The premier resource for exhibition and event industry professionals

The Twists and Turns of Creating New Revenue through Digital Sponsorships

Digital expert Aidan Augustin steps through the ways in which the dance between organizers and suppliers can be leveraged throughout the full show cycle to increase revenue and elevate ROI through digital sponsorships.

By Mary Tucker, IAEE Sr. Communications & Content Manager

Show organizers are tasked with creating unforgettable experiences for attendees at their exhibitions and events, in addition to generating revenue. One hand feeds the other and success in one cannot be achieved without success in the other. Where one begins and the other ends can become indistinguishable, but the bottom line is that both roads lead to the same destination: providing the highest return on investment (ROI) possible for all stakeholders.

Likewise, suppliers understand that trade shows are one of the most effective ways to achieve their sales goals, hence the irreplaceable value of face-to-face events. It creates a powerful motivation in suppliers to play a role in a show’s success. In terms of creating and participating in sponsorship opportunities that positively impact both missions, the search for new and productive offerings is always “on.”

“Organizers understand that their relationship with suppliers is crucial to their success and vice versa,” said IAEE Vice President of Partnership Relations Rick Jennings, CEM. “It is a two-way street when it comes to how we, as organizers, work together with our suppliers to create the best experience for attendees and this partnership makes everyone very open to new ways of meeting that goal.”

Like a beautifully executed Argentine tango, this dance between organizer and supplier has delivered exciting and innovative experiences to attendees for decades. As technology has advanced, things have only gotten bigger, better and more intense onsite. But what about pre- and post-show activities? Because, after all, you don’t just wake up one day a master milonguero – there are a few things that come first, and a certain amount of maintenance is required afterward to keep your success moving forward. A strong pre- and post-show marketing strategy is a game changer for suppliers seeking to raise the bar of their at-show presence and performance.

And just like that, we are up close and personal with the post-pandemic digital sponsorship era.

Since the pandemic, digital sponsorships have jetted to the top of the list of revenue generating activities. Savvy organizers, as well as suppliers, are making the most of capitalizing on this medium. Leading the pack is ad retargeting and few people understand this strategy better than Aidan Augustin, CEO and Co-Founder of Feathr, a leading software company making digital marketing technology more accessible to nonprofits and event organizers. Feathr has helped over 1,000 nonprofits and countless events know, grow, and engage their audiences.

Augustin recently facilitated the IAEE webinar, Creating New Revenue with Digital Sponsorships, in which he explained, “On average, an adult in the United States spends 8 hours and 5 minutes every single day online, with digital media… Suppliers, in 2023 more than ever, need to have effective digital marketing in their mix as part of their strategy in acquiring new leads and customers. Event organizers and associations are perfectly poised to be the ones to capture this opportunity and deliver this value to your supplier partners.”

Sponsored ad retargeting creates many possibilities and advantages for organizers and suppliers. For show organizers, one of the biggest benefits is the ability to retain control over their attendee lists and contact information thereby respecting attendee privacy. Sponsors pay for the opportunity to access attendees, yet the organizer controls the process. Nonetheless, ad retargeting offers highly measurable reporting for a clear value proposition. In addition, ad retargeting offers a nearly unlimited number of sponsorship opportunities that can be used throughout the year to drive brand awareness as well as booth traffic. Augustin notes that organizers typically see a 5-10x return on their investment.

For suppliers, ad retargeting offers the ability to reach audiences in ways that extend far beyond one-off messaging such as email blasts or single ads (especially when compared to print ads). This process offers suppliers the opportunity to follow potential leads as they navigate not only one channel (such as the event website), but their overarching digital journey resulting in sustained exposure over time and overriding buzz kills such as email unsubscribes. Since they can track impressions as they go, the messaging can be adapted as needed to achieve specific results. In fact, Augustin recommends maximizing this opportunity by mixing up messaging to include product and service promotion (This is our new offering!), promoting appearances at shows (Come see us at Booth 123 at show XYZ!), and thought leadership (Tell us what you think via this survey!).

The key, Augustin stresses, is to incorporate ad retargeting in one’s multi-channel marketing mix to take full advantage of every marketing dollar invested. He notes that multi-channel sponsorships are growing in popularity because they mix traditional, digital and in-person components within the overall marketing strategy. (Feed your brain even more on this subject with CEIR’s Omnichannel Marketing Insights report series.)

Sponsored ad retargeting blows the dance floor wide open for both organizers and suppliers in terms of reaching target audiences in creative ways that remain fresh and productive.

Watch the full webinar in which Augustin discusses the development of your revenue generating strategy, including questions you should consider and different ways to maximize this aspect of your multi-channel marketing.

Share Post

Stay Up To Date

Related Posts

iaee blog station logo

Stay Up To Date

Join over 15,000 followers dedicated to learning the ins and outs of the exhibition and event industry!