How to Sell Event Sponsorship Packages

Every event, regardless of whether it’s a press conference, an exhibition, a private gathering or even a music festival, is ripe for backing from sponsors. A big event can attract tens of thousands of people through its doors, giving advertisers the chance to get their brand in front of a huge crowd of people.

Smaller events are also primed for involvement from sponsors, provided the right sort of opportunities can help the investor gain a return on their investment. Consider the sponsoring of specific categories at an industry award ceremony, where advertisers can receive free tables to help them entertain clients on the night, or an option to speak at a private event.

A creative mind can find a sponsor for just about anything; from a table to a stand, across to an area of the venue or even the event itself. You too can adopt a smart approach to selling sponsorship packages if you’re prepared to leave no stone unturned in finding the right people to take them.



Here are five easy tips we’ve picked up from companies that are using our platform to run sponsor-rich events:

  • Develop a list of prospects

Starting with the very basic matters, it pays to have something which outlines key sponsors, what they sell and the scale of their operation.

All too often you’ll find a salesperson trying to get a very small company to purchase their top-tier package. Some are too kind to say “no” at the start, leading to weeks upon weeks of failed attempts at converting the opportunity.

You can start to outline potential big spenders by connecting your event management platform to a CRM in order to gather information on past attendees. If someone has been to the last couple of events, perhaps they’d like to increase their presence next year? Once you’ve established a good list of prospects, you can work on creating the packages that suit their business.

  • Match companies to offers

The level up to having knowledge of sponsors would be to actually craft opportunities around who they are. For instance, if I’m a business operating in the mobile app space, I might be interested in a package that includes sponsoring the official event app due to its marriage to my core values.

Some events will go above and beyond with very unique opportunities to cater for their top investors, like Bavarian beer gardens for sponsors based in Germany, or networking areas for businesses that connect people or things.

If you want to really impress the sponsors, you’ll have to go the extra mile to learn about each company and their brand connotations.    



  • Get there early

The weeks leading up to an event can be a hubbub of organised chaos, fuelled by the sales reps that need to sell the last few opportunities. Every year they’ll rue the chance to start selling a little earlier, but does this ever happen?

As soon as the dust has settled on a recurring event, each salesperson should be organising meetings with existing sponsors to gauge their feedback and areas for improvement before presenting options for the new year. This plants the seed early doors and in a way that isn’t too pushy.

Other approaches might see the use of an email marketing tool, connected to data from an event management platform, to send reminders around sponsorship opportunities to past attendees. Again, this is about keeping the topic on their mind so they are almost anticipating a follow-up when it comes.

Giving yourself a good lead time is an easy route towards ensuring a calmer process of looking for sponsors and getting them on board.

  • Speak to decision makers

Regardless of what you’re selling, whether that’s sponsorship of the entire event or just a type of lanyard, the money will need to be signed off by a decision maker. One error that a lot of junior salespeople make is to get too far in a conversation with someone that has no authority to actually spend money at their company.

Plenty can suggest sponsorship opportunities to their bosses or pass on a message, but only a select few can actually provide the green light. Where possible and appropriate, you should be asking anyone beneath the c-level about the structure of their business and who makes their decisions.

You don’t need to avoid speaking to the initial contact; just suggesting a call with them and their boss provides a way of passing the torch to ensure you’re closer to the investment.



  • Don’t forget the pre-event build-up

Every organiser should be aware of the work that goes into marketing an event before it can open its doors to attendees. Modern-day events have their own websites, social media accounts, apps, blogs and podcasts, each of which beam out messages on a regular basis.

According to research, 74% of consumers engaging with branded event marketing content are more likely to purchase from their sponsor. With that in mind, and provided you can sell the packages early enough, you can effectively incorporate sponsors into some of the activities you’re using to drum up excitement around the event.

For example, if your plan is to commit to bi-weekly episodes of an organiser’s podcast, there is no harm in having a sponsor that is also a recognised industry figure to interview for it. This gives you fresh content and the backing of an extra company to help promote the episode. At the same time, you are making the sponsor feel valued and involved, which is a great place to start.

Protecting Your Event Wi-Fi in Five Simple Steps

Events have now become reliant on technology to function at optimal levels. as well as for powering the organisers’ own devices, which makes it a prime target for potential hackers.  

Event managers are right to be fearful of attacks on their connections, but no technology, router or measure can offer 100% protection against threats. If anything, there is a strange level of reassurance from the fact that cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and unpredictable; if they really want to bring a service down, there isn’t a lot you can do.

Despite the threats, it is possible to run a secure wi-fi connection and this should now form part of any event strategy, especially given that many attacks happen as a result of negligence by the organiser.

The usual suspects

Wi-fi attacks are common and take many different forms. A MiTM incident (short for “man in the middle”) sees the The criminal has a few options with this tactic, but the end goal is to connect the user to a malicious network, where sensitive data can be lifted.

You may also recognise the denial-of-service attack, where hackers overload a network by sending a flood of messages towards it. The network then becomes unavailable due to its crashing under the weight of the requests.



The best way to protect your network is by undertaking small yet vital measures to ensure your name stays off the criminals’ radar. Here are some easy methods of keeping your own house in order:

  • Change your wi-fi details

One of the most common mistakes is made by allowing the wi-fi’s credentials to be altered. Every connection has a login function, meaning every connection provides a chance for an attacker to guess its username and password.

You can save yourself a lot of problems by switching basic details like “admin” and “1234” with something a bit more specific. Think about a term that only you could guess, or consider the use of random password generator for something really obscure.



  • Hide each user’s identity

When hackers can see who’s connected to the wi-fi network, it is possible for them to launch a MiTM attack. Each connection should be administered by someone with enough technical knowledge to prevent this from happening. So long as you’ve requested a way for everyone’s identities to be concealed, you’ll have taken care of the situation on your side.

  • Gain protection against ARP spoofing

Public wi-fi connections are highly susceptible to ARP spoofing, which refers to the act of tricking a computer to send data to a hacker’s machine, as opposed to the router.

These attacks have been the downfall of many public wi-fi networks, although some routers are built in a way that prevents them from happening. You should, therefore, ask the venue if they have pre-configured settings in the network to evade such attacks.

  • Operate with multiple networks

Given that your technology is constantly at risk from the dark forces, you should always aim to limit, rather than avoid, your chances of succumbing to complete disruption.

A method of risk aversion for events is to one for general use by attendees, and the other for devices which help with tasks like registration and image projection. This does not reduce the chance of a network being compromised, but it can prevent hackers from causing problems in more than one area.



  • Make logs for each connection

Provided that someone is making a note of all the people connected to the wi-fi, it becomes very easy for them to see if anyone is accessing a malicious website. This is the kind of proactive move which can prevent attacks at the earliest opportunity, before they can really get started.

We’ll reserve a final mention to the importance of having a trained IT worker to monitor these logs and look out for any suspicious movements. Some venues will have personnel whose role involves the maintenance of wi-fi among other tasks relating to network security. In the same way that you wouldn’t run a busy event without staff or security, you shouldn’t leave your wi-fi unattended.

 

How a New Wave of Technology Could Shape the Future of Events

Picture the scene: you enter an exhibition hall for an event you’re scheduled to attend, armed with just a smartphone to check yourself in and view the day’s agenda. The hall itself is populated by attendees, each wearing wristbands to gauge their temperature and control the setting of the room, ensuring their preferences are met.

Using the event’s dedicated app for guidance, you select a relevant session and arrive at the place where it is being held to find a stage, but with no speaker to fill it. Suddenly, a projector beams the speaker’s image onto the platform where they proceed to deliver their scheduled session in virtual form, taking questions as and when they arrive. It’s the kind of experience that really makes an impression and is a notable addition to your post-event feedback, sent via the same mobile app.

While this scene might be hard to visualise, it could paint a picture of what to expect when heading to a conference or similar in 2020 and beyond. The events industry is on the cusp of embracing a raft of new solutions and concepts that will radically change how they function, the way they’re organised, as well as the experience enjoyed by attendees.

Speaking from afar

One of the latest batch of innovations to attract the attention of event organisers around the world is holographic display. This uses light diffraction to create 3D projections of those positioned in a special studio, removing the need for them to be in the same space as their audience.

Holographic display is the kind of advancement that might seem like a ‘nice to have’, but one that actually makes it easier to manage an agenda of speakers, some of whom cannot be at a far-flung event at the time required.

ARHT Media is one company making a name for itself by using holograms to capture, transmit and project the image of speakers in a dedicated “capture studio”. Its proprietary displays enable each speaker to interact with audience members, allowing for its role in live events and conferences as well as education and training, cinema and professional services.

While holographic display is impressive enough for audience members to enjoy it at face value, Levi Silver, ARHT’s VP of business development for EMEA, is keen to stress how it can help organisers and speakers perform the fundamental task of getting information across to attendees.

By using our technology, an individual can eliminate the barriers of time and geography, reducing the costs associated with travel and saving valuable hours’.  

“Additionally, with the use of our technology a speaker can also appear in multiple places at the same time – simulcasting themselves as a hologram to numerous stages at the same period and increasing their reach exponentially. They can even make themselves available on-demand by pre-recording their hologram and playing it back to audiences.”  

So far so good, in some respects. However, a challenge for companies like ARHT Media lies in getting across to event organisers and breaking into the mainstream. Considering that every organiser has a duty to satisfy attendees, and people naturally expect to see a human on stage, can holograms wade their way into their regular event planning ideas?

This is a very new and emerging technology and in many respects, its presence is unknown to the majority of event planners and producers globally,” says Silver.

Photo via www.hamdan.ae

Often one needs to be able to see the technology in action to truly understand its realistic nature and how best to utilise it in their work. With that in mind, our focus is to reach as many potential clients as we can and showcase our technology through regional demos in key markets.”  

Although some organisers might need more convincing than others, Silver has seen a huge demand for ARHT’s solutions among planners that are looking to strengthen their own image.

We’ve had many early adopters and often find the clients that approach us have sought us out.  Many have very bold and unique ideas and envision their organisations as crafting the way forward in their industry. We celebrate these trendsetters and seek to empower their ideas as it helps spark the masses.

Headsets at the ready

Interactivity is a big focus for many developers that want to improve the overall experience sampled by attendees across different events. Albert Canals had this vision when setting up Forma, a virtual reality specialist that provides immersive journeys within the events sphere.

Although we’ve been experimenting with VR for decades, it only reached the general public fairly recently,” he states, alluding to its growing presence in the gaming industry – a space where Sony, Oculus, HTC and Samsung are vying for users of their own solutions.

A big challenge for people like Albert is around VR’s ability to succeed in an environment where users aren’t actively searching for it. Gaming is slightly different in the way that people have been made aware of VR and how it can work for them. In the case of events, there are some hoops to jump through.

VR is quite a bulky technology that requires a skilled representative to explain the operation to each user,” Canals states. “Then you have the intrusion of companies that have launched VR without considering the experience, implying that there is a high number of bad experiences. ’I tried it and I did not like it’ – you get some of this coming through.”

Despite the obstacles, Canals believes the event industry will realise the potential of VR due to the idea of “feel” being in an embryonic phase. Furthermore, thanks to the investment of gaming companies like Oculus, the concept of VR is already making a charge for the mainstream.

From the middle of 2019 with the appearance of the Oculus Quest, events with virtual reality will multiply and many pitfalls will disappear. It will then be interesting to see what happens once people get used to VR in their home environment and come to an event with expectations for what it needs to do.”

Photo by Forma Disseny

Cracking the market

As the events industry continues to embrace new forms of technology and unique experiences, it will be interesting to see which solutions and concepts manage to make the cut.

Don’t forget, this is a space where organisers are being asked to do more with less, and budget reductions are not uncommon. On the flipside, many of the new technologies that are flooding into the market are built around the idea of making it easier to put on events – offering style as well as substance.

Event management technologies serve as a great example of something that had to win over the industry veterans. Fast forward to the present day and paper-based methods of registering and communicating with attendees are being replaced by solutions which are simplifying many of the tasks that used to extract valuable time from organisers’ schedules.

Silver believes the goal for AHRT is simple: to achieve success, the first step is to get the message out there.

In the coming years, we hope to work with even more event venues and event producers to permanently place our Holographic Display & Capture technology in as many locations around the world.  

“Our goal is to create a global network of these ‘capture and display’ endpoints so that speakers can use them without having to travel.”

As the events industry looks to a future carrying huge amount of promise, its members would be wise to look into the technologies that can ensure their growth can be managed effectively.

The Relationship Between CRM and Event Management Technology

If you run an events business and haven’t heard of customer relationship management (CRM), there’s a good chance that you’re missing a trick.

CRM refers to the process of being able to effectively manage the relationships that a business has with the people that come in contact with it. Though CRM encompasses lots of different strategies, each requiring of input from several departments, it’s mainly used to describe the technology that records, analyses and responds to customer interactions.

Such is the popularity of these solutions across a range of different industries, Gartner names CRM as the world’s largest software market, with annual spend of $39.5 billion in 2017. Indeed, many businesses are getting a tune out of CRM, and events are certainly in amongst the areas where its presence is greatly appreciated.

What does CRM mean for events?

To demonstrate the impact of CRM in a cut-and-dry manner, let’s say you’re an agency running a conference on the behalf of a client. The event is going to attract over 2,000 delegates and it’s your job to ensure strong sales of passes and satisfy everyone that enters the venue.

CRM helps by enabling you to collect all the data that naturally flows through your business. When someone registers for a pass, you can use CRM to log their personal information (e.g. address, email, phone number) and any extra details.

It might be that they have a unique requirement for food or transport to the venue. CRM enables you to record this information and use it to communicate with attendees on a more personal level.

But that’s not all. Lots of events businesses still use email and even paper-based systems to manage attendee records and assess each visitor’s requirements on the day. This is an outdated approach that results in hours of time wasted in trying to find certain information, as well as presenting obvious risks when considering the loss of physical documents.

Here are four benefits that CRM can unlock straight away:

  1. Access to information: If ever you need to check the status of an attendee (their type of pass or unique requirement) you can search and find their record in seconds.
  2. Improved monetisation opportunities: When someone downloads information around exhibition stands or premium tickets, the CRM can notify a member of the sales team to follow up.
  3. More accountability: Storing information in a database avoids the risk of losing physical copies of the same details.
  4. Better service: Linking your ‘contact us’ button to a CRM enables you to categorise questions around an event and work through the most time-sensitive ones.

Each of these points feeds into strategic event management and a more logical way of running any type of gathering, whether that’s an exhibition, a press conference a private event or something completely different.

How CRM works with event management software

Thankfully the advantages of using purpose-built technology in managing events and attendees are starting to filter through. Many organisers now use event management platforms to help them with tasks like registering attendees and these are the groups that can really benefit from CRM integration.

When a delegate registers for an event, their first contact is with a system that records their details. These platforms are often powered by automation, which saves someone from having to physically send over ticket confirmation and anything else the visitor might need.

Their information can then be passed through to the CRM for the gold standard in managing customers. If someone checks out on a premium pass, they may be entitled to extras which need to be fulfilled by a member of the event team. Details from within the CRM can outline exactly who they are and what they require.

The easiest way to explain this symbiotic relationship is by thinking of event management technology as the perfect method of obtaining information from customers, or attendees. Further down the line, a CRM offers the perfect way of organising this information and ensuring it can be accessed by any person when it is needed.

By integrating an event management platform with CRM, an organiser has an easy route towards better engagement with attendees, a centralised view of data and more accountability around their operation.

How can I integrate CRM within my own events business?

Even if you’re not currently using an event management platform, a CRM or you’re struggling with the integration phase, it’s very easy to get going.

Our latest whitepaper explains the link between CRM and event management technology in detail, as well as giving you pointers on the technical set up.

You’ll also learn about some of the hidden advantages of using the pair to run your events and the exact areas where they really earn their keep.

Download your copy now in the sidebar form.

You can know more about our event software solutions here.

 

Why Technology is the Key to Improved Event Registration

A hallmark of any well-organised event is a smooth and efficient process for registering attendees. Often the very first stage in an event’s lifecycle, it remains a hotbed for mistakes.

We’ve all been to a conference, an exhibition or private gathering that hasn’t quite mastered the art of admission, whether through failing to send a confirmation or misplacing attendee records, leading to plenty of confusion on the day.

Each of these mishaps can stem from human error, but – as forgivable as that should be – it’s not quite good enough in today’s day and age.

Event managers now have access to a range of affordable solutions that can seamlessly guide them through the task of registering attendees without the usual drain on time and resources.

Email and paper-based systems should be banished to the history books; in their place, technology capable of breaking down the long and arduous tasks that make events even harder to run.



Why technology is important

A new, more advanced way of registering attendees comes at a crucial time for the events industry. Now worth a reported £42.3 billion in the UK alone, this rising market value has come as a result of increased competitiveness which is forcing event managers to do more with less.

As a way of elaborating on some of the caveats of today’s “thriving” industry, did you know that:

  • Three-quarters (75%) of event organisers grew their number of events year on year in 2017
  • Despite plans for growth, 50% intended to keep the same budget for running them
  • Only 45% of organisers planned on recruiting new staff to manage an increased workload
  • The readings come courtesy of C&IT’s ‘State of the Industry’ report, in which managing growth was cited as a key concern by event managers.

The current forecast points to these professionals having shorter lead times, bigger calendars and busier schedules. It’s why technology has emerged as a saviour, enabling huge reductions in the time it tasks to register attendees as well as adding new elements to the customer experience.



Registration made easier

If there’s one way to summarise the role of event management technology in registering attendees, it would be that it takes care of the time-sapping tasks that people just assume need to be carried out in a physical manner.

It also brings registration closer to some of the other functions carried out by the organiser, like communicating with visitors and helping with the construction of event marketing strategies. Here is a typical journey before a conference, exhibition or similar:

  1. The technology is linked to a website or app for registering attendees and collecting information on their requirements. Even if someone doesn’t check out, their details can be logged for future marketing initiatives.
  2. Each attendee receives an automated message with confirmation of their booking for reassurance, saving a member of staff having to issue this manually.
  3. The technology can support a log-in area, enabling the attendee to redeem anything special (e.g VIP tickets) and craft their personal agenda for an upcoming event.

We’ve all been to conferences and exhibitions where the registration process fails on the day. Event management technology avoids this with the following approach:

  1. Each attendee is able to scan a QR code or similar to redeem their pass. While this negates the risk of them losing a physical ticket, it’s also a great way of saving paper.  
  2. Any troubles with attendees that failed to check out with a ticket are easier to solve thanks to the system logging each person’s activity (e.g. failed payment or session timeout).
  3. Everyone gains the use of an app for accessing the agenda and booking in meetings with fellow visitors.
  4. By using the app to communicate with attendees, the organiser has an avenue for sending messages regarding sponsors, key sessions and getting someone’s attention.

And that’s not all. In the post-event phase, there are lots of tasks that could benefit from the use of technology for an easier, more efficient way of wrapping things up. A typical process runs as follows:

  1. The solution generates automated responses to attendees, thanking them for visiting.
  2. Attendees can complete surveys within the technology itself – a crucial way of gauging feedback.
  3. In the post-event messaging, a solution can promote bookings for a similar gathering or its next edition.


How can I learn more about this method of event management?

When event organisers think about the role of technology for handling registration, they should consider the days saved within tasks like the sending of communications. They should also think about the money that’s put into printing out physical versions of agendas and tickets, along with the general perception of an event that relies on dated methods of organisation. It’s only through this 360-view that technology starts to become something bigger than just a replacement of an old process.

We know that event management solutions are becoming crucial for organisers with busy calendars. That’s why we’ve produced a resource to demonstrate how technology is driving sales and customer satisfaction on top of a more logical structure for registering attendees.

In our latest whitepaper – Event Technology: The Route to Improved Attendee Registration – you’ll learn the following:

  • Why technology is vital for today’s event organisers
  • Flaws in the way that attendee registration is currently managed (and how to remove them)
  • Ways of getting the most out of an event management platform
  • How to use technology in driving more sales and satisfaction around your events.

You can know more about our solutions in registration software here.