17 Event Sponsorship Ideas

So you’ve sponsored an event. Here are some sponsorship ideas on how you can capitalise on the opportunity to engage more people. 

Sponsorship ideas are essentially limited by your creativity, as well as the legal side of the sponsorship contract too. So it’s essential you get to know what can and can’t be done at the event and become friendly with the organisers.

The ideas below are just some ideas and by all means is it an extensive list of sponsorship ideas. That being said it’s always nice to have a starting point to gauge potential opportunities and what may not be so good.

VIP Areas


There’s something about exclusivity that makes events feel even more memorable, they provide bragging rights that go far and beyond the event.

Consider this a tactical opportunity too as you can provide promotional staff to hand out refreshments and provide some background information at the same time.

VIP areas should be provided as a rest and recuperation spot for the important people at an event. Not only do you get to mingle with influencers and key individuals, your brand or product also gets in front of multiple eyes.

Photo Booths


Always a welcome addition to any event, having a large physical Instagram frame provides a great way to spread a key message and brand further.

Adding in props that have not overly branded will also ensure that the event’s antics are projected further and alongside your brand.

Red Carpet Photoshoot


Maybe photobooths are just not a good fit for the event. What you could do instead is provide a red carpet for VIPs and ambassadors to arrive and have their photo snapped.

With the red carpet, you can add a branded backdrop so every shot that is taken, has your brand or product plastered all over it. Again it’s a nice way to spread brand awareness in a subtle way.

Secret Previews


Similar to the VIP areas this is all about eliciting the feeling of exclusivity and nothing gets better than secret previews.

The great thing about secret previews is that people will always talk about them, they will probably remember the brand, product, and event incredibly vividly too just because of the secrecy and exclusivity.

This could be considered a pop-up event opportunity, by working alongside the event hosts you should be able to wriggle in a secret event, especially if the event itself becomes a memorable part of the preview.

Guided Tours


This is location dependent but can be extremely interesting and fun. With a guided tour you will need to consider your audience, location and how it will work with your audience.

I’ve been to events in locations that are incredibly interesting and would love to have looked around more but without a ticket or access, it’s often not the case.

By providing an additional experience such as this it’s a great way to build rapport with the consumers.

Lounges


Lounges and seating areas are always a welcome site for event goers. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from all of the information and action and to just take a few to recover.

This is where you should be providing the brunt of branded goods as people are less likely to want to listen to pitches they may still be curious about your brand and product, ultimately picking up a leaflet or visiting your website.

Play Areas


We’re all big kids at heart and there’s nothing more connecting then challenging someone to a giant Jenga-off during an event, the winner gets to decide when the meeting happens.

Whilst this adds some more interactivity in a creative fashion there may be people who just want to chill out.

So another option would be to create a chill-out zone where you have provided branded bean bags or swinging chairs with refreshments and charging stations. During these periods of relaxation, people are likely to pick up any reading material that you have around to gather some further information.

Promotional Staff

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When done right promotional staff can be the most effective asset at any event.

Having promotional staffing members at the event, wearing branded clothing and handing out branded goods is always a winner as they are not static and if a location appears not to be ideal, you just move on.

Rather than contending inside the event with everyone else you could place promotional staff just outside of the location to greet visitors and hand out branded goods.

Whilst it’s an incredibly quick touch-point it still gets people’s minds going and with the excitement of the event they are likely to check out your products and information.

Brand Ambassadors


Similar to promotional staff but with some ‘fame’ or social media clout will provide excitement for event goers, especially if brand ambassadors are famous within the industry or niche.

Bring together the ambassador and various other sponsorship ideas such as VIP areas and photobooths and you now have multiple touch points with visitors to the event.

A memorable moment, check. Sharing the experience via images or content online, check. Great ideas from yourself, check.

Goody Bags


The go-to favourite as a sponsorship idea, providing goody bags is a great way to get attention outside of the event itself. If branded well then the bags will, potentially, be on display on public transport and whilst visitors walk around shops, restaurants, hotels etc.

This sponsorship idea is a great way to also increase your chances of social media reach as the contents can and will be photographed and shared online.

Lockers & Bag Drops

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It seems mundane, probably has little to nothing to do with your brand and product but the lockers or bag drop area is one that will be a welcome sight as people arrive and need to drop bags off and throughout the day as more and more goody bags are picked up.

To take advantage of the opportunity you could also do something interesting inside the lockers by leaving a small notepad and pen or a booklet.

Headshot Studio

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It’s nice to have a great headshot for professional purposes but getting around to having it done professionally rarely happens. So having someone taking headshots for you at the event is a massive plus as it kills two birds with one stone.

If you really want to crank up the contact information collection you should provide these headshots for, dare I say it, free and in return, you get emails and numbers.

Again this is all down to budget and getting mates rates with the photographer taking these headshots too.

Charging Stations

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Live streaming, social media updates, emails, phone calls, photos and everything else that is associated with events is a drain on any devices battery. I’m stating the obvious but this isn’t great.

Practicality and convenience always go down well, especially when you’ve walked 2 miles around the same few square metres and now raining flat on device charge and energy.

Depending on the budget for this you can have a simple plugin station or a set and forget which leaves devices locked away.

Workshops/Sessions


You could consider this a brand activation opportunity especially if you happen to be more product focused. Getting product into people’s hands is vital and a sponsored session or workshop is an ideal way to do this.

If you refer back to the promotional staffing idea you will have a great way to attract and engage people at the event and increase the chances of being memorable especially if you could down the experiential marketing route.

Branded Lighting

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Printed materials cost money and as the size of the event increases so does the required number of leaflets, posters, banners etc.

If the venue happens to have vast amounts of wallage you should consider having some ‘branded’ lighting. Think the Batman light shining into the sky but instead it’s your brand.

This will save on printing costs, plus help the event become more environment-friendly which is vital in this day and age when plastics and paper are used wildly within events.

Demo Stations

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A great way to show off hardware or software is to provide a working demo station with product specialists onboard to help explain things and run-through the demo.

This is great for software providers as they can try to engage with event goers who are likely to be the target customer which ensures that you skip the early stages of the funnel and hop right into the education stage.

Smart Badges

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The business card needs to step into the new age of technology. Part of the environmental impact of events is that they are very paper heavy and business cards tend to get thrown out of forgotten about.

You should take this opportunity to try and provide smart badges and readers that are branded with your logos. If there’s anything that can be done afterward such as sending the contact file via your brand’s email address etc then try that too.

The repetitive reminders of your brand will stick but be certain that the audience is your perfect customer otherwise your brand and information will be completely passed by.

Livestreaming


Some people may not be able to make it to the event for a variety of reasons. Why not give them the opportunity to view the keynotes, talks or anything of significance at the event via a Livestream.

The event will get exposure, your followers and customers will get access to something exclusive and interesting and provide you with a bunch of content opportunities post-event too.

Conclusion

With events and sponsorships, you need to now get very creative. There’s so much going on out there with people all trying to draw attention here and there so having the basic sponsorship collateral just won’t work or really carry any mindshare post-event.

It’s about getting creative, understanding that there’s plenty of technology out there to assist you and try to reduce the impact that events tend to have on the environment.

Got some other ideas? Let me know in the comments below!