Should Your Business Be Sponsoring Events?

Are you looking to get more exposure for your business? Have you already tried traditional print and online advertising mediums but feel like you’ve hit diminishing returns? It might be time to step things up a notch and consider the tried and true Hosting or Sponsoring approach.

Hosting or Sponsoring a local event or meetup group is a surefire way to get your company name in front of local eyes and can be done in a couple of different ways.

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Hosting Events

“Hosting” an event means planning and executing the event from “A to Z”. This includes securing a venue and negotiating pricing, arranging bar and catering packages, hiring speakers, creating a guestlist, and getting accreditation (if appropriate).

By Hosting an event, your company name can be featured prominently throughout the event in any way you choose. However, hosting an event is not without its’ share of risks, and can end up being an expensive and time-consuming undertaking. The success of the event will rest solely on the shoulders of the Host, and the brand image could end up taking take a hit if not done properly.

The upside of this is that it gives you complete control over the details of the event, and if it goes well your brand gets a huge boost because of the positive experiences people will associate with it – even long after the event has passed.

Sponsoring Events

When you “Sponsor” (or “co-sponsor”) an event, your company name can also be prominently featured throughout the event and in all the supporting marketing materials. Your brand should get significant exposure as a result. As a Sponsor, you will not have to deal with the minutiae of planning all the event details but can still reap the benefits of a successful outing. The person or group putting the event together would most likely have already done the work of setting up the venue, ordering food and drinks, and creating a guestlist. As a sponsor, it is up to you to decide how your brand can best benefit from having a presence there. If the group is a good fit for your business, you may want to consider investing in a sponsorship or co-sponsorship.

By Sponsoring an event where your target demographic will be, you are maximizing your investment because you’re paying for direct exposure to the very people you are hoping to reach. You are putting not just a name, but an experience in front of your potential customers. If everyone in attendance has a good time, your brand will really resonate with them – which will greatly boost your profile. Also, some Meetup groups have a Member spotlight where they will select a sponsor to highlight with a dedicated PR piece to send out to all of its members on your behalf for additional exposure.

It is important to keep in mind that sponsorship is not always limited to money. Events vary, but other possible ways to contribute can include:

  • Free giveaways (aka swag). Supports the event but also provides a great opportunity to get your company logo out there
  • Open bar (Liquor companies and distributors do this often)
  • Catering

A great example of this would be if you are a restaurant looking to sponsor a local meetup in the area, you might consider offering free food for the event in exchange for including your name on the marketing materials, a free link on the website and even a prominently featured banner at the event. The benefit here would be introducing the members of the meetup group that live in the area but may not have been familiar with your restaurant, and potentially turning them into regular customers.

Remember to Take Pictures 

Whether you decide to Sponsor or Host an event or meetup group, keep in mind that having a photographer or videographer there to capture moments will allow the event to be memorialized online. This will certainly give you a lot of ammo to your future PR efforts and provide your company with a way to maximize your investment.

If you’re interesting in sponsoring our meetup group please feel free to contact us.