higher levels of positive sentiment towards a brand, especially when relevant links with targeted people, are created. The more meaningful it is to people, the more it will be remembered and appreciated. From our experience working in the sponsorship arena, our simple advice to people is, “if it doesn’t matter to the person that your business wants to engage with, it doesn’t matter”.

We call this the litmus test of sponsorship because it is focused on a business objective.

Because of this focus it is essential, for any sponsorship, that the perceived ‘fit’ between what an event offers attendees and what a sponsor does for them, is obvious to the audience. Otherwise, people won’t know whom to appreciate or at worst, won’t care. Think about it, people will more than likely appreciate a brand’s ‘involvement’  in their life, if that brand improves their experience of something or offers some benefit, otherwise unattainable.

An organiser or sponsor can really focus on specific objectives by selecting a sponsorship to appeal to a specific audience, or a specific geographic area or to people who have similar attitudes. Thereafter, the smarter the promotion and the longer the sponsorship duration, the better the impact.

Tips and Timesavers.

Are you ready to be a sponsor?

A business can use sponsorship to deliver on various objectives, e.g.

  •    Creating an opportunity to engage with people
  •    Increasing brand loyalty
  •    Creating awareness and visibility for the brand or a product / service
  •    Repositioning or reinforcing a brand identity.
  •    Thwarting your competitors (this is a negative one).
  •    Telling a part of the brand story or reinforcing a theme.
  •    Merchandising opportunities for product sampling or service sign-ups.

If you are considering becoming a sponsor you can do your own research, or invite applications from event owners looking for sponsorship. I would recommend the former. If you can do it yourself, there are certain filters that you should consider as a first step.

There should be a meaningful brand + event connection, relevant to a target audience and based on your business objectives. Make sure that the owner / organiser is professional i.e. has experience and appreciates that it is a joint marketing exercise. Both you and your finance department should agree upfront on what ROI is expected, during what period it will be generated and how it will be measured.

When you embark on a partnership, your involvement must be authentic, personalised and involved. If you don’t have the expertise (or the time) in-house, hire professionals who can maximise your impact. See our business guide on our website, here, for seeking a sponsorship and, here, for elements to consider when planning an event.

The main thing to remember is that sponsorship is a marketing investment, so it should be serving a business strategy in the best way possible. When used properly, it can be one of the most flexible, engaging and simplest marketing tools for any organisation.

Are you ready to be sponsored?

In O’C&K, we have spoken to many clients and prospects about the golden rule of obtaining sponsorship for an event. The rule is to step into the shoes of the potential sponsor. Of course there are various types of sponsorship that exist, so tangible benefits will vary. However, if you want a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with a sponsor, you must understand what the sponsor’s needs and expectations are.

The first thing you must do is to identify what tangible and intangible assets you have to offer a sponsor. This is a critical part of getting ready for sponsorship because what you have, and what you think you have, can differ greatly. Let’s have a look at a few of the obvious ‘tangibles’ you may have.


  • Naming rights – e.g. title exclusivity, associated rights, supplier rights.
  • Brand exposure – e.g. promo campaign, signage, uniforms, online presence, stalls.
  • Business networking – e.g. fellow sponsors, political exposure, event owners / clients.
  • Merchandising – e.g. product sampling, demonstrations, trials, launches.
  • Brand story amplification – e.g. advertising support, CSR, activity theme.
  • Customer engagement – e.g. VIP areas, tickets, hospitality, discounts, registration.
  • Staff benefits – e.g. morale building, staff volunteering, family tickets.


The list of benefits is endless because of the intangibles, but the important point here is to work out what benefits are relevant to each potential sponsor. You cannot assume that you know what they want. You have to make an effort to find out. No, this is not an easy exercise, but it is the one thing that will get you noticed in the sea of proposals that a business will receive every week of the year.

When a business looks at a sponsorship proposal they want to see that you have spent some time on understanding their needs. They know you want money but in return they need to know that you care enough to have studied, investigated and gained an understanding of their business or marketplace?

Believe me; it is very noticeable which applicants have put in the effort. In fact, the first few paragraphs of a proposal are a giveaway. There is only one theme to concentrate on in your proposal, ‘How you can help them be smarter about their marketing or create value for their clients’. If this isn’t very obvious to you – don’t even bother writing an introduction letter. It will be binned, without reply. If you don’t put in the effort up-front, why should they be bothered to read your proposal?

One of the main faux-pas that sponsorship seekers make is that of timing. Very often they do not allow a sponsor sufficient lead time to:


  • Conduct research into the proposed area of sponsorship (if new).
  • Internalise the proposal to other areas that might benefit.
  • Rearrange the footprint of their existing sponsorship portfolio.
  • Plan synergies with other sponsorship activity.
  • Examine budgetary considerations.


It really is important that you look at a potential sponsorship relationship as a joint marketing venture. Having mismatched visions is not a good idea but ignorance / lack of professionalism is even worse. You both want one thing – an unforgettable experience for a group of people. So you should inspire and amaze the potential sponsor with an innovative proposal. The overall image of the event starts with the introduction letter, continues with the proposal structure, which then leads to you, hopefully, making a face-to-face pitch.

Respect your event and respect your sponsor.

‘You cannot measure sponsorship’.

If I had a cent for every time I’ve heard this, I’d be a millionaire by now. The fact is that if measureable objectives are agreed in the first place, of course they can be measured. The problem is that many sponsorship relationships are based on funds rather than mutual business objectives.

Here are some measurements that could form part of your overall evaluation of sponsorship activity:

Cost of audience reach. – Include all costs, rights fees and activation costs (including VAT if applicable). Reach includes attendees and exposure on media channels. You can have different objectives for client engagement and ‘opportunities to see’. You might have a ‘reach target’ for all your sponsorships and can thereby adjudicate their performances.

Activation Ratio. – There are no hard and fast rules here but I would recommend a 1:1 ratio. (activation ratio is how much you spend to promote the sponsorship). In my opinion there is absolutely no point in being a wonderful sponsor of a great event, if no one knows about either. The advent of social media tools etc. are helping to reduce this ratio while maintaining opportunities to magnify the marketing impact.

Sales. – It is extremely difficult to link sales to sponsorship activity, directly, unless you are selling product at an event, of course. You could track sales figures during the footprint of the sponsorship, but it is not an accurate measurement, if you are undertaking other marketing activity. What it might show is different sales activity during different sponsorship events within a portfolio. The trends could be used to weed out low performing sponsorships. It really depends on the objectives agreed rather than sales in my opinion.

Long term brand attributes. – If your company undertakes brand research – it is a useful exercise to include sponsorship as a standalone section. In this way you can determine what brand attributes a particular sponsorship supports and more importantly whether your target audience would care, if you discontinued sponsoring an activity.

Indirect benefits. – This is the one that drives the accountants mad because they cannot ignore the fact that there are elements of a sponsorship that are not measured in hard currency terms. A client’s positive experience at an event may well pay dividends at a later stage or through a word-of-mouth recommendation. Such elements as staff morale or training or brand storytelling are also difficult to measure but definitely form part of the return gained from sponsorship involvement.

I mentioned our ‘litmus test’ earlier in this post and explained that it is focused on a business objective – adding value to a customer relationship. To summarise, therefore, I will list the three things that smart, savvy businesses are looking for from an event sponsorship:

–          Making customer engagement easier.

–          Making their customer’s event experience better.

–          Providing them or their customers with a benefit, otherwise unattainable.

If you have any other tips or timesavers please leave a reply below. If you’d like to receive similar content, just subscribe by clicking through the pink button, on this page.  Of course, if you want to get in touch, leave your details and perhaps we might meet for a chat, cheers.   Jim – O’C&K


Successful events and professionalism

Coffee biscuits at an event

“We want to create value for you by sharing marketing tips and timesavers” – O’C&K.

Creating a professional online and offline event experience.

There are still people in business who believe that successful events are created simply by organising a venue, food, speakers and sponsors. Their invitation list is developed using the ratio that ‘the more we invite, the more chance we have of people attending’. The venue is provided ‘at the right price’ by a contact and the speaker is a friend or colleague. Does this sound familiar? Perhaps, but it’s not acceptable to attendees any more.

We all know that people are more conscious of their time nowadays, and accordingly there are high expectations that an attended event will be meaningful and useful to them. Therefore, if a business is trying to create a platform to meet customers and/or prospects, but it’s not relevant to them, they will more than likely, ignore the invite. Let’s say they do attend your seminar, sponsorship, business networking evening, or whatever, but don’t have a good experience, then I’m afraid they won’t return the following year or at any other event that you invite them to.

Such a scenario can be avoided by the event owner being more professional or by outsourcing the event management to somebody that has the experience. A lot of the time, the event owners believe that they can save money by not using external professionals. As a result, they spend their time on logistics and leave no time to concentrate on the attendees (their customers / prospects). What will also be neglected is a targeted marketing plan (online and offline), to drive awareness before, excitement during and contentment afterwards. What happens? The event fades into the sea of other business events occuring around the same time.

Basic event planning.

So, if there are any businesses reading this blog that want to plan and organise their own event, here are some pointers about creating successful events. You would be amazed how many people that have approached us, in relation to helping them with event planning, but have not considered these basic points:

  • What the main objectives are.
  • Who the primary target market is.
  • Why would somebody want to attend the event?
  • Is there sufficient lead in time.
  • The resources required in terms of time and money.
  • Professional assistance with some elements.
  • The measurement of results.

When we are planning events we look for an eight week run-in to the event, at least. Ideally, an event should be planned as far ahead as possible. Not only is this important to allow time to put everything in place, but it also allows time to market the event by using a mix of offline and online elements.

Online promotion.

Here’s a summary list of the most common items and activities we recommend:

Print items – (ads, posters, flyers) – professionally designed with a common theme so it can be used on-line also.
Website – if it is a very large event it may require its own online presence. If not, a landing page on an existing site can be created. At least, develop a banner or sidebar widget for an existing homepage.
Registration – do invitees require an entrance ticket, how do they register / pay? WordPress plugins are available. EventBrite is a popular planning tool and Facebook can also be used for events.
Invitees – you should know (or learn) who the influencers are in your industry; the bloggers, public reps, speakers, students, celebrities, social media leaders, etc.
Email campaign – use a provider such as MailChimp rather than a personal email address and schedule a series of emails e.g. the invite, special features, extra speakers, reminders etc.
Social Media – twitter, facebook, google+, blog, linkedin, pinterest etc.

  • – Twitter; twitter stream of hashtags, pre written tweets, scheduled tweets.
  • – Facebook; Flyer and link on timeline and FBX ad targeting.
  • Google+; Add photo of flyer / poster and post to relevant circles.
  • – Use your blogging platform if you have one.
  • – LinkedIn; Target specialised groups that you are a member of.
  • – Pinterest; Use the poster, flyer and any visuals you may have in advance.
  • – There are many very useful event management apps available

During the event itself we create a sign-up form (this can be done with an iPad app for instance). It is essential, of course, that you have a sufficient wad of business cards, and it is always good to have participant name badges. If the event is twitter related it is a clever move to have space on the name tag for the participant’s twitter name also. On all print items during the event you really should have the event’s social media follow buttons.

Also during the event, it is always a good idea to encourage the participants to ‘tweet’ about the event, the speakers or their experience. Either way, be sure to appoint a friend or colleague to tweet photos etc. It is even better if you organise for a photographer and / or videographer and take photos of the attendees as well as the speakers and / or the exhibitions.

Tips and Timesavers.

Finally, when the event is over here are a few tailwaggers that expand the footprint of the event:

  1. Post the photos and or videos on your Facebook page and tag as many people you can.
  2. Share photos to social media sites pertaining to the event (or your own).
  3. Contact the people who helped share the information online, to thank them.
  4. Hold a team wrap up meeting to review the event and where to improve.
  5. If permissible, share any presentations online with the participants.

What I really want to highlight in this post is to remember that being professional about staging successful events is not only about picking the venue, the food, getting sponsors and hiring modern equipment. It’s also about the experience that the participants have, before and during the event, when all these things are combined. In addition, as mobile devices are part of everybody’s life nowadays, it really is a given that online activity is an integral part of an event experience. It’s only successful events that encourage participants to share their experience with their peer’s who in turn may become future customers at / prospects for your events.

Whether it is a sponsorship event, a seminar, a presentation or an exhibition, consider the benefits of outsourcing a lot of the ‘grief’ to professionals. In the main, this will allow you to take time to know your audience and how they like to network / engage. In this way you will be more relevant to them, and they will appreciate your efforts a lot more.

If you have any other tips or timesavers please leave a reply below. If you’d like to receive similar content, just subscribe by clicking through the pink button, on this page.  Of course if you want to get in touch, leave your details and perhaps we might meet for a chat, cheers.   Jim – O’C&K