By Samantha Stallard, Director of Marketing & Business Development
When a brand decides to produce an event they are in for a huge undertaking, but with high risk comes high reward. As we know, consumers often make purchasing decisions based on the brands with which they feel most connected to. Instead of showing someone yet another website banner, pre-roll video, or targeted Facebook ad, event marketers like you fully engage consumers with well-executed, unforgettable experiences.
Troubleshoot the guest experience model
Acquire influencers, such as music, social, or media innovators
Promote the event in the weeks and months leading up to it
Share management responsibilities
However, you can't just scroll through LinkedIn, find companies similar to yours, and cold call them asking if they want to write you a fat check. Not only will you not get anywhere, but you aren't singling out brands that have already proven the have a thoughtful and experienced events team — this could leave you with nothing more than a vanity partner that slaps their logo on your promotions without lifting a finger.
To find a truly, mutually beneficial relationship, ask yourself the following questions as you vet possible partners:
Do they align with your brand?
Are their enough viable similarities across your audiences/future guests?
Are they active and successful on social?
What do their promotional channels look like? Are the successful?
Is there a possibility to work together in the future if the initial event does well?
Be explicit about your expectations from your brand partner. Even when a detail as small as what to provide in the VIP welcome packets comes up, your event will look like a completed puzzle with one missing piece and that empty space is all you'll see. Also remember, the perfect partner might not even be a similar brand with similar goals.
When the agency we were born from, Pop2Life (now CNX), executed branded music events for clients, our most common partners were radio stations. Instead of splitting responsibilities down the middle, the radio station, or another type of media partner, had a very specific role to play. Once the event’s location, artist, and experience were secured, the radio station's job was to amplify the event by promoting a sweepstakes to their audience to attend, usually along with complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations, and other VIP perks managed by our Event Concierge Services team.
Once armed with sweepstakes details that told radio listeners when to tune in for a chance to win and how to register on their website (like written copy, recorded promos, and web banners) the sweepstakes ran like well oiled machines until the winners were chosen and contacted.
Promoting on air sweepstakes allows radio stations to engage and nurture their audiences with exclusive and valuable opportunities. Sweepstakes provide value to fans by granting them unique access to a once in a lifetime experiences. They also provide value to media partners, who leverage the contest in exchange for media promotions.
By ensuring each radio station involved in the partnership follows the same promotional model over the same time period with the same registration process, brands can create a huge swell of promotion across the country.
Brand partnerships give each company access to new event guests in segments they previously did not compete in. These new opportunities can increase potential marketing reach and ultimately lead to a gain in their audiences. In fact, many partnerships create a flow of loyal buyers, increasing overall business for both companies in the partnership. When each business markets the upcoming event and alignment with the public, consumers are more likely to heed referrals for the partner company’s products and services.