Four women at an equal rights conference in 1922 courtesy the US Library of Congress on Flickr Commons who was their event sponsor

Four women at an equal rights conference in 1922 (courtesy the U.S. Library of Congress on Flickr Commons)


An event sponsor wants quality interactions with prospective clients who attend an event – interactions that allow sponsors to demonstrate the benefits of their product/service and build trust.

Too many event sponsorship options fall short of this. Plastering a logo around and rattling off event sponsor names during a noisy conference luncheon is not quality interaction.

Instead, they are “listed in the program guide,” crowded onto various plastic banners and rotating PowerPoint slides, and get “shout-outs on social media.” Maybe they get the emails of attendees, so they can send out blasts that leave recipients saying, “I never signed up for this!” followed by Unsubscribe. Or at least, that’s what I do to the inevitable post-conference email wave from rando companies.

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Let’s address the issue of those social media shout-outs.

They’re usually an image of the sponsor’s logo, and their account on that social platform is tagged (but not always, which is a fail) with a blurb saying, “We couldn’t do it without you.” The tagged sponsor almost never comes over to interact with the post, either, but that’s a whole OTHER pet peeve of mine about missed opportunities on social media.

I scroll right past those sponsor shout-out social posts because, well, they’re boring. I’ll bet the engagement rate on those posts is terrible. Telling a sponsor that you’ll give them a shout-out to your “X” number of followers is not much of a benefit if only 12 of those followers actually see the post in their feed because the algorithm sees them as not engaging, then buries them.

Instead, why not . . .

  • Share a (trackable) link to one of the sponsor’s recent blog posts that is a good fit for the event audience?
  • Share a link to their About page, or explanation of services page from their website?
  • Have the sponsor write an interesting guest blog post, or even a short series, for the event’s blog, and/or a series of helpful tips in the event’s email newsletter? This may require some firm guidance and editing, because not all vendors can resist the hard sell in their writing, but train ’em up. 😊
  • Record a short audio interview (with a transcript for those who’d rather skim than listen) or share a fun, informative short custom video?

A sponsor wants to get business from an event’s audience. To do that, they need to:

1) Introduce themselves to attendees who may have never heard of them.

2) Build trust, and,

3) Demonstrate the benefits of their product or service, and explain what problem it solves.

A screenshot of a logo doesn’t do any of the three, except maybe serve as an introduction, and it does a poor job of even that.

I’d also point out that if the event organization is weak on their own social media – few followers, crummy engagement, inconsistent posting – it’s not much of a benefit to be featured there.

Most audiences understand the importance of sponsors for events, and are willing to consider hiring them, but only if the sponsor offers the best solution for their particular problem.

If you were to sponsor an event, what would you want in exchange for that sponsorship?

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