Maximise your influence and ROI as an event sponsor

Crush it as an event sponsor: Our blueprint to maximise your impact and ROI

Bit Famous works with businesses and organisations
to help them communicate with confidence.

By Penny Haslam

MD and Founder - Bit Famous

Penny Haslam

How to maximise your influence and ROI as an event sponsor. Sponsoring an event is a powerful way to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and build relationships with customers and prospects. However, despite investing significant resources, many sponsors fail to maximise their return on investment (ROI). Many sponsors struggle to stand out, fail to connect with the audience, or simply miss opportunities to make a lasting impression. 

In this post, we'll explore how to sponsor an event with impact and influence, focusing on four key tactics:

  • Keynote speaking 
  • Panel discussions 
  • Breakout sessions 
  • PLUS Employee evangelists. 

By the end of this post, you'll have a better understanding of how to make the most of your event sponsorship and leave a lasting impression on delegates.

Bit Famous has a range of solutions to help event sponsors including keynote preparation coachingpresentation skills training and panel discussion training.

Unless you have impact and influence your sponsorship cash isn't money well spent 

As an event sponsor, you have a unique opportunity to share your message, purpose, and values with hundreds of delegates. However, too often sponsors miss the mark by failing to clearly explain why they're involved. Mistakes include:

  • Offering a generic message that fails to engage delegates
  • Providing lacklustre keynote speeches or talks 
  • Not sharing expertise during event panel discussions
  • Wasting opportunities to engage with delegates by simply offering merchandise at stands and stalls 
  • Failing to deploy enthusiastic and engaged employee brand ambassadors to share their positive experience of your organisation.

As a result, sponsors often miss out on valuable opportunities to engage with potential customers, clients, employees, investors, or stakeholders. Here are my three steps to better sponsorship:

1. Event sponsorship - It's crucial to nail your sponsor's keynote address

Depending on your level of sponsorship you'll be offered the chance to make a keynote speech or talk. Addressing a packed hall of eager delegates early on day one of an event is a superb opportunity. However, here are some common issues:

  • The talk is too generic, not written for this specific audience and doesn't address the delegate's reasons for attending
  • The keynote just focuses on you (the sponsor) and your success as a business
  • The talk has no "wiifm" (What's in it for me?) messaging for attendees
  • It offers little expertise or take-home value
  • Has no call-to-action for the delegates. In other words, what do you want the audience to feel, think and do after they have heard you speak?

At Bit Famous we believe if you are going to invest tens of thousands of pounds as a sponsor, you must place yourself at the centre of the conversation at an event. Offering value to delegates through your experience and expertise.

We are specialists in helping organisations craft compelling talks and keynotes so you can clearly explain:

  • What you are offering 
  • How can you help 
  • Why delegates should care 
  • How they can achieve, follow, and aspire to that great thing you're talking about. 

By placing your organisation at the centre of the issues and conversation at an event, you and your brand will become more memorable, likeable and appear more trustworthy.

2. Event sponsorship - Maximise your impact with exceptional panel discussions 

Panel discussions are a key feature at all events and as a sponsor, you should be involved. 

Being a moderator or panellist is an opportunity to shake hands with everyone in the room. Do a great job and you are instantly seen as someone with expertise, with your organisation getting noticed for what it does too. Unfortunately, many people shy away from this fantastic chance because of fear or uncertainty.

Like most things, however, as soon as we get some practical experience and professional guidance under our belt, our concerns vanish.

If you are a business needing support and training for hosting and panellist skills, discover our panel discussion training.

If you are an individual why not read my panel discussions book or read my panel discussions free resources.

3. Event sponsorship - Create impact by unleashing your fabulous employee evangelists

I'd encourage you to rethink a leaders-only approach to who you take with you to the event you are sponsoring. Why not bring a team of employees from across the business to act as ambassadors?

Having employee brand champions at the event can be incredibly beneficial. They can help to increase brand awareness, loyalty and attract new customers or clients. It can also boost your employee morale and engagement. Remember, customers or clients are more likely to trust and do business with a company that has passionate and knowledgeable employees who truly believe in the organisation's values and mission.

So how could your people create value at a sponsored event?

Here are just a few ideas, your employee ambassadors could:

  • Share your purpose and values while networking and meeting delegates
  • Facilitate a break-out networking event
  • Run workshops or offer mentoring sessions
  • Create self-filmed smartphone video or post on social about your involvement in an authentic way
  • Record a mini-podcast series interviewing delegates or discussing themes of the event 
  • Demonstrate your commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Are you about to sponsor an event? Get in touch for a no-obligation discovery call to find out how we can help. 

If you are a business needing support and training for employee brand ambassadors consider booking The Bit Famous Workshop for your team.

If you are an individual or aspiring leader why not read my book Make Yourself a Little Bit Famous, it's my guide to powering up your profile and getting known for what you do.

The Penny Haslam podcast is also packed with tips for raising your profile and getting known, liked and trusted.