Recently, the leaders of two different technology events each told me exactly the same thing—they have completely revamped their sponsorship sales approach and have made customization key in all their sponsorship efforts going forward.
And not just on the simplistic level of understanding a Sponsor’s need for brand positioning or new leads—they are looking to offer much more. One of the producers went so far as to say that they are moving beyond the creation of white papers, into full-fledged book publishing on behalf of their largest tech event sponsors.
This may be further than most event management producers are ready to go, but I believe the principal expressed is going to increasingly drive our industry: Events have to do more for their Sponsors!
The lead generation and branding benefits we have relied on in the past are now just the table stakes. Increasingly sponsors will be, and should be, demanding true “Content Marketing” programs from the events they participate in.
Sponsors are taking to heart the dictum “Brands are Publishers” and the need to provide value to their audiences. This creates a hunger for content to fuel their social marketing engines.
They’ve got Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, blog posts, SlideShare & You Tube channels, Google plus feeds, LinkedIn status updates, Pinterest pages, and more every day. Where does the content come from to fill all this? Especially content that offers relevant value that moves the needle with their customers and prospects?
Smart event producers are recognizing that we can help our sponsors successfully meet the challenges of content marketing. Our events include video, social media, written reports, photos, blog posts, etc… and these assets, if packaged correctly, can provide huge added value for our sponsors as fuel for that Content Marketing engine.
How do we make this new approach real, and profit from it? We’ll address that (along with some leading examples) in part 2 of this post.