Get Killer Event Sponsorship ROI

As a MarketingProfs event sponsor, your brand will take center stage in front of hundreds of influential and forward-thinking marketing professionals, many of whom have decision-making power and are actively seeking ways to enhance their current marketing efforts.

That makes event sponsorships your perfect opportunity to build brand recognition, demo new products, build (or strengthen) relationships, and receive the highest quality leads.

But that doesn’t mean all you need to do is show up to the party. To reap the greatest rewards from these in-person events, you need to come prepared and ready to stand out in the crowd. Here are some great tips to make it happen.

Set the Stage

If you want to have the booth that has everyone talking, then you better be ready to bring your “A” game. The first step in this process? Making sure to staff your booth with your most charming, knowledgeable people. These folks should be equipped to engage attendees, answer questions, and cultivate interest in your brand without requiring marketing advice from our event staff (really, it’s happened!).

Secondly, you’ll want to create some pre-event buzz by reaching out to attendees before the event. If your sponsorship includes access to a pre-show list of registered attendees (or a pre-event email drop), send each a quick, introductory message to drive traffic to your booth (an exclusive giveaway or discount offer can work wonders here). Including fun, quirky items in our highly sought-after attendee swag bag or at your booth is highly encouraged, and we're happy to offer suggestions and/or vendors.

Here are a few more tips to consider as you prep for the big day:

  • DO get personal with your attendees and use their names in all communications. Generic greetings such as “Dear Attendee” just don’t cut it anymore.
  • DO provide access to a free trial if you think it makes sense to do so. You’ll enjoy deeper and more relevant discussions at the show when attendees are already familiar with your brand.
  • DO think about your lead scoring system in advance and discuss this with your event staffers.

It’s Showtime!

With the big day upon you, it’s important to arrive early enough so that your booth is all set up and ready to go before the attendee flood gates open. Your goal here should be to make your booth as inviting and attractive as possible. As you design your space, think of creating comfortable spaces that will draw visitors to you. Giving away fun, innovative swag never hurt, either.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that even the most attractive booth won’t sell itself. Your number one priority should be interacting with attendees, so stay off your computer, put your phone away, and stand out in front of your booth or table (no sitting!). Be proactive and focus on having a handful of productive conversations. It’s all about quality, not quantity—there are no prizes awarded for collecting the greatest number of names.

It’s also important to attend the sessions, mingle on the event floor, and attend social events as time permits. Acquiring new customers doesn’t mean pitching your goods everywhere and to everyone, so be sure to have real conversations and make real connections with people. They’ll pay off. Make sure you have at least one other staffer on deck so that you can cover ground without abandoning your booth.

The following DOs and DON’Ts will help ensure your success at the show:

  • DO engage attendees with small talk to get the conversation moving: Where are they from? How are they enjoying the sessions? Once they seem comfortable, then the conversation can turn to business.
  • DO remember that attendees are not walking badges. Build relationships first, then scan.
  • DO be respectful of the floor plan. There are a lot of variables we consider when determining booth placement, and we aim to provide the best results for everyone—including attendees. Please don’t ask us to change it.
  • DON’T leave before the show comes to an end. There’s nothing worse than booths in various stages of disassembly before the last session leaves (except maybe attendees who leave their booth space a mess). Please clean up after yourselves.
  • DO make sure you keep walkways and common areas clean and clear. This will be enforced by the fire marshal for everyone’s safety.

The Encore

Once the show is over and everyone heads back home, it’s time to follow up with those great leads you collected. It’s important to give folks time to process the event and get settled back into their regular routines, so allow a few days of breathing room before picking up the phone (or shooting out that automated email). When it’s time, tailor your follow-up so that it directly relates to the conversation you had at the show (notes may be helpful here). If you didn’t have a long conversation, a more generic follow-up is fine, too.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re sponsoring our flagship B2B Marketing Forum or one of our local happy hours, the key is to relax and enjoy yourself. We want everyone to have fun, so whether it’s games, performances, or even magic, bringing a level of playfulness to your booth is not only welcomed, it’s encouraged! You’re vying for the attention of savvy marketing professionals, after all, so step up and rise to their level. Not only will you maximize your ROI by attracting more attention to your booth, but you’ll add to the overall enjoyment of the event. It’s a win-win.

Your B2B Marketing Forum Hostess-With-The-Mostest,

Courtney