Aurora Magazine

Promoting excellence in advertising

Connecting Through Immersion

Ayesha Aman discusses the benefits of event sponsorships.
Published 10 May, 2024 12:04pm

Billboards flashing from every corner, screens bombarding you with ads from sunrise to sunset. In our screen-saturated world where ads chase us from billboards to tablets, grabbing and holding attention is a high-wire act.

And with shrinking attention spans in the age of double and triple screens, the game has changed. Brands cannot simply bombard consumers with stories of their benefits anymore. They need to engage in a two-way dance with their audiences. This is where events like food festivals, fashion shows, concerts, family entertainment shows and literary festivals shine. They are not fleeting digital pings, but immersive live experiences that forge real connections traditional ads can only dream about.

The reality is that today, brands are faced with a critical choice. Evolve or fade into the digital ether. This paradigm shift has made it such that engagement is no longer an option, it is a lifeline.

Beyond mere purchases, active involvement in a brand’s narrative fosters emotional bonds. This connection transforms brands from faceless entities into familiar friends. It is the difference between a cold transaction and a warm embrace, where loyalty comes from belonging – and engaged consumers become trust beacons. In a market fuelled by suspicion, brands that engage build reservoirs of credibility, whether through social media, event participation or personalised service. Every touchpoint strengthens the trust fabric.

This engagement dance benefits both parties. Active participation in a brand’s ecosystem enhances the customer experience. Brands prioritising engagement excel in creating enjoyable journeys, ensuring every interaction reinforces loyalty. From attending events to offering feedback, each touchpoint becomes a brick in building a satisfying customer journey.

Engaged consumers become crucial innovation partners. Feedback, gleaned through diverse channels, is a goldmine for brands seeking to refine their offerings. This iterative process helps them adapt to evolving needs and preferences, staying ahead of the curve by tapping into the wisdom of their audience.

Event sponsorship has become a pivotal component of marketing strategies, offering brands a unique platform to engage with a highly targeted audience. The ROI for event sponsorship can range from 3:1 to 10:1 (IEG Sponsorship Trends Report, 2023).

One of the primary benefits of event sponsorship is the unparalleled visibility it offers. Brands that associate themselves with events, like the recent Hum Bridal Couture Week or Soul Fest weekends, gain exposure both onsite and through extensive media coverage. This heightened visibility contributes to brand recall and fosters a positive association, ultimately building credibility in the eyes of the audience.

Event sponsorship aligned with a brand’s values can lead to greater benefits in terms of equity and customer engagement. A study by Eventbrite found that 65% of attendees are more likely to purchase a brand after attending an event they sponsored and 70% of consumers remember a brand that sponsors an event they attend. Every event attended, every promotion participated in, strengthens their presence, making them the go-to choice when buying decisions arise. To better understand the impact of event sponsorship, let’s delve into why brands should successfully navigate the sponsorship landscape.

Strategic Brand Integration: A study by Nielsen Sports showed that sponsorship of relevant events can increase brand association with positive attributes like quality, innovation and social responsibility.

Interactive Brand Activations: An innovative approach involves creating interactive brand activations within the event venue. A beauty brand set up a dedicated beauty lounge where attendees could experience complimentary makeovers and product demonstrations. This hands-on engagement not only enhanced brand recall, it fostered a direct connection with potential consumers. Sixty percent of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand that sponsored an event they enjoyed (SponsorLab, 2022).

Social Media Amplification: Seventy-eight percent of attendees are more likely to engage with a brand on social media after attending an event they sponsored (Eventbrite, 2023). Brands that leverage social media during events reap substantial rewards. A leading jewellery brand initiated live Instagram makeovers at an event by influencers wearing their latest collection. This real-time engagement not only boosted online visibility, it created a buzz around the brand. The use of hashtags and logos on event pictures shared contributed to impressions and reach. When celebrities and magazines re-share or review the event, the images used have the brand’s logo and the captions shared have the pre-defined hashtag, further increasing viewership. This elevated recognition is the key to not only reaching, but maintaining, top-of-mind status amidst the cacophony of competing voices.

Sponsorships offer a unique platform for brands to break through the noise and forge genuine connections with their target audience. However, navigating the sponsorship landscape requires strategic acumen to ensure these partnerships leave a lasting impact. Globally, event sponsorship spending is expected to reach $58.8 billion by 2025 (Statista, 2023). Here is how brands can maximise the impact of their event sponsorships.

Define Your Purpose: Every sponsorship journey begins with a clear destination. Are you aiming to ignite brand awareness, generate leads or unveil a new product line? Pinpointing your goals ensures that your activation aligns with the event’s theme and audience, maximising impact.

Collaborate: Think of event organisers as co-pilots on your journey. Foster open communication and collaborate to curate sponsorship packages that match your brand aspirations. It’s more than just booth space. Imagine exclusive activations, product demonstrations or even co-creating the next season’s trends.

Craft Memorable Moments: In the battle for attention, recognition is the battle cry. Go beyond static displays and create immersive experiences that resonate with your brand. Design interactive booths and VIP lounges brimming with your story, or offer curated access for select guests. These moments of connection will weave lasting impressions long after the event has ended.

Harness the Power of Influence: Today’s consumers trust authentic voices. Partner with influencers and brand ambassadors who embody your values. Their endorsements on social media can spark a ripple effect, amplifying your reach and boosting brand credibility.

In conclusion, event sponsorship is not a fleeting fling, but a journey towards brand resonance. By integrating your products, fostering interactive experiences and leveraging the power of social engagement, you unlock the full potential of this marketing force. Embracing strategic sponsorship opportunities can set the stage for a captivating performance and lasting applause in the competitive world of brands.

Ayesha Aman is a media planner, Publicis Groupe.