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event mobile app sponsorship

How to Win Sponsors for Your Event Mobile App

According to a recent event marketing survey, the number of event planners using apps has grown 20%. 75% of event planners who don’t use apps reported they intended to implement them soon. It’s clear that mobile apps are becoming a necessary part of event marketing.

Here’s another statistic for you. Event mobile apps can cost 1.2% of your budget per attendee. If you are planning to implement an event mobile app, the cost will be a factor. There are certainly free apps available for you to use but most are limited in scope and features. Most likely you will need a customizable app that is tailored to your event and the needs of your attendees. Many savvy event planners have started securing sponsors for their mobile app. This is a highly lucrative tactic that offers marketing and branding benefits to a targeted partner in exchange for offsetting the cost of the app. Once the app is implemented, this strategy can then become a potential revenue stream for future events.

So, what is a compelling sponsorship pitch for an event app?
Start by building a sponsorship package. First, decide if you are seeking one sponsor or multiple sponsors. That will most likely depend on how much money you need to raise or if you think exclusivity would be a key selling feature. If you are planning on multiple sponsors, create a tiered plan that offers more benefits for more dollars.

Each sponsorship level should benefit both you and the sponsor. Make sure to include in the sponsorship pitch the demographic and purchase information as well as social reach for your intended audience. The best sponsorship benefits in the world will not be attractive if the app doesn’t reach or interest the audience your potential sponsor is interested in.

What features should you include? Since an event app is at its core an event marketing tool, you’ve got endless built-in promotional benefits to offer. Here are some ideas:

  • Company logos incorporated into event branding on the app splash screen, headers, footers or side rails
  • Sponsorship profile page with links to the sponsor’s website and social media
  • Enhanced exhibitor listing (if the sponsor is also an exhibitor)
  • Banner ads on the front page or on targeted pages within the app
  • Promoted social media ads
  • Push notifications to attendees
  • Interactive exhibit floor and venue map pins or pop up notifications promoting the sponsor’s display areas or booth
  • Sponsor’s product offers or coupons
  • Location-based messaging targeted to local attendees
  • Targeted real-time surveys gathering information the sponsor needs
  • Gamification, for example, award attendees points for visiting sponsor’s booth or signing up for an estimate
  • Access to attendee contact lists
  • Cross promotion on event registration and ticketing software

It is a best practice to compute a dollar value for each feature in your package. You can then group the features together into tiers based on value and integration. It’s also important to outline your marketing strategy for the app in your sponsorship package. Prospective partners will want to understand what you are doing to ensure attendee use. This is also another opportunity to provide value to sponsors by promoting their organization along with the app.

Once you develop an outstanding tiered package, research sponsor prospects. Start with your prospective attendee marketing persona. Who are the local, regional or national thought leaders for the issue or industry? What organizations are interested in meeting your intended audience? Tap into your network to start and branch out from there.

Make sure to start early. The app will need to be ready to launch when you start selling tickets. Don’t leave anything to chance. The future of your event could rest in the implementation of your new event app.

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