Choosing the right event or sponsorship is a lot like choosing a mate. With unlimited options available, sometimes it¹s hard to make the right choice. To assess an event and find a rationale for buying into it, or rejecting it, run it through our Event Checklist and see how it stacks up.

Is It Hot, Or Not?

Check an event’s attendance history. Is it gaining or waning in popularity? Associating your brand with events that have dwindling interest or bad raps could have negative implications for your brand.

Weigh The Options. 

Most events offer tiered sponsorship packages, each with a laundry list of supporting elements like pre-event publicity, signage, advertisement in program materials, media mentions, category exclusivity, etc. Be sure to weigh the benefits of each element of your event package against your objectives. You may want to “order a la carte.” And remember, when the time comes, be a tough negotiator.

Can You Afford It?

How much of your budget will this event consume, and how does that compare to other promotional opportunities?

Know Your Limitations.

Most events have restrictions and it pays to know them up front. (No projectiles! No balloons! No stickers! No helium tanks! No sampling!) Try to avoid future bumps by clearly outlining your plan with the event organizer in advance (in writing).

Do Your Homework.

Don’t rely on the event’s website for all your information. Dig deeper. Talk to past sponsors. Check blogs, yelp and local news coverage. You may be surprised what you uncover.

Define Your Objectives & Set Your Success Metrics.

Do you want to create an engaging, trial-focused experience, generate buzz, establish a deeper relationship with existing customers or “all of the above?” Without clear objectives, you won’t have anything to measure the event against. Once you’re established objectives, create a measurement strategy to gauge how your objectives are being met.

Target The Right Audience.

Make sure the event’s audience demographics (age, gender, income) and psychographics (personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles) are a good fit for your brand. Most events will provide a detailed audience profile. If they don’t have one, that should raise a red flag. If they do, ask how they got the information.

Is It A Good Fit?

Like brands, events have their own distinct personality and tone. Being associated with the wrong event could send a negative message to your target audience. Simple rule of thumb: if you can’t make an organic connection between your brand and an opportunity, chances are your audience isn’t going to get it either.

Are You In Good Company?

What other companies will be participating in the event? Will your competition be there? It’s also extremely important to make sure there are no competitive conflicts that could adversely affect your plan.

Analyze Attendance Figures.

High attendance figures are important but they’re not everything. Sometimes smaller, niche events can deliver more target-right traffic and social marketing opportunities.

Posted on July 6, 2012 in Intelligence

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