Sponsoring a well-respected trade show speaker at the conference where you exhibit represents an exceptional marketing opportunity. Speaker sponsorship enables you to:
The key is to take an integrated approach to your speaker sponsorship and use a variety of marketing methods to fully leverage your promotional investment.
Following are some ideas to help you get the most from your sponsorship.
Introduction and Relationship Building
Have the president of your company call the presenter and personally thank her or him for speaking at the event.
Share what a privilege it is for the company to sponsor the speaker's session. Take this opportunity to learn more about the individual and also educate her or him about your company and products.
Then, have the president follow-up with a hand-written note and materials about your company. As a result, the trade show speaker may incorporate your company and products into the presentation or during more casual conversations with attendees.
Pre-Show Marketing Initiatives
In your pre-show marketing efforts, inform attendees that you are sponsoring the speaker and encourage them to attend the talk.
You may communicate this through a formal printed invitation, phone call, personalized letter, postcard, or other marketing vehicle.
Include the speaker sponsorship information in newsletters, on your web site, and in press releases to the media leading up to the event.
During the Trade Show
Schedule the presenter to be at your booth during peak show hours to answer questions about his or her topic and to further the connection with your sponsorship.
Let attendees know the speaker’s schedule through your pre-marketing activities, as well as during the event through signage, registration packet flyers, and conference announcements.
There are other ways to extend the benefits of your sponsorship during the show, if the speaker is willing to accommodate you.
For example, you may want to invite your best clients and high opportunity prospects to a special dinner with you and the speaker. Or, consider hosting a hospitality hour or breakfast… and have your trade show speaker attend.
Continue promoting the sponsorship with all of your post-event marketing initiatives.
In your personalized follow-up letters, include verbiage thanking attendees for visiting your booth. Share that you hope they enjoyed hearing the speaker that you sponsored. You may want to include tips or follow-up points from the speaker, as a value-added service in your communications.
Write an article highlighting the speaker’s message for your company newsletter and send it to customers and prospects with a personalized note.
If the presenter has written a book or recently published articles, sending copies to your select clients and leads will make a lasting impression. There are many other opportunities for working with speakers. One of the best ways to source ideas is to directly ask your speaker for ideas.
Chances are she or he will be interested in the additional promotion… and you will have a robust sponsorship marketing plan that benefits everyone.