• Boost Sponsorship Revenue with these Five Strategies

    by Telerik.Sitefinity.DynamicTypes.Model.Authors.Author | Apr 10, 2017

    Sponsorships

    Sponsorship is crucial for successful event strategies .

    It generates publicity, creates strong industry relationships, and drives revenue for the host company.

    Building a robust sponsorship strategy can be tough, especially if you’re working with limited staff and resources.

    Companies that are strapped for manpower find themselves returning to the same sponsors time and again, or scrambling to bring new partners on board for each event.

    If you’re struggling to expand your sponsorship pool or have run out of ideas, it’s time for a new strategy.

    We recently surveyed more than 150 event organizers about their sponsorship methods, and we gained powerful insights into what works.

    Here are the most valuable takeaways:

    1. Sell to a Range of Sponsors

    Historically, sales teams have focused on corporations with deep pockets.

    The top five sponsors typically account for the majority of sponsorship revenue and are often the largest companies at the conference.

    But if one of these companies drops out, the sales team must rush to fill the void.

    It’s critical to target and develop relationships with second- and third-tier sponsors, especially those with the greatest promise to become top-tier sponsors in the near term.

    2. Target Non-Exhibiting Companies as Sponsors

    Our survey found that 50 percent of respondents allow non-exhibiting companies to be sponsors at their events, while 22 percent extend those opportunities occasionally.

    This is a great way to drive revenue, particularly if your exhibition floor is sold out.

    Don’t diminish your standards—all sponsors should enhance the attendee experience and overall program value.

    3. Meet Potential Sponsors in Person

    The most successful organizations visit their sponsors’ headquarters throughout the year.

    That extra effort distinguishes them from the organizers who call the same 10 sponsors year-after-year, asking them to renew their commitments.

    Sponsors participate for a reason , whether that’s to raise awareness, connect with a target audience, launch a product, or support the industry.

    When you take the time to meet face-to-face, you show that you care about their needs and want them to benefit from the partnership, as well.

    Educate yourself on their strategies, and tie your sponsorship offers to their objectives.

    4. Price to Maximize Profits

    Many organizers use a cost-plus model, marking up sponsorship prices by certain percentages.

    Most of those respondents aim for a 50 percent profit margin on sponsorships, with 25 percent being the second most popular target.

    Structure your sponsorships for maximum profitability, and ensure you’re delivering top value to those partners.

    5. Produce a Report on Sponsorship Effectiveness

    Everything is measured these days, and sponsorships are no exception.

    In a separate survey of sponsors themselves, nearly 50 percent said they expect event organizers to compile effectiveness reports, and 72 percent of respondents said they would use that feedback.

    Develop a template you can populate after the event, then meet with sponsors to review the results.

    Include relevant information such as show demographics, attendance at sponsored sessions (e.g., education workshops or keynote addresses), feedback from post-show surveys, photos of sponsorship activation, and marketing metrics .

    Seeing concrete results affirms this was a worthwhile investment and will encourage sponsors to commit again in the future.

    The right sponsorships can take your events from mediocre to outstanding.

    Revenue and publicity from influential partners earns you new opportunities and sets the tone for how people perceive your brand, so jump-start your sponsorship pitches today.

    This article originally appeared on SpinSucks.

  • 4 Things Event Marketers Can Learn from eSports Marketing

    by Telerik.Sitefinity.DynamicTypes.Model.Authors.Author | Apr 07, 2017

    4 Things Event Marketers Can Learn About from eSports Marketing

    You may be wondering what exactly eSports has to do with events. In a nutshell, eSports, is competitive video gaming that’s broadcast to a live audience. Before you start calling it a fad and say that it’s just for nerds, it’s not. In fact, recent reports valued eSports market at more than $612 million with a strong and growing audience of 134 million. It’s a well-established concept that’s taking the world by storm, offering a unique opportunity for marketers in many different sectors, including events. Additionally, eSports marketing offers a chance to target millennials, in their world, on their terms.

    There’s a lot to be learned from brands, like Coca Cola, Red Bull, Nissan and Intel, that are jumping on board this new market and the way this audience behaves. Here’s what event marketers can learn from eSports marketing:

    Online gaming events attract large audiences.

    Some of these eSports events are attracting extremely large audiences. We’re talking millions of people. It’s astonishing to think that championships for the bigger eSports titles can get bigger audiences than live sports games.

    100,000 people watched Intel’s Extreme Masters gaming tournament that was hosted in Poland, and the event had more than 3.2 million social media engagements. Twitch.tv, the number one eSports streaming site, gets nearly as much peak internet traffic as Google, Netflix and Apple.

    Twitch.tv users watch an average of 421.6 minutes per month, about 44% more than those who watch YouTube. It’s definitely worth targeting some of these events and coming up with creative ways to capitalise on this growing trend.

    A strong sense of community empowers targeting possibilities.

    There’s a very strong sense of community with this audience, and they are far more receptive to brands than you might think. Research has shown that these people are happy to support a brand that backs their favourite players.

    Perhaps that’s why Nissan sponsored the North American League of Legends players on Team Curse. Professional eSports players often have bigger social following than their real world counterparts do. This audience thinks differently; therefore, you can approach them in new and exciting ways.

    Fans value brands who are authentically immersed in the community.

    You can’t just throw money at standard advertising campaigns when it comes to eSports fans. They expect brands to find ways to get immersed in what’s going on, and become a part of the community.

    They value authentic brands who weave their way into the eSports culture. Event marketers can learn from this and aim to reach their audience in new ways. They can also appreciate that by creating a strong sense of community, they’ll earn great publicity in return.

    Millennials need to be reached in a different way.

    Millennials can’t be targeted and reached out to in the same way as other audiences and generations. This quote from Joost van Dreunen, CEO and co-founder of SuperData Research, says it all: “It has become increasingly difficult for advertisers to reach this tech-savvy, affluent demographic via traditional marketing channels.”

    eSports marketing opens our eyes to this reality because traditional marketing methods just won’t work on this generation. If you want to successfully reach millennials, then you need learn more about eSports and other new marketing platforms so that you can effectively reach out to your audience on their terms, in their environment.

    Our Trend Tacker guide is full of the latest trends in the events and exhibitions industry—click here to download your free copy.

    Trend Tracker

  • Trade Show Forecasting – Using Analytics to Decode the Zeitgeist

    by Telerik.Sitefinity.DynamicTypes.Model.Authors.Author | Apr 06, 2017

    Trade Show Forecasting – Using Analytics to Decode the Zeitgeist

    These days I can’t read exhibition industry websites, blogs or magazines without coming across the word
    trend. Used alone, the word trend does nothing more that refer to a general movement in a particular direction. But hot trends, top trends, evolving trends…these do much more – they seek to communicate a powerful sense of future, hinting at an author’s ability to accurately conceptualize the future buying power, purchase plans and attendance habits of trade show attendees.

    Indeed, it doesn’t take much thought to appreciate the business value of an event manager conceptualizing a future exhibit design and budget today based on knowing what next year’s attendees will want to experience and be able to spend. In this sense, trends don’t just convey helpful information on general movements – they become prerequisites for business success.

    When viewed in isolation, a trend does nothing more that capture the zeitgeist of the current moment. So how do event managers know when an exhibition company’s thought leadership article on trends has accurately evolved into a tool that decodes future uncertainty in a manner that will help them correctly exercise strategic judgement and have confidence that their current business decisions for next year’s show are well informed? Similarly, how do business executives know when to trust a trade show trend analysis? When should we trust someone’s attempt to decode the exhibition zeitgeist?

    The answer is that the trend must be analyzed using the forecasting analytical toolset. The key is to move beyond what is happening today and towards how the present will accurately shape the future.

    I’m always skeptical when a trade show trend analysis can’t describe the analytical approach (unless the subject matter is obvious). I think most people would expect that the above trend usage examples are based on trend forecasting – a powerful analytical tool to map out future uncertainty and predict how present actions will influence the future. A good forecast influences business decisions by showing a clear map of alternative paths to the possible future: how much to budget, how much to advertise, how to design your booth, where to place your booth, and how to draw in those leads.

    To go one step further, how the trend forecast data collection process is structured is just as important as the future prediction the trend forecast provides. Here are a few straightforward questions to ask to determine if a trend forecast can be trusted, and to help you can gain confidence that your strategic decisions today will move you towards the future trend prediction.

    Can the trend forecaster clearly explain the method of data capture?

    The goal of survey design is to minimize chance errors and increase the likelihood of a reliable analysis. The steps in survey design are straightforward: specify objectives; design and draft the survey; develop instructions; pre-test the survey; edit the survey; develop the statistical sampling plan; execute the survey; collect the data; analyze the data; and report the results.

    Underlying this design process is the concept of interview interaction. It is always important to examine the method of interaction the trend forecaster had with survey respondents and the method of interview support the trend forecaster used. Method of interaction looks at the type of interview that was conducted. Did the trend forecaster conduct face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews, or use a self-administered (interviewee administered) questionnaire? Method of interview support looks at whether the survey was paper or computer assisted. Was this is a face-to-face computer assisted interview? Was this a snail mail paper assisted survey? Was this a self-administered web survey? There are many variations here.

    While computer surveys are simple and cost effective to implement, the more expensive face-to-face interviews still provide for the best data quality because they allow for the development of extensive interaction with survey participants. The more trend forecasters move away from face-to-face interviews, the more they suppress interaction with survey participants, thus reducing the possibility of obtaining quality survey data. The trend forecaster must be able to explain how the method of data capture was structured to acquire the most reliable survey data.

    Can the trend forecaster explain the questions that were asked and how those questions where structured?

    Surveys are composed of numerous questions and statements. Survey questions are generally free response or response selection (i.e. check the box, the circle the letter). Response selection questions are attractive because they are easy for respondents to answer and simple for researchers to collect and analyze. Free response questions require more processing to categorize, score, and code. Further, survey participants may think it’s too much work to answer free response questions and may provide short responses which really don’t answer the questions. A trend forecaster relying on a survey full of free responses may not be making the most reliable predictions.

    Statements rely on response selection to determine the extent to which survey respondents agree or disagree with a certain perspective (such as the Likert scale). Market researchers know that survey responses contain an element of bias. This can be seen on survey statements where respondents may be reluctant to select the extreme statements and their answers end up reflecting a central tendency.

    Further, on both question and statement responses, survey respondents may simply choose to provide what they believe is the “correct” answer or they may be unconsciously providing an answer about a state they aspire to be rather than an accurate answer about the state they are actually in. For example, with the predictive questions and statements that form the basis of trend forecasts there is a risk that survey respondents will introduce a “status quo” answer when faced with a trend that would somehow cast their organizations in a negative light. This “status quo” answer is actually invalid data for the predictive question. Further, the survey respondent may be expressing a personal wish or gut feeling versus truly making a predictive exhibition industry-related opinion (i.e. based on facts and data).

    The trend forecaster must be able to speak to how the survey questions were structured to avoid these biases and enhance the capture of reliable information. For example, the bias presented by statements can be minimized by expressing some statements in positive form while other statements are expressed in negative form.

    Can the trend forecaster explain how the sample size (including confidence level and margin of error) was determined?

    Market researchers are intuitively aware that simply making a survey bigger doesn’t make it better. It doesn’t make sense to ask all trade show attendees (i.e. your leads and contacts) how they feel. It’s a waste of time because adding all those answers to a database won’t make the database more accurate.

    It is also true that some surveys are so fraught with mistakes that creating a larger sample will not produce better precision and will only add more bad data. However, that’s not an indictment of the need to determine an appropriate sample size and is only an admission that a large sample size can’t rescue a poorly designed survey with bad questions.

    If you had a box of 10,000 widgets in four colors, would you dump out the entire contents to determine how the colors are distributed? Or would it make more sense to sample 300, 500 or 1,000? The key understanding here is the necessity to make a random selection from a coherent group, so you can call meaningful differences “significantly different.” That’s where the trend forecaster needs to be able to clearly communicate the confidence level and margin of error in relation to the results.

    Can the trend forecaster clearly explain the type of forecasting approach used?

    Historically, the fashion industry has led the way on integrating trend analytics with business strategy. The key analytical tool fashion analysts use to move from mood boards to recommendations on adjusting retail supply chains for “What’s in for Spring” is the regression analysis. Similarly, the regression analysis allows the exhibition trend forecaster to examine relationships between variables and is the key method to determine the trend worthy usefulness of the data. The trend forecaster must be able to explain the regression methodology. What type of regression analysis was used? Did the analysis incorporate time series data? When analyzing time series data, the value for the previous time is normally a good predictor of the value for the current period. However, some regression models are appropriate for time series data, some aren’t. Does the trend forecaster even know this?

    Future-Forward the Right Way

    All companies want to be future-forward. But exhibition executives should never accept trend forecasts that can’t clearly answer the above questions. Trend forecasts which cannot clearly explain their survey design approach or statistical reasoning won’t get things right and are nothing more than subjective guesses. That’s not the way to make investments in your company’s trade show future.

    Trend Tracker Guide

  • Webinar: Event Technology that Gets the Results You Need

    by Telerik.Sitefinity.DynamicTypes.Model.Authors.Author | Apr 05, 2017

    Webinar-sponsorship-2020

    Join GES’ David Saef for our latest Trend Tracker webinar on event technology trends and how to implement them. Whether you’re: having trouble engaging with your audience, understanding what data can and should be collected or just want to know more about the technology that’s making waves at events, this webinar is a can’t miss!

    Trend Tracker: Event Technologies that Engage, Excite and Inform

    April 12, 2017

    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT

    Register Now

    Space is limited

    You’re sure to walk away informed, in the know and ready to implement the latest technology trends impacting the events industry.

    trend-tracker-webinar-april

    About the Presenter
    David Saef , EVP, Strategy & MarketWorks, has been in the business of event marketing for over a decade. He has worked with top clients such as Bell Helicopter, AAPM&R, National Safety Council and Penton Media and is a frequent speaker at EXHIBITORLIVE, IAEE, PCMA and IMEX.

Order with Expresso for your show

Order Now

Look for helpful Tools for event management?

Learn More

Wanna talk to GES National Servicenter® ?

Call: (800) 475-2098