From event-based speaking opportunities to ASHA Convention-related text messages, any place there are audiences, there are also sponsors hoping to raise their profiles and make new customer connections. But do those sponsorships pay off?
The answer is yes, and in a surprising number of ways. The key is to align your business with quality events and opportunities that attract your specific target market. There are also an increasing number of digital events that offer great ROI for sponsors, too.
Online or in-person, here are a few reasons companies must make sponsorships part of their marketing mix:
1. Collaborative Brand-Building
Unlike other forms of marketing, sponsorship is highly collaborative. Specific targets and objectives are discussed when strategizing what opportunity, you should do. Sponsoring an industry event or conference puts your business front and center before a highly targeted audience.
ASHA sponsorship is an extension of your marketing team. From speech-language pathologists and audiologists to researchers and students, we know exactly how to reach your target market. Sponsors are featured prominently in email blasts, magazines, and highlighted on websites. With that prominence comes an aura of credibility, leadership, and quality that is hard to duplicate in other marketing channels. The name recognition and brand awareness you generate by sponsoring an event isn’t limited to active participants. Sponsorships have huge ROI, for example:
- Companies get added value and brand impressions from every bit of media coverage, citation, or mention of your brand in conjunction with the event across channels like print and social media, digital outlets, podcasts, or on-site press interviews. That extended coverage and visibility gives you exposure before the event and often long afterward as insights, blog posts, and videos are shared.
- Sponsorship goes beyond traditional branding as well. Including a targeted message on your promotional materials is a must. Targeted messaging with your sponsorship ensures ROI and quality leads for your company. Events are always a great place to put product samples directly into the hands of purchasing decision makers and influencers.
- Often, sponsorship packages include several extra benefits not available to regular exhibitors. Program and newsletter ads, media releases and dynamic signage opportunities that allow you to share your message as well as your name. At ASHA, our on-site event’s Program Books are especially popular because attendees refer to and use them throughout the event.
2. Unmatched Targeting
Event sponsorships are one of the absolute best ways to really connect with the audience you seek. It’s a very efficient way to reach a specific group when they are most open to making new connections, interested in the event topic and there to learn and network. You can set your scope wide to reach an entire industry sector or very narrow to reach a niche audience. Looking for a specific subject matter? Companies can sponsor one of 18 special interest groups at ASHA. From students to school based or medical SLPs, there isn’t an audience you can’t reach with a sponsorship.
3. High-Quality Leads
Event audiences, whether in person or online, are not only highly targeted, they are also self-selecting and motivated. They are taking time away from their work, and often paying, to attend, so they are eager to get the most value and opportunities from their time and money as possible. That mindset creates the perfect conditions for generating not just a lot of leads, but also high-quality leads that will convert for you later on. From scanning badges to booking face-to-face meetings, the list you build as an event sponsor will be one of the most valuable assets you take home with you afterward.
4. Content, Content, Content
From your pre-event promotions, live Tweets from the conference floor to follow-up blogs that share insights and observations, your event sponsorship can provide a big boost of fodder for your content marketing program. What’s more, every time an attendee posts a comment or tags a photo from the event you are sponsoring, you gain exposure to their network.
Be sure you leverage every content opportunity your sponsorship creates, such as:
- Posting videos and blogging about keynotes, presentations, and interviews
- Posting photos from networking events and creating accompanying blog posts
- Sharing presentation decks, white papers, or other materials from the sponsored event on your website (and promoting them via email campaigns and blog posts)
5. Feedback and Intel
As an event sponsor, you don’t just get an audience, you also get to be an audience. Every connection you make or conversation you have provides an opportunity to learn from current and potential customers. Live events like the ASHA Convention can be a superb opportunity to hear how the industry perceives your business or offering, get feedback on your products or services, and take the pulse of the industry in terms of needs, preferences, challenges, and emerging trends.
Think Outside the Booth
Today, there are more ways than ever to get the benefits of sponsorship. While live industry conferences offer a unique opportunity for face-to-face experiential marketing, digital events can provide many of the same sponsorship benefits at a lower cost. Plus, you’ll reach an audience that may not regularly attend conferences.
At ASHA, we offer our community three key types of sponsorships to meet different business goals:
- Sponsorships at our annual conferences enhance brand visibility, provide face-to-face interaction, speaking opportunities, lead generating activations, and offer a venue to showcase products and services.
- Our digital event sponsorships allow sponsors to choose the subject matter, demonstrate thought leadership, and interact live online with ASHA members. They are also archived on our website as a member resource, delivering long-term exposure.
- ASHA online conference sponsorships give sponsors the opportunity to start discussions, show videos, and collect email addresses, talk with ASHA members in real time and get immediate feedback about your company.
With so many efficient ways to add sponsorship to your marketing mix, you don’t have to be a global brand to make it really pay off for your business. To increase sales, differentiate your company from competitors, and build brand awareness with an ASHA sponsorship, reach out to Justin Goldstein at 301-296-8679 or email@example.com.