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5 Ways to Increase Sponsor Value and Engagement

Feature Image © MakeLab

Finding creative and effective ideas for sponsor placement within your corporate events has the obvious financial benefits of making your programs more cost-effective. But that doesn’t make the challenge any easier for you to strike the right balance of strong visibility for the sponsor and something the attendees will engage with without it being too “in your face.” The right DMC can help, both by constantly looking for inspiration for the industry and by developing natural sponsorship integrations within a corporate event theme or concept they’re building. Here are some of our favorites pulled directly from the brains of our account executives and account managers in our destination management offices across the country.

Laser-Cut Goodies

The latest trend in food-based sponsor opportunities involves an architectural engraving machine powerful enough to cut through wood and steel. At a low-power setting, the machine is used to grill or caramelize logos or other insignias on everything from sandwiches to crème brule. (See the image above.) Part of the design can feature a “sticker” of your sponsor’s logo, which attendees can move around and incorporate into their tasty treats.

Simple 2-D Logos, Creative Placements

Sometimes, it’s not about getting more creative than printing a sponsor’s name somewhere visible, it’s about what you put that sponsor’s logo on. One we produced: For an Arabian Nights themed event, there was a petting zoo complete with monkeys and camel rides. Each camel had a branded blanket and each monkey was outfitted with a branded vest. It not only got people to pay attention to the sponsor, but each time someone took a picture with the animals, it became a future reminder of that sponsor, ensuring their staying power in the minds of attendees.

Virtual Reality Programs

We’ve already covered the ways that virtual and augmented reality can increase attendee engagement with your program. They can similarly increase engagement with your sponsors. In Orange County, we had a virtual reality vendor set up a booth for an event to show off one of their new games. Guests crowded around to try out the new tech and each person who did could clearly see “360 Destination Group” written in the clouds. This kind of demonstration always pull a crowd because the technology still feels novel, and it is easy enough to program sponsor names and logos into the experience of the games being demonstrated.

Drone Shows

At the closing ceremony of the winter Olympics in Pyongchang in 2018, more than 1,200 drones took to the sky above the Olympic stadium to create an amazing three-dimensional light show that was then heavily featured in Intel’s (whose Shooting Star program was behind the display) advertising for months following. Here in the States, more and more companies are popping up that can create similar choreographed displays on a smaller scale that usually last about 15 minutes as an alternative to fireworks. Reinforcing a sponsor’s logo and messaging as a small part of a 15-minute show is easy enough; it isn’t obtrusive for the audience, and sponsors know everyone will be watching.

Drinkable Masterieces

© Michael Breach

Drinkable Masterpieces

Complex latte art is a trend that has taken the Internet – and corporate events – by storm. A variety of top-notch baristas have been leaving their coffee shops and taking their celebrity portrait–adorned macchiatos on the road. These artists can use milk foam to create masterpieces depicting your sponsor’s logo or tagline as well as iconic scenes and people that highlight the destination. These lattes are compulsively shareable and give your attendees a much-needed energy boost between speakers.

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