Are you activating your sponsorships? Are you looking for additional opportunities around your sponsorships?
Many professional service firms incorporate sponsorships (i.e., LMA, AAM, etc.) into their marketing mix. Far too often I see firms not fully capitalizing on this tactic to expand their business and the firm brand. Sponsorship should be much more involved then handing over a check for logo presence, a full-page ad and an opportunity to introduce the speaker. Those benefits are important, but what else are you doing to make this sponsorship more valuable for your firm? Consider the following to enhance your visibility and presence as a sponsor:
Social media: Expand your sponsorship activation and begin a conversation on the upcoming topic, program or speaker within your blog, twitter account and/or Facebook page. Not only can it help with increasing attendance, but it will also help to promote your brand and your active involvement and expertise in your industry. Important to remember to not just communicate that you are a sponsor, but to create dialogue and unique conversations with your audience that will foster conversation and interest.
Press releases: Write a short release about your sponsorship and place it within your news section. This helps to enhance your visibility and keep your brand fresh in the minds of clients and prospects.
Touch base with prospects/clients: If you receive the attendee list, make sure you look at it! Identify prospects and clients attending. Send personalized notes to those you wish to meet and seek them out when you are at the event (but don’t be a hawk!). Following the event send “nice to meet you” notes and/or a firm brochure, direct mail piece, etc. (if appropriate). This will help with fostering stronger relationships and make you stand out from all the clutter.
Personal connection: There is not one media out there that will take away the true benefits of making a personal connection. Think about planning a dinner or cocktail reception for selected guests around a conference sponsorship. Perhaps you focus in on a couple prospects and invite them to lunch following a morning panel discussion you are sponsoring. These ideas not only will help your brand grow but will also provide a network for your guests that can lead to referrals or new business.
In 2010, marketing dollars will be tight and competition will continue to be fierce, so think strategically when it comes to your sponsorship efforts.
What success stories can you share regarding your sponsorships?