How to Attract Sponsors for your Conference or Event App

Offering your attendees a mobile app to help them navigate your event is an obvious benefit for the attendees – they want schedules, maps, exhibitor listings, and social media all on their phones and tablets – but can it be a revenue generator instead of an added expense? It can if you set the app up right and your sponsorship sales team knows how to articulate the benefits to sponsors. Mobile technology offers some of the richest opportunities for engaging potential clients that a sponsor can ask for. Here are 3 ways to use your mobile event app to generate revenue while making your sponsors very happy.

1. Mobile banner ads are interactive, unlike paper ads.

One of the simplest and most lucrative ways to leverage your mobile event app is to offer your sponsors a banner ad on your app’s homescreen. Putting a banner ad in is usually a five-minute process – all you need to do is get a fitting digital image ad from your sponsor and upload it. There are no additional printing costs, hard deadlines, or shipping concerns. Once the ad is in the mobile app, interested attendees can click into it to get more information about the sponsor or even engage with them directly. As an example, if I ran a medical conference for cardiologists, I could approach my main sponsor about putting an ad for their new EKG machine in the event app. When a doctor clicked into the ad, they could be prompted to fill out a short web form to get a free consultation. This level of direct engagement is impossible with more traditional forms of advertising.

2. Exhibitor scavenger hunts can encourage attendees to visit sponsors.

Exhibitor scavenger hunts With the advent of smartphones, scavenger hunts are no longer just the domain of children. If you’re organizing an event that has an exhibitor component, consider setting up a scavenger hunt. Allow sponsors to buy into the scavenger hunt. When they do, provide them with a QR code (a barcode that can be scanned with a mobile device) that they can put on their booth. Then offer small prizes for attendees who visit all of the booths on the scavenger hunt. This means guaranteed visits for your sponsors, and because the cost is shared among several of them, you can charge a reasonable price and still make a good amount of money.

3. Featured listings and sponsored messages attract eyes.

Featured Sponsored Listings Your event app will quickly become the go-to source for information about sponsors and sessions. You can offer your sponsors a chance to take advantage of all of this eye traffic by selling them premium listings in your exhibitor guide. Let them include extra information or multimedia components, or simply list the participating sponsors in strategic positions. Mobile apps also offer the possibility to send sponsored messages to attendees. This tactic should be used with discretion, because nothing is more annoying than a bunch of sales pitches causing your cell phone to blow up at all hours of the day. However, when used sparingly, this can be a powerful tool. What sponsor wouldn’t want the opportunity to talk directly to their potential clients?

Alan BlankAbout the Author: Alan Blank is the director of marketing at Guidebook, Inc., a provider of mobile apps for events, and an occasional blogger on event technology. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.



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