chapter 38

Sponsor an Event

Sponsoring events is an age old form of marketing that can be really hit or miss. A lot of larger companies will send their “marketing team” out with a table and a banner and call it a day. This “throw it and see if it sticks” approach will probably get you nowhere. With that said, we're now going to show you how to make the most out sponsoring an event and how it can lead to some serious sales on your end.

Picking the Right Events

You’ll get a lot of offers, whether by mail, email or in person, to attend events all over the country. But instead of randomly selecting any event, you really want to know if the right attendees will be present. You know – attendees that will make loyal customers and raging evangelists.

Here’s a simple recipe for picking the right events:

  1. Place priority on events where consumers will attend – At the end of the day, these are the people you really want to talk to. This is where you can collect feedback, add to your marketing lists and make real relationships with future evangelists.
  2. Pick events where people will actually be interested in your business – This may sound obvious, but if you just go to some local fundraiser, you’re probably not targeting your ideal audience. 
  3. Sort by cost – Most events will charge for a table and for other extras like banner space. Sort all the data you have collected and go to the events you have time for based on a priority of which events will be the most beneficial. It’s easy to casually select events without really looking at all the information you have. But don’t be lazy – think about what’s going to work best for your business. 

Charting up-coming events and getting a little information about them can save you from wasting your time and focusing on what events are the most beneficial for your business.

Demo Your Products

A lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of coming to the event with just a table, a banner and some flyers. If you run an ecommerce business, bring products to sell. Having tangible merchandise that can wow event goers and that they can even purchase from you brings you much closer to gaining lifetime customers.

Bring a laptop or tablet with you, so that consumers can make purchases at your table and become registered customers at the same time.

Now, if you produce your own products than product demonstrations are a must. Your job is to expose your product to the world so make sure it’s there at the event!

Give Them Something to Talk About

At any trade show or event, you can choose to have a boring and typical table like everyone else has – or you can have the table that stands out. As a matter of fact, don’t bother attending events or trade shows without having an awesome spread ready to go first.

So what do you do? What do you bring?

  • Bring your Purple Cow products – These are the products that get people talking. You want to be able to start conversations with people and build relationships on the spot.
  • Tell Your Story – It’s important to address why you started your business. Hopefully you have an inspirational story that you can tell event goers. We recommend watching a Ted Talk done by Simon Sinek entitled: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action. It’s about how the best businesses like Apple Computers operate differently by the way they communicate their company purpose. A lot of people who watch this video completely redefine how they approach business after watching it.

Collect Email Addresses And Facebook Likes 

As you engage people at the event(s), for the people that seem really interested in your story or your products – ask them to Like your Facebook page on the spot or join your mailing list. You can also try to incentivize more Likes with giveaways:

  • Free stickers
  • Coupon Codes or Discounts
  • Free beverages – what better way to keep an event going by giving away free liquids for Likes. You might be the most popular table at the entire venue, and you’re marketing list might skyrocket.

Remember what we said earlier: You’re there to build relationships with future customers and people who will become die-hard evangelists of your brand, not to mention make a few on-the-spot sales while you're at it. So with that in mind, make sure to design your table, pitch and your marketing around relationship building.

Next chapter

39. Distribute Flyers

3 min

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