Event sponsorships present a great opportunity for marketers to align their messaging with a topic that their target audience is interested in. What’s more, it allows brands to create more authentic and engaging customer experiences, with a good return on investment (ROI).
It is a great marketing tactic, because events – whether virtual or physical, are very interactive, and immersive. Such experiences create a space where brands can discuss themes, topics and causes that their audience is passionate about, and wants to know more about. Thus, creating various opportunities for sponsors to improve brand awareness and strengthen their image.
However, when companies decide to sponsor an event, they also expect to profit from it. In fact, Eventbrite reports that brands usually expect a 2-to-1 or 3-to-1, and sometimes even 4-to-1 ROI on their event sponsorship. And if they cannot have those returns, they are very likely to invest their resources elsewhere.
The question now is: how do you know you’ll get your money’s worth?
In this article, we’ll share with you how to measure event sponsorship ROI, what are the key metrics to look at, and how to get the best returns on your investment. Read on to learn more.
How to Measure Event Sponsorship ROI?
To measure your event sponsorship ROI accurately, you need to establish the right metrics and variables. There are different approaches you can take, and all of them require careful attention to detail.
Regardless of the approach you choose, there are three metrics you absolutely shouldn’t neglect:
- Event Parameters. Define your goals, the KPIs that match your objectives, and the specific metrics you want to pay attention to.
- Variables. Consider all the variables such as pre-event promotion, number of attendees, new contact information, social media mentions, ad impressions, etc.
- ROI vs Investment Ratio. Be clear about how much ROI you want to achieve (e.g., 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, etc.). You don’t want to simply break even.
Key Metrics to Measure Your Event Sponsorship ROI
Once you have decided on your event sponsorship ROI objectives, it’s time to pick the key metrics to measure it with. We have compiled a list of 10 of them below.
1. Brand Impressions
This metric estimates how many people will see a marketing promotion about your event sponsorship through social media posts and mentions, press releases, and citations across different channels, which can include digital media, social networks, podcasts, radio, and live event interviews.
Brand impressions tracking is often used to analyze the performance of various types of marketing campaigns. These can be pay-per-click (PPC), on-site-views, mentions on social media, and number of times users access graphics through third-party sources like Google Image Search.
2. New Leads Generated
This metric refers to the number of new leads generated thanks to your event sponsorship initiative, and it’s used for examining the value of a marketing campaign.
New leads can be from almost everywhere. From online and on-site event registrations and referrals from event attendees to event collaterals like marketing materials, live Q&A sessions, media downloads, and feedback surveys.
3. Lead Quality
Quality leads are those that have a high potential of engaging with your business before, during and after the sponsored event. Hence, the better the quality of your leads is, the more likely it is for them to become your customers.
To measure lead quality correctly, you need to consider your lead generation strategy as well as the product or services you’re offering. Hence, when estimating your event sponsorship ROI you can look at prospects who have downloaded your presentation slides, completed your surveys, mentioned your brand on social media, completed your contact form, and chatted with your brand representatives.
4. Website Traffic
Event-related activities can significantly increase traffic to your website, thus growing your audience and your event sponsorship ROI. Moreover, these new visitors are likely to be part of a niche audience relevant to your business, making them high quality leads.
Just keep in mind that you can experience a spike in website traffic right around the time of the event and shortly after it ends. Then, once the hype wears off, your traffic might return to its regular levels.
Because of this, you need to act quickly and set up a definite plan to capture and convert as many new visitors as you can. For example, you can offer a free sample or product demo, create pop-ups with a compelling promotion, or reward those who complete your survey.
5. Email Open Rate
The email open rate is an indicator of the success of your email marketing campaign. It shows you who is engaging with your content, and how successful your event sponsorship campaign is.
A high email open rate means that the audience finds your event messaging interesting and relevant to their needs, and as such can help you get a good event sponsorship ROI.
To estimate what a good email open rate is, you need to consider the industry, the email type (transactional email, triggered email, newsletter) and the technological and sociological tendencies of your target audience.
6. Impact of Sessions and Presenters
Examining the popularity of your speakers and the relevance of your content will help you learn what impact your brand had on the event’s attendees. You can look at metrics like: session views, attendance and duration, relay views, speaker and session ratings.
Make sure to factor in on-demand content. Some people will register for the event only to get access to the on-demand content, instead of joining it live.
Furthermore, to keep them engaged with your brand and turn them into quality leads you can send them a feedback survey to complete a couple of days after the event.
7. Attendee Engagement
Attendee or participant engagement refers to the emotional commitment and involvement of the audience at your sponsored event. Emotionally engaged audiences are likely to learn and retain more information, interact with others attendees, rate the event higher and return in the future.
To estimate how attendee engagement is affecting your event sponsorship ROI, you can use surveys, polls, and a live Q&A system, analyze social media activity and create smart badges to understand the attendees’ journey.
8. Click-through Rate (CTR)
The click-through rate speaks of the quality of your event-related content. It measures the number of people who have clicked on a specific link on your webpage, in your emails, or on an advertisement, and reflects how successful your event sponsorship promotion is.
For example, the CTR of event registrations can help you assess the effectiveness of both your call-to-actions and copy. The higher your CTR is, the more successful your targeting efforts are and the better event sponsorship ROI you will have.
9. Customer Feedback
Customer feedback helps you quantify the level of attendee satisfaction at the event. It allows you to understand which were their favourite parts of the event (presentations, activities, features, etc.) as well as what are their expectations for similar events in the future.
To get valuable insights you can create a session rating system and post-event satisfaction survey, consider the attendee engagement levels and social media activity.
10. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The net promoter score is one of the most relevant metrics to measure brand success. It also represents how loyal your customers are, how satisfied they are with your event content and messaging, and how willing they are to promote your brand to their peers.
It usually is represented with a numerical value. The lower your NPS is, the less likely the attendees will be to recommend the event and your brand to tor network.
6 Tips to Get the Best Event Sponsorship ROI
1. Introduce an Interesting Theme and Concept
More often than not, when sponsoring an event you won’t be the only sponsor, and so you need to stand out. A great way to do that is to come up with an interesting theme and concept, presenting yourself as an authority and an expert in your niche.
To get a good event sponsorship ROI, you should focus your strategy around the culture and the industry the event is created for. Do your research to find out what the audience expects to get out of the event – the information they can learn, the people they can meet, activities they will be interested to participate in.
Think about what types of guests will be there and create buyer personas. Then choose the right topic and pick a theme with a memorable name.
2. Create “Show Series”
While you need to stand out on the day of the event, it’s also very important to maintain a good impression during the day(s) after. An excellent way to gain leverage and keep prospects engaged is to create episodic content.
The goal is to find a topic that some of the influencers and decision-makers at the event will want to speak more about and record a few short episodes that you can release over the following days/weeks/months.
To engage users even more, you can create teasers and put them on your social media platforms. For example, you can hint at the topic of the next episode, share interesting facts about your speakers or your products/services. Or you can create quizzes and polls to continue the conversation.
3. Engage in Co-marketing
Co-marketing provides a great cost-effective solution that promotes your event sponsorship and generates a good ROI. What is more, it helps improve brand awareness and authority by fostering long-term marketing relationships with branded products/services.
After you have prepared enough educational, informational and promotional materials it’s time to start distributing them. To maximise your reach and your ROI, have an agreement between your brand and speakers, and the events’ organisers to co-distribute this content.
Make sure to align your co-marketing strategy with your sales and marketing team so they can monitor the content engagement overtime and pick up on valuable insights.
4. Design a Strong Post-Event Engagement Strategy
You may have done an amazing job during the event – congratulations! But your job isn’t over just yet.
You still need to think about your post-event engagement strategy.
Once the necessary buzz has been built, it’s your job to make it last so you can nurture your leads down the marketing and sales funnel. Send a “Thank you” email to all who attended, and a “Sorry we missed you” message to those who didn’t. You can create a post-event page to recap all that happened.
Additionally, you can ask the guests to complete a post-event survey, or send them an invitation to your next sponsored event. And you can also have your customer or sales team follow up with attendees personally.
5. Use an Event App to Collect Relevant Data
To accurately calculate your event sponsorship ROI you need to collect as much data as possible from multiple sources, one of the most effective ones being an event app.
Event apps allow attendees to pick their favourite speakers and sessions, so they don’t miss out on any participation opportunities. This data can then be shared with the sponsors to help them personalize the follow-up communication.
To leverage an event app successfully, create a business profile on it with links to your website and all your social media platforms, place your company’s logo on the app’s home screen and promote the app so more people will use it.
6. Plan Ahead with the Event’s Organizers
Get involved with the planning process. Share your goals, objectives and ideas. Set clear, fair and transparent expectations. And demonstrate authenticity, expertise and enthusiasm.
Then using the metrics we mentioned before, calculate a baseline sponsorship ROI you wish to achieve and communicate it to the event’s organizers. After all, it’s your investment and you need to know if it will be worth it.
Getting a good event sponsorship ROI definitely requires some work and strategizing, but the benefits make it worthwhile. You can increase your brand awareness and number of leads generated, and form powerful long-term partnerships.
However, to measure the effectiveness of your efforts accurately there are a few aspects to consider. You need to define your event sponsorship goals, pick the right metrics to measure them with, and set a benchmark ROI you wish to achieve.
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