Friday, September 2, 2016

Outside the Lines

Companies aren’t looking to sponsor events, they’re looking for marketing opportunities.
Ed Lord

Event producers are lousy, on the whole, at designing 21st century sponsorships, and at helping sponsors activate them.

Far too often, they pitch sponsorships as if they were seeking the charitable funds necessary to defray operating costs. And just as often they vamoose after the sale, leaving sponsors feeling like castaways.

But sponsors don't want to be funders; they want to be thought leaders. And sponsors don't want to blend into the wallpaper; they want to be integral to the attendee experience.

The good news: one in two event producers wants to improve, according to research by GES. "They're willing to take a look at new opportunities that allow sponsors to customize the relationships they have with eventers—resulting in a win-win-win connection," says EVP David Saef.

Event producers who are delivering win-win-win connections are coloring outside the lines—some outside their industries; others, outside their venues.

Live Nation partnered with Hertz to enable concertgoers to rent cars when they bought concert tickets on line. Live Nation then cordoned off the parking spots in front of each concert venue—the best ones of all—for exclusive use by Hertz rental customers. The company also allowed the customers to go backstage to meet the performers.

Wound Ostemy and Continence Nurses Society created a 21st century sponsorship for device manufacturer ConvaTec by leveraging event content.

The society partnered with ConvaTec to livestream its annual conference to nurses unable to attend the face-to-face event. 
An average of 150 nurses attended each livestreamed conference session, generating brand awareness and leads for ConvaTec outside the venue.
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