How B2B Businesses can Harness Event Sponsorship

24 October 2022

Hosting a business event can be an expensive endeavour but there are ways to minimise potential costs and maximise your ROI. We will be talking specifically about event sponsorship and the different ways businesses can harness event sponsorship to increase their revenue, both as an event organiser and as a sponsor. With 23% of planners stating sponsorships are the primary source of virtual event revenue according to Skift Meetings it’s easy to see why it’s an important revenue stream to harness for both virtual and live events.

What is event sponsorship?

Event sponsorship is a mutually beneficial business transaction, where event organisers gain financial backing for their event by providing the event sponsor with special privileges, advertisement rights, or other benefits at the event, or even after.

How can sponsored events be utilised?

The potential applications of sponsored events are unlimited and there uses become even greater in B2B events. Organising a B2B networking event can be an expensive investment but the ROI can be huge. As a B2B event organiser, making sponsorship a part of the marketing and revenue stream adds a safety net to the B2B event you are planning and can even be a potential draw for attendees, depending on who your sponsor is and what is part of the sponsorship deal. But according to EventBrite, 90% of B2B event organisers say that securing sponsors is a significant challenge they face. Learning what adds value to sponsorship marketing and what businesses are looking for from sponsored events can help you secure financial event sponsorship you need

What are the benefits for business sponsorship?

The benefits for sponsors are massive as well, with sponsorship delivering an array of promotional opportunities. Business sponsors typically benefit from prime spots for stands, promotional materials, and branding throughout the event. Especially in B2B events this lets the sponsor put themselves in front of potential clients and partners without having to vie for space against other non-sponsor attendees, this is especially the case for networking events where attendees will have designated stands. If available, cooldown zones or refreshment areas are great branding opportunities that allow for soft selling whilst attendees are away from the hectic event floor where there is more competition.

If your event sponsorship comes with a stand, considering how to maximise its usage is vital to increasing ROI. A sales stand is one way to use the space, however clever marketing can provide a much more memorable experience that will stick with attendees. The more visual, interactive, and exciting you can make it the better, to make your stand stand out from the crowd.

Where to find business sponsorship opportunities?

You can find sponsorship opportunities by browsing the internet and you might come across the perfect opportunity for your company. But with the sheer scope of business sponsorship opportunities available, finding the best one can be time consuming and difficult to evaluate. It is a good idea to keep tabs on existing business contacts in your CRM for events they are attending, or even hosting. Increasing your visibility to existing contacts is more likely to yield better conversions than by attending an event that your brand will be less recognised at by attendees.

If you sponsor events with an existing contact, it can also provide a more cost-effective sponsorship opportunity. The existing relationship gives more room for negotiation on either side and the exchange of a wider variety of resources than a standard sponsorship deal. Consider what you can offer to a business in exchange for a financial event sponsor position, there could be assets available to your company that are more valuable than their equivalent monetary value. Then if you consider that these would cost you less to produce than their sale price and you are already making a saving.

How to use sponsorship marketing?

Sponsorship marketing's applications are limitless. Sponsorship marketing can be used to reach new audiences and potential clients, increase brand awareness, advertise new products, or announce partnerships or new company initiatives.

50.6% of respondents to a Bizzabo survey believe that tools to connect sponsors and attendees both virtually and in-person will play a key role in their 2021 event strategies.

That’s why it’s imperative to consider as an event organiser what to offer, as these will be the main selling points when trying to secure financial event sponsorship. Sponsorship opportunities come in many shapes, and making sure you offer a great sponsorship marketing opportunity

As someone utilising sponsorship marketing, choosing a sponsored event and package that aligns with your business goals is paramount. Depending on what your sponsorship deal entails will change what goal your sponsorship marketing is best aimed towards. If your financial event sponsorship involves a presentation or speaking slot, it offers a great platform for announcements and increasing overall awareness. Meanwhile, exhibition stands can provide the best opportunity for product demonstrations and especially letting potential clients get hands on with your product. If your aim is to reach new audiences it’s important to maximise the visibility and spread of branding around the event, that way your brand is exposed to the greatest number of attendees possible.

Why are networking events great for sponsorship?

The reason networking events are ideal for business sponsorship is because, by nature, they already attract a large number of B2B businesses, and provide the perfect place to connect with potential buyers. You can further increase the potential of sponsorship by targeting networking events that fall within your business sector, thereby increasing the relevancy of your sponsorship. Exhibitor Online found 81 percent of face-to-face marketers believe that sponsorships have "moderate" to "significant" potential in the context of exhibit marketing. This confirms that exhibitions and networking events have great potential as sponsored events to the right markets and companies.

As a networking event organiser, you can use this to your advantage. Highlight to potential sponsors why your networking event matches their needs and will be filled with the perfect audience to hear their message. Offering presentations and key speaker segments at networking events are much more valuable as well when the audience matches the sponsors buyer persona.

How to add sponsorship to an event you are running?

If you have event planned, even if it isn’t a networking event, there are many ways to add financial event sponsorship options into to increase ROI. Even if it’s a meeting with stakeholders, a hospitality package, or an incentive travel trip, there are opportunities to give a platform to one of more of your clients in the form of sponsorship. It could be as simple as branded merchandise for your guests, banners throughout the event, or speaking opportunities as part of the itinerary. Branded items are a great sponsorship marketing and can be as simple as pens and notepads for attendees to use to a bottle of branded, complimentary, champagne to treat guests.

When offering sponsorship though it’s vital to quantify measurables for your potential sponsors as 70% of marketers say that the need to validate results from event sponsorship has increased over past 2 years according to the ANA. Sponsorship options will vary based on the event, your business, and the technologies available, but providing measurable data can provide metrics for companies to measure their marketing success against and promote sponsorship renewal opportunities as well.

This approach is a key feature of the London Comedy Lunch, Inconnection’s annual comedy and networking event. We bundle branding and advertisement opportunities into table options, allowing guests to select pre-built sponsorship packs or they can work with us to build their own unique table and sponsorship package.

The applications of financial event sponsorship are huge and whether you are after gaining sponsorship for your event or being an event sponsor the possibilities are endless. Inconnection can help create memorable events with built in sponsorship opportunities for clients. If you want to discuss more options with us, contact us with the button below.