Succesfully sponsoring a tech event: three things to keep in mind

Event sponsoring is one of the strategies that companies can follow when they seek to advertise, increase brand awareness and lead generation, or find new employees. Although not always easy to measure, it is a strategy that works. This is probably the reason why so often you see the same companies sponsoring so many different events.

ohm2013 300However, when it comes to sponsoring a tech event, there are a few things that you might want to give some extra consideration. Particularly when your event goals are to generate leads or to advertise your products or services, you might often find, quite early in the process, that the reaction of your audience or that of the organizers is a bit… allergic. Worst case scenario, you might even risk ending up a “sponsor non grata” – spoiling the good reputation you had with the target audience before the event.

So what is a good approach when you are thinking of sponsoring a technical event? When LeaseWeb considered sponsoring OHM2013 in the Netherlands, it quickly became crystal clear to us that sponsoring this event in a big n’ loud way was out of the question. In other words, no dubstep DJ playing noisy records while promotion people pass around company flyers – the sponsor policy that was set out by the organizers of OHM was very clear on this. Keeping those factors in mind, we decided to offer the tech audience exactly what we knew they needed: infrastructure and coffee!

As a result, on top of simply sponsoring the event, LeaseWeb also offered the OHM organizers to build a temporary cloud infrastructure that was appropriately baptized “the Campsite Cloud”. Visitors of OHM were invited to register themselves at the LeaseWeb tent for a temporary cloud instance to run their projects or to enjoy the freshly-brewed coffee that was freely served on site.

In the end, LeaseWeb received a lot of positive feedback from both the OHM organizers and event visitors for our hands-on, generous yet low profile sponsoring. It was a sponsorship that matched OHM and the idealistic, technical crowd that the event attracts. The recognition we received and positive impression that we left behind is what made the sponsoring of the event a success for us as an organization.

Are you thinking of sponsoring a tech event as well? If so, here are the three things that need a bit of extra consideration:

  1. Set the right goals: In terms of event goals, consider aiming for increased brand awareness and reputation management instead of generating sales leads and advertising opportunities.
  2. Connect with the audience: Find a way to connect with your target audience by organizing something that improves the event experience of the attendees.
  3. Manage expectations: Last but not least, carefully go over the sponsorship terms before signing the sponsorship agreement in order to avoid disappointment for both parties later on during the sponsorship process.

By the way, OHM 2013 is just one example of an event that we attended, check out our event calendar to see what other events you can find us at!

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