By Emily Eckert
Think back to an event that stuck out in your mind. The one you attended where your mouth dropped open when you walked in, you left with a smile on your face or that you tell stories about. Was it your event? One that your corporation hosted or your nonprofit set up?
If so, congratulations! Keep the trend rolling and start planning for next year now.
Examine the details of your event.
From conference conveniences, to hospitality considerations, all the way to branded materials, you don’t have to be “just another” conference or event. Your attendees don’t need just another thing that sits on their desk, and you want to make the best possible impression. Want to stand out AND stay in budget?
Say yes to sponsorships.
A friend, colleague and fellow event queen once told me that, when you are planning a conference, everything is open to sponsorship. That’s right – everything that you budget for, no matter how big or how small – should be thought of as a potential sponsorship pitch. Best of all: if it’s done well, it will add to event and won’t distract.
Pitch the perfect opportunity.
- Will you be hosting speakers from out of town? A Hospitality Sponsor provides a welcoming basket for their hotel room – or a smaller welcome for all attendees.
- Are you tired of boring stage backdrops and the same old pipe-and-drape set up? A Presentation Sponsor upgrades any plain spaces and shows your company is in the 21st This package covers the cost to project sponsor logos rather than printing them on signs (that will be outdated by next year anyway)!
- Have you considered how to keep your attendees powered up? And we’re not talking coffee. Provide a Power Station Sponsor for charging phones – accomplished with a charging tower.
- Does your day of speakers included audience engagement like Q&A? We hope so – and, consider spicing up the way attendees get access to the microphone with a throwable mic aka Catchbox.
- What are your attendees walking away with? Yes, of course the lessons learned and thematic takeaways. However, what are people physically walking out with? In additional to practice or useful, make it fun and think outside the box – something they look at and immediately think of your keynote speaker.
A great example NP Strategy was proud to support was the 2019 WREN Summit. Gamecock great A’ja Wilson was the keynote, and as part of her walk-up song, WREN blasted Sandstorm and gave the audience WREN-branded rally towels to wave. In line with the theme, relevant to the speaker, and not your typical event swag: check, check and check.
If you need inspiration, a new take or support, often the cost of collaborating with an event pro can be offset by the right event strategy.
Emily Eckert is building her career on developing strong client relationships and executing services that range from managing large-scale events, to building brand awareness, to overseeing ongoing communications campaigns. Emily handles all projects with a thoughtful, client-focused approach.