Sponsors. Here to make your corporate event planner life easier, right?

Traditionally, sponsors have always helped combat production costs and fill space in an expo hall, but now they’re bringing more purpose than ever to events.

It’s no longer just about handing out branded swag and dragging on with dry presentations. Sponsorships are evolving in a way that is amplifying engagement levels at events.

“Event sponsorships are experiencing their greatest revolution I’ve ever seen in my professional and business career,” says Vince Thompson, the CEO, and founder of MELT.

With this revolution upon us, the potential of an event is only limited by the number of sponsors you can bring to the table.

Increase Attendee Participation

Sponsors are officially stepping out from the background as interactive activities have become the new norm. Their presence is becoming more prevalent at events, and it’s doing great things for the attendee experience.

Beyond promoting their own brand, they play a big role in generating excitement at your event. Even though your team didn’t come up with any of these sponsored activities, it doesn’t stop people from associating them with your event.

Kit Kat has chosen to make a bold statement by putting their own spin on free WiFi. In order to give people the chance to actually converse in person, they created “Free No WiFi Zones”. This created the perfect networking opportunity for likeminded attendees looking to engage with peers rather than stare at a screen.

If you have open air event capabilities, this Adidas pop up shop is one that might spark your interest. The brand designs pop up stores in various locations where the store is made to resemble a giant shoe box. Attendees are able to go in and experience a one of a kind shopping experience.

Image from agoratrade.wordpress.com

These incredible displays will not give your event some heavy social interaction and create unique experiences for attendees, but it helps connect innovative concepts to your event’s identity.

Create Exciting Ways to Learn

Your people are there to learn. We all know breakout sessions are a great way to switch up learning, but that’s not your only option. Sponsors are another great opportunity for attendees to educate themselves outside the keynote speakers.

Sponsorship booths shouldn’t rely on flyers and brochures – it’s just not the way that people like to learn anymore. Instead, find interactive ways to initiate learning and do it in a way that compels participation. Whether it’s about the brand itself, or gaining info to take back to their everyday jobs, sponsors are there to help everyone get the most out of the experience.

Augmented and virtual reality helps drive home this learning. Tyler Gates from Brightline Interactive uses VR to “transport people from the trade show into a real life scenario where he can show them how to act and measure their response.” In this way, people can experience the utility of the product.

Along with virtual reality, interactive product demonstrations are great for combining learning and fun. Take Scrubbing Bubbles for example – they set up a sample bathroom and encouraged attendees to write all over the walls. The only catch was they had to clean up after themselves. Luckily they had plenty of Scrubbing Bubbles products at their disposal.

Image from Tidymom.net

Studies have shown for years that individuals learn best from not just doing but also seeing. This means showing videos about products or brands can be an effective way that sponsors catch an eye.

“Four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.” – Animoto.com

Extend Brand Values

Your corporate event sponsors can do more than just help teach the attendees. Help your sponsors understand the values you find important within your brand – they may even be overlap with their own values. This helps the activations draw into the bigger purpose of their brand and yours.

Zumba promotes their unique exercise classes by hosting free 15-minute dance sessions for attendees. An activity that can easily become an integrated part of the health and wellness initiative during your conferences.

Image from Powercakes.net

This is also a great opportunity for sponsors to show their philanthropy efforts. People love to feel like they’re making an impact on the world. The easier it is for them to do this, the more willing they are to contribute.

PetSmart is a great example of this. Their PetSmart charity is dedicated to helping homeless pets and their event gives attendees the opportunity to sponsor a pet. Among the many positive outcomes that result from initiatives like this – it also helps people associate your conference with their acts of kindness and goodwill.

Get Sponsored!

As long as they are contributing to the success of your event, you can never have too many sponsors. Forget the days of branded pens, and see what sponsorships can really do for your corporate event.

Happy attendees means higher ROI, and engaging sponsor booths aren’t the only way to achieve that. Check out our eBook and get some great tips for boosting engagement. Download our free eBook about maximizing your event ROI.