Blog Post By: Christie Howard
Event marketing has been top of mind for many of our STUDIO 4Forty clients lately. We thought we knew what we were doing. We had a plan and executed it well. So why is our audience waiting until the last minute to purchase tables or sponsorships? Why does no one like our social media posts? WHERE IS THE PRE-EVENT BUZZ?? Is it that traditional marketing is having less of an impact these days?
- Sent an email about the event
- Sent a press release about the event
- Put out ads in local print publications
- Posted event details on social media
- Appeared as a guest speaker on my local media stations
While these actions are still important and relevant, it’s time to change the technique a bit. Social media continues to dictate what our audience wants, and what our audience wants is to be… well, more social. Much of what we focus on during the planning stages of our events is making good on what we have promised our sponsors. We want to make sure their logos are attached to tangible items like emails, printed marketing materials, and event signage, but what about the promise that your sponsors’ brands will be seen by your social media audience of 2,500+ followers?
Your audience no longer wants to see your sponsors’ logos in their timelines (but please don’t stop doing this!). They want to see how you are engaging with them. They want to see the humans behind the sponsorship dollars being social and interacting. So, create a marketing plan around what your audience wants to see and change up what we are promising our sponsors in terms of social media recognition. In fact, let’s get our sponsors to do some of that work for us!
Ask your sponsors how you can collaborate with them to create content around their sponsorships. Chances are that major brands already have a Content Creator or Marketing Professional on staff that can help take the guesswork out of where to begin. Rather than simply posting their logo to your event page, ask them to send you a couple of marketing photos and a small chunk of copy for you to use when announcing their sponsorship level on your social media pages (setting a solid deadline will be key here). In return, you provide them with a photo or graphic for your event with a bit of copy about how they are proud to be a sponsor of your event benefiting your organization and where their followers can go to purchase tickets or get involved. Now, take it a step further and ask your sponsors if you can take photos and videos of your organization interacting with them. Get footage of your staff at their businesses or event committee interacting with their employees, exploring their products and services, and talking about how their support will directly impact your event and/or mission. Use this to create social posts, social stories, and reels. And of course, ask them to do the same!
By creating these deeper relationships with your sponsors through marketing, the real benefit will be your audience responding with more engagement and wanting in on the action!