Maximize the Impact of Event SponsorshipsApril 1, 2015

Focus on the 3 R's of Audience Engagement By
April 1, 2015

Maximize the Impact of Event Sponsorships

Focus on the 3 R's of Audience Engagement

775_4588782Mary MacGregorMary MacGregor is Corporate Vice President – Event Solutions for BI WORLDWIDE (BIW), responsible for all operating areas of the BIW Event Solutions Group including purchasing, design, delivery, group air, individual incentive travel, onsite operations, technology, communications and merchandise. She leads a team of more than 175 industry professionals who deliver memorable experiences and measurable results for their customers.,

Asking key partners to be sponsors at an event, exposition or convention is a proven way to offset program costs for you and a good way for sponsors to get valuable face time with your participants. It’s a tried-and-true marketing strategy that has stood the test of time. It’s unlikely to go away any time soon — nor should it!

But it can be so much more when you apply the three R’s of audience engagement.

Right Partners, Right Interaction, Right Results

Maximizing the impact of sponsorships for you, your partners and your participants requires bringing together the three R’s of audience engagement: Right Partners, Right interaction, Right Results.

Using the three R’s means:

  • Working with the Right Partners who want to spend quality time with attendees and are open to new ideas to make that happen.
  • Creating the Right Level of Interaction with participants that appeals to their interests and needs.
  • Knowing upfront what you want your Right Results to be so you can demonstrate to your sponsors why investing in your event is worthwhile.

Traditional 10-by-10-foot pipe and drape booths and promotional product giveaways still have their place, but savvy marketers are applying the three R’s — and benefiting because of it.

A Case in Point

A major telecommunications company applied the three R’s to their call center employee incentive event in Puerto Rico recently and were astounded by what happened.

Instead of offering traditional and costly optional activities such as tours, golf and water sports rentals, the telecommunications company worked with three key partners to create a series of interactive events each day of the trip. The partners represented add-on products the call center attendees were expected to sell to their customers.

The afternoon events were held inside a closed, windowless nightclub — hardly a place most people visiting sunny Puerto Rico would choose to be. Yet these activities were eagerly attended by all the travelers. In fact these sponsorship events ended up being rated as the highlight of the trip by participants. And, the sponsor partners were equally pleased with the results.

Why were they so successful?

  • The telecommunications company wisely chose the Right Partners who appreciated the tremendous influence these call center employees had in selling their products.
  • The partners were willing to try new and entertaining ways to get the Right Interaction with the call center employees so they would be open to the sponsors’ messages and feel valued at the same time.
  • The telecommunications company utilized the services of BI Worldwide to create cost-effective interactive experiences that delivered the Right Results for everyone involved.

Making a Lasting Impression

BI Worldwide frequently applies key principals of behavioral economics as part of its successful three R’s design methodology. Each of the three distinctly different afternoons was cleverly designed by BI Worldwide as an interactive event that provided fun and engaging experiences that capitalized on two behavioral economic principles: vividness and memory bias.

Vividness causes people to remember things that are graphic or dramatic. Memory bias helps us to better remember those experiences we particularly enjoyed. Successful interactive sponsorships need to be positive emotional experiences that attendees remember and are excited to share with colleagues, friends and family.

Applying the Three R’s Is Easier Than You May Think

Inviting the right partners to play a role in your events goes way beyond the obvious financial benefits of cost sharing. When integrated properly using the right interactive experiences, everyone involved realizes the right results.

Applying the three R’s:

  • Gives partners a unique opportunity to interact with channel members to whom they normally can’t get direct access.
  • Gives event participants the ability to learn directly about the sponsors products, services and value propositions to better meet their own goals.
  • Adds interest and appeal to the event.
  • Creates positive memories when the principles of memory bias and vividness are applied to the event design and implementation.
  • Builds loyalty and goodwill for both you and your partners.

The Right Partners Are Willing to Jump in

Most sponsors are extremely receptive to new and different ways to engage with the key influencers of their products and services. It’s important to remember that your sponsorship partners are experts in whatever line of business they are in; they are not experts in participant engagement. Sponsors continue to rely on the tried-and-tired promotional product giveaways, cocktail parties and coffee bars with free Wi-Fi because it’s what’s familiar to them. But given a chance, they will try new approaches and even invest more for the right interaction that leads to the right results for their businesses.

“Given a chance, (sponsors) will try new approaches and even invest more for the right interaction that leads to the right results for their businesses.”

The Right Interaction Attracts New Sponsors

BI Worldwide has helped many organizations dramatically build their event sponsorships by using the three R’s to carefully and creatively develop partner packages that capture the specific interests of the event audience. The packages offer a range of investment opportunities for sponsors that meet their distinct needs. For one major energy company, BI Worldwide helped that organization add many new sponsors to their annual 2014 convention and business expo resulting in a 22 percent increase above the sponsorship revenue goal.

The Right Results Are Realized

What exactly did BI Worldwide do for the telecommunications and energy companies? What were those successful interactive experiences BI Worldwide created for the telecommunications company that had participants passing on the beach in favor of a windowless room in the Caribbean? Curious to learn how BI Worldwide helped the energy company dramatically exceed its revenue goals and have a key executive declare “you raised this convention to a new level”?

Visit our website at or contact us at and we’ll not only share what we did, but we’ll help you apply the three R’s to take your event to the next level. We’d love to hear from you. C&IT

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