Finding and retaining sponsors is one of the biggest challenges event planners face. That means it’s important to think creatively—and strategically—about how to display sponsors at your event.
Visibility, after all, impacts how sponsors measure event ROI (return on investment). The more impressions your sponsors get, the more engagement they have with your attendees.
But meeting those expectations isn’t easy. Nearly half of event planners struggle to find sponsors, which speaks to how often sponsors churn.
The ideal scenario, then, is to retain as many sponsors as possible from event to event. The better you maximize impressions, the better your odds. Here are seven ideas for how to display sponsors at an event.
7 Ideas for How to Display Sponsors at an Event
1. Optimize Your Event App Content
An event app is the perfect place to promote your sponsors. Unlike static event signage, in-app sponsored content is actionable, trackable, customizable, and maximizes reach each time they open the app.
Every piece of sponsored content can convert into a desired action. You can give directions to a sponsor’s booth, distribute a discount code, and more. With an app, you can track exactly how your attendees engage with that content. You can’t do any of that with static ads or signs.
And when it comes to customizing and personalizing sponsored content, branded splash pages, push notifications, and banner ads are a great choice. You can push ads to the right people at the right time and increase brand awareness for your sponsors all in one.
You can use any of these strategies to give your sponsors more visibility (just make sure your event app has those options).
2. Create Sponsored Wi-Fi Network Names & Passwords
“What’s the Wi-Fi password?”
That’s one of the first questions attendees ask when they arrive. Get creative here and name the Wi-Fi network after a specific sponsor. Or customize the password so that whenever a new person connects, they learn something unique about one of your sponsors. For instance, a fun fact or a mascot’s name.
Having a good Wi-Fi connection is integral to the event experience, so use it as an opportunity to call attention to your sponsors.
3. Promote Sponsors Across All Venue Screens
Broaden the space you have to showcase sponsors by using all of the venue’s available screens. Live Display makes it easy to promote sponsors on monitors, projection screens, and more.
Live Display can show sponsor messages, logos, banners, and pictures to attendees in a bold yet non-disruptive way. As attendees check displays for leaderboard updates, social wall posts, and more, they catch glimpses of your sponsors.
That exposure means more impressions, which means better event ROI for your sponsors.
4. Encourage Sponsorship Beyond the Usual
Unique programming such as fitness classes, dedicated work areas, and even healthy snack stations are all great ways to create unique attendee experiences.
They’re also perfect opportunities to promote your sponsors.
INBOUND does a great job of this by branding lounges and other high-traffic locations. Each one encourages attendees to interact with a sponsor in a unique way.
Take, for example, an ASICS-sponsored workout studio. ASICS provided exercise classes, massages, and competitions, all in the studio space. Attendees then amplified those experiences with the #MoveAtINBOUND hashtag. While attendees had fun networking and working out, they engaged with the ASICS brand.
5. Offer Sponsored Charging Stations
For attendees who forget their charger, a charging station looks like an oasis. Set your sponsors up to look like heroes by offering these stations as brand opportunities. They can throw their logo on the station, their colors, and maybe even showcase one of their products.
Not only will attendees appreciate the chance to charge their devices, but sponsors will also love being associated as helpful in attendees’ minds.
6. Provide Sponsored Photo Opportunities
The better the event experience, the more likely attendees are to share it. Photo and GIFs opportunities are great not just to inspire social posts, but also to drive value to your sponsors.
For instance, if you use Polaroid-like framing, sponsors can include their branding on it. If you use a photo booth, include the sponsor’s HQ in the backdrop, and use logos or mascots for props. If done correctly, you’ll create fun for your attendees and give your sponsors high visibility.
7. Create an Event Game
If you want to ensure that attendees are engaging with your sponsors, event gamification is a great way to incentivize them.
For instance, you could make a challenge like, “Meet with Google at Booth 101, and learn more about their new cloud offerings to earn 100 points!” To get the points, attendees will have to speak with sponsors, which boosts engagement, visibility, and ROI.
Attendees get to be part of some fun competition, and sponsors benefit too.
Event Check-In: To Sponsor or Not to Sponsor?
If you can guarantee a smooth and amazing check-in experience, your sponsors will want to be a part of it.
They can include some fun imagery, brand colors, and more to keep attendees’ energy up while in line.
G2 Reach, for example, had a streamlined check-in process that was sponsored. Attendees got in quickly with no frustrations and the sponsor got recognition from the start.
Attracting and securing sponsors is hard work. But if you continually seek creative ways for how to display sponsors at an event, you’ll do more than continue driving impressions. You’ll also retain more sponsors, giving you more time to focus on creating incredible experiences for your attendees.