Event Marketing & Planning

20 Proven Event Sponsorship Ideas (2024 update)

by
The Eventcube Team
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Looking for inspiration? Need a sponsor for your next event? You've come to the right place. Here we list 16 proven event sponsorship ideas. From sponsored break out rooms, to wayfinding and more. Let's get stuck in...

In the wake of recent changes in the events industry, there's been a significant shift in the approach to event sponsorship; one necessitating a fresh evaluation of traditional sponsorship methods. It's not merely a matter of financial management or the misconception that traditional approaches are more cost-effective. Instead, the challenge lies in understanding how to maintain and enhance value in this evolving landscape.

In recent years, many new opportunities and challenges have arisen for sponsorship in the world of events. Brands now have the potential to reach a global audience, but some have struggled to keep up with the evolution of this engagement. As indicated by a study from Bizzabo, 37% of event professionals face difficulties in meeting sponsor expectations, emphasizing the need for effective strategies and collaboration.

Recognizing this gap, we've stepped in to save the day! Eventcube has been helping people manage and promote successful events around the world—and this includes  tailored events for sponsors. We've curated a guide on sponsorship event ideas, tailored to maximize engagement and revenue generation for your upcoming events. This will ensure your business can navigate the ever-evolving landscape with confidence!

What makes a good sponsorship idea?

Essentially, creative event sponsorship ideas are innovative strategies that mutually benefit event organizer and sponsor alike. They focus on enhancing attendee experience while providing valuable brand visibility and engagement for sponsors. Whether through interactive workshops, branded content, or exclusive event perks, effective sponsorship ideas seamlessly integrate sponsors into the event, ensuring a memorable experience for all involved.

Check out this article from Event Academy to learn more about the basics of event sponsorship.

What should you offer when accepting event sponsorship?

Crafting the right sponsorship package is crucial to forming a successful partnership. Consider giving sponsors visibility with their logos on event materials and digital platforms. Let them lead or participate in key sessions or workshops. Share insights from attendee data that's relevant to them. Create spaces for branded interactions, whether they're live conferences, virtual lounges, or interactive segments. The key is to align the offerings with what both the attendees value and what aligns with the sponsor's branding goals.

Some examples of sponsored events

A popular example of a sponsored event is a music festival where a major brand, like a beverage or tech company, comes on board as the main sponsor. They might have exclusive branding rights on the main stage, set up branded lounges or tents for festivalgoers, offer special giveaways, and even integrate their products into the event experience. In return, the event gets financial support, and the sponsor receives significant exposure and engagement with the attendees.

Here are some famous event sponsorship examples:

  • The Olympic Games: Held every four years, this international sports event garners massive attention from sponsors. Companies like Coca-Cola, Visa, Samsung, and Toyota are among the top-tier sponsors, known as the Worldwide Olympic Partners.
  • FIFA World Cup: This global football (or soccer, depending on where you're from) tournament attracts big-name sponsors such as Adidas, Coca-Cola, Qatar Airways, and Visa.
  • Super Bowl: - Beyond the American football championship game, the Super Bowl is famous for its halftime show and commercials. Companies pay millions for a brief ad spot during the game, making it one of the most high-profile sponsorship events in the U.S.
  • Cannes Film Festival: Located in France, this prestigious film festival attracts luxury brands and sponsors such as L'Oréal Paris, Chopard, and Air France. It is one of the most significant events in the film industry where movies from around the world compete for the Palme d'Or.
  • Fashion Weeks (New York, Milan, Paris, London): These are major events in the fashion calendar. Big-name designers, models, and celebrities attend, and the events get significant sponsorship from luxury brands, beauty companies, and more. Sponsors might include brands like Mercedes-Benz (for NY Fashion Week), Sephora, and American Express.
  • TED Conferences: Known for its impactful and inspiring talks, TED attracts sponsors looking to align themselves with innovation and thought leadership. Past sponsors have included brands like IBM, Rolex, and Unilever.

What types of company will sponsor events?

While there are clear financial benefits of sponsorship, there is much to be gained other than money. Many companies across various industries see the value in sponsoring events as a means to boost brand awareness and engagement. This includes tech firms, beverage and food brands, automotive companies, financial institutions, and even startups. The choice often depends on the event's audience and theme. For instance, sports events might attract sportswear brands, while a tech conference might draw interest from software or hardware companies. The key for event organizers is to identify companies whose target audience aligns with the event's attendees, ensuring a beneficial partnership for both parties.

Our 20 creative event sponsorship ideas are:

  1. Find shared value with sponsorship activation
  2. Don't forget the pre-event period
  3. Simple swag might be your best option
  4. Contact brands with shared values and offer advertising or content
  5. Offer sponsored wayfinding services
  6. Connect with brands interested in your event data
  7. Offer sponsorship for a live-streamed event
  8. Utilize your attendees for sponsored giveaways
  9. Provide breakout rooms for sponsored speakers or consultations.
  10. Sponsored Q&A sessions are also a great addition
  11. Provide online 'photo booths'
  12. Offer naming rights to your event
  13. Add sponsored opportunities to event apps
  14. Use the sponsored video ads strategically
  15. Branded transitions between slides
  16. Host a scavenger hunt
  17. Curate sponsored interactive workshops
  18. Consider offering event VIP packages
  19. Integrate sponsored polls and surveys
  20. Try out customizable virtual backgrounds

1. Find shared value with sponsorship activation

Brand activations were a common site at the music festivals we all loved to attend and hated recovering from. Today, this can easily be transferred into a digital space — you just need to start the process much earlier. 

Jamestown, the force behind New York's iconic One Times Square New Year's Eve event, had to pivot virtually. Collaborating with Samsung, AWS, Twitch, NASA, and Ultimate Gamer, attendees explored the landmark via AR, enjoying digital art and brand interactions.

Effective brand activation in events hinges on relevance. Remembering standout real-world activations—like Benefit Cosmetics' Glastonbury pop-up which not only made attendees 'festival ready' but also provided essentials—can guide event strategies. Adapting these principles can create memorable experiences, forging lasting impressions of your sponsor brand.

2. Don't forget the pre-event period

Maximizing the pre-event period is essential for attracting event sponsors for your next event. By seamlessly incorporating their branding into regular online content, you elevate their exposure beyond a standard sponsorship package.

For instance, placing logos in email signatures offers consistent brand visibility compared to occasional banners. And don't underestimate the impact of a pre-event fireside chat; it not only heightens anticipation but showcases your commitment to sponsors, especially with a main event that spotlights various brands in a single showcase.

3. Simple swag might be your best option

Managing an event budget effectively is crucial, especially when considering branded merchandise. While potential sponsors see value in prominent branding, it's essential to be discerning. Simply stamping a logo on an item won't cut it. The merchandise must resonate with attendees and genuinely enhance their experience.

Every event comes with unique challenges, like shipping costs for swag. But imagine the attendee's delight when they receive a thoughtful item, like a mini bottle of gin for a spirits conference. These moments, sponsored by potential sponsors, make the event memorable. Think about the best swag you can offer, rather than spending loads of money on product branding.  

Beyond merchandise, think about added experiences. How about a catered lunch from a local provider during your event? Or special deals with streaming services for post-event relaxation? The goal is to craft a rich ‘at-home’ experience, showcasing sponsors in the best possible light while remaining conscious of the event budget.‍

4. Contact brands with shared values and offer advertising/content

When it comes to creative sponsorship ideas,  few are more essential than securing ideal sponsors. The true power of a sponsorship isn't just getting aa popular logo or an event with branding: it resides in shared values that resonate with the event's audience and purpose. A harmonious event design effortlessly blends these logos and brand messages, ensuring a seamless experience for attendees.

For example, take the collaboration between the World Health Organisation and Knox Frost. This influencer, known for endorsing wellness, paired perfectly with WHO's global healthcare mission, magnifying their campaign's reach. Similarly, TED's thought leadership combined with Rolex's luxury has set a high standard for brand partnerships.

On the lighter side, the Toronto International Film Festival's glamorous tie-up with L'Oreal is noteworthy. And of course, the adrenaline-packed alliance of Red Bull with GoPro perfectly embodies the spirit of adventure and energy.

Such partnerships not only showcase the brands but also reinforce the importance of finding the right fit in event sponsorships. So, when you set up that all-important sponsor meet, ensure your event sponsorship proposals are water-tight! Check out PandaDoc's great article on the topic.

5. Offer sponsored wayfinding services

In traditional large-scale events, attendees often grapple with navigating vast areas, especially as nighttime descends and surroundings become disorienting. The situation is even more challenging after reveling in festivities and perhaps enjoying a drink or two. Here, effective signposting paired with brand logos has always been a saving grace.

In the digital realm, the concept doesn't change, just its execution. Interactive sponsorship ideas offer a unique opportunity for businesses to enhance user experiences. While a sprawling virtual environment demands digital signposts, straightforward streaming events can cleverly integrate sponsor branding through strategic outbound links. Remember, even in a virtual setting, wayfinding with the right sponsor touchpoints remains a compelling aspect to consider.

Promote sponsors through games

Tying your sponsorship to attendee engagement is the best way to make sure people stay tuned. Suggest your sponsors donate prizes to gain visibility and a chance to earn some free swag! With so many  event platforms out there, you may choose to gamify your own events.

6. Connect with brands interested in your event data

Back in 2018, The Sponsorship Guy — a leading expert in virtual, hybrid and IRL event sponsorship — wrote a blog entitled ' Great Data Wins Sponsorships: Where To Find It and How To Use It '. We highly recommend taking a proper look, because the post explains how data is a key selling point for brands. However, the data has to be 'good'.

This means looking at psychographics and behavioral analytics. It means moving past the old hat demographics of 'English Male, 37' into more specific details about what these people really do, how they act, and, crucially, how they make purchasing decisions. 

To understand just how much data is now driving the events industry you only need to look at this blog post on a B2B website, Eventsforce. Industry Insight: The Growing Importance of Data in Events', was written back in 2017 and contains some crucial facts. One key insight is that 84% of organizers saw data as a huge challenge, but 70% were planning on making significant improvements to their data capture methods in order to gather more information. That was almost four years ago, and despite the pandemic, the sector has moved fast in this area. In 2023 you simply can't afford not to engage.

You could also use data to help sponsors generate & track leads

The first step in this process is scanning business cards and collecting data (with your attendees' permission) that allows you to build up contact details for potential leads. Then categorize these contacts by qualifications like industry type, job description, or location. Once ordered and cleaned, this information is golden for your sponsors.

7. Offer sponsorship on a dedicated landing page for a live-streamed event

Another creative event sponsorship idea is to collaborate with well-known industry brands. This tactic not only elevates your event's perceived credibility, especially for newer ventures but also attracts attendees through exclusive deals and discounts.

Landing pages play a pivotal role in this strategy. As outlined by SeedProd and SwiftDigital, a well-constructed event landing page serves multiple purposes. It effectively funnels traffic, drives conversions, and bolsters social media marketing. Essential components of a compelling landing page include event details, efficient attendee sign-up forms, one-click social sharing, and prominently displayed sponsor logos.

However, the trick lies in presenting all this information without cluttering the space, emphasizing the importance of intuitive event design. Eventcube’s own virtual venue or broadcast features both come with a dedicated landing page for live-streamed events. Both of which can be fully customized and branded to your needs. 

8. Create a landing page offering attendees exclusive deals/offers with partners.

Many brands and sponsors use events as the perfect opportunity to place their products in the hands of potential customers. During physical events and virtual events, swag bags and giveaways have always proven effective.

Online tools & software that fit with your audience's requirements will work well. For example, if you're hosting an event on digital marketing trends, you could do partnerships with companies that provide tools for this audience. Then build a unique landing page with exclusive attendee-only discounts.

Virtual events offer a unique means to gift and trial new products amidst a new target market, raising both brand awareness and delighting event attendees. Guests leave humbled and happy in the receipt of exclusive offers from either one or a number of sponsors whilst brands relish in the opportunity to gift directly to what might become a future valuable customer.

Display branding on registration pages

The registration page or website is another perfect place for sponsorship. It's prime real estate. Don't forget to clearly state the sponsors, so people don't get confused about who organized it all along.

A final word of advice is to make sure your sponsorship opportunity doesn't create any friction on the registration page. You don't want anything distracting, messaging, or graphics that hamper capturing the contact information from the visitors.

9. Provide breakout rooms for sponsored speakers/consultation

One of the most tried and true sponsorship ideas is leveraging breakout rooms. Event platforms often allow for the creation of multiple breakout spaces. Why not transform one into a 'Brand Lounge', enhancing the user experience with the added touch of celebrity ambassadors?

The Winter Music Conference in Miami in 2021 showcased this brilliantly. Alongside its primary digital agenda, several major music brands launched their very own virtual lounges or 'chill out' rooms. Essentially, these are creative renditions of breakout rooms that can also extend to digital after-parties and other fringe activities. Such spaces become invaluable virtual event sponsorship opportunities with entertainment at the forefront.

We Are Teachers provides insights on maximizing virtual breakout rooms. It underscores the significance of engagement, suggesting organizers frequently check into various rooms during an event, much like teachers would during a virtual class. This approach ensures attendees feel acknowledged and engaged.

Eventcube's Virtual Venue feature takes this idea a notch higher.

It offers customizable breakout rooms, which sponsors can personalize, making it a prime avenue for branding. Incorporating real-time polls can gauge participants' experiences, allowing for instant adjustments and signifying to attendees that their feedback matters. This holistic approach not only boosts event engagement but also presents a compelling sponsorship pitch.

10. Sponsored Q&A sessions are a great addition

Are your sponsors hosting or participating in one of the sessions? Offer your sponsor the opportunity to join a Q&A afterward with the attendees. These Q&A sessions are great ways to involve your attendees and get them invested in the event. 

These sessions can also be done virtually, or you could have people submit questions throughout for presenters who will answer at the end of each session.

11. Provide sponsored  'photo booths' 

Capturing moments in a photo booth with friends has always been a heartwarming experience, making it a timeless piece of event entertainment. And with the digital transformation of the past decade, our affinity for photos and sharing memories is even more pronounced on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. No matter the type of event, whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid, the social photo booth has the potential to raise your sponsorship levels!

For example, adding virtual social photo booths at your event (powered by the latest digital tools) could be a great opportunity for an  event technology sponsorship. This modern twist not only resonates with today's tech-savvy audience but also offers a fantastic opportunity for event organizers and sponsors alike.

By tying up with influential brands, especially those with significant traction on platforms like Instagram or Pinterest, events can host engaging user-generated photo contests or challenges. Such collaborations not only harness the brand's widespread influence but also amplify content related to your specific kind of event.

The beauty of this? The sponsoring brand gets to ride the wave of new followers and increased engagement, all thanks to the event's attendees. Meanwhile, the event gets to bask in the spotlight, boosted by the brand's extensive reach. And let's not forget the versatility of our devices! Why stop at photos when we can integrate short videos on social media? You could even try TikTok challenges, adding more layers of fun and engagement. It's a win-win for everyone involved!

12. Offer naming rights to your event

This one is a very, very big deal and not a move we would suggest taking lightly. Handing over the naming rights of your event is a serious commitment to the brand partnership, and we've seen some epic fails over the years. 

This is also pretty difficult to manage in terms of expectations. Brands will want coverage to include the full event name, but how many people ever really called Reading and Leeds festival 'The Carling Weekend'?

And that's why our first point — choosing sponsors you agree with — always comes first. Nevertheless, partnerships like O2 Wireless have succeeded, partly because the branded event name actually works well.

If you're considering offering naming rights we'd advise getting to grips with  the legal terminology and consider your options prior to that fateful spnsor meet.

Sponsorship Collective has a comprehensive blog post on this very subject, which includes breaking things down into Title Sponsorship and Presenting Rights. If you're already unsure as to what the difference is, then please do read up on this as there are significant separating factors between the two. When it comes to execution, this can be a challenging event sponsorship ideas.

13. Add sponsored opportunities to event apps 

Brainstorming new ways to add sponsorships for events is a fun activity that leads to interesting paths. After all, just because you have an event sponsor doesn't mean their sponsorship presence is limited to the event only. 

Likewise, they don't necessarily need to be the overall event sponsor. Apps are becoming more and more integral to running and managing events, and from an audience perspective, mobile devices are central to many experiences.

You could build one for keeping lineup news up to date or contain a digital, easy-to-read version of the event’s schedule. Another example would be Firestarters , a festival of conversations on mental health and creativity that ran in March 2021 and used video messaging and sharing platform URFeed to run its panel discussions, rather than live streaming. You could even integrate your sponsorship into a raffle for custom swag!

In most cases, there's an opportunity to brand, and therefore also sponsor, elements of such software. 

Some experts are already campaigning in favor of a new job, Event Technologist , who will work with promoters and other hosts to ensure that the tech side of the event utilizes all the available tools to ensure the experience isn't just enjoyable, but seamless. This push to create a future-proof niche role for events is understandable when you consider some of the numbers we've heard — like how just 38% of event organizers feel they are confident technology users, and how only 20% labeled themselves "tech-savvy".

14. Use the sponsored video ads strategically

Another great event sponsorship idea is to harness the power of video content. Beyond the financial benefits of sponsorship, video content offers rewards other than money. It delivers a profound and lasting brand impression on your audience. Inspired by platforms like YouTube, consider embedding the sponsor's logo and integrating text overlays during interviews with experts.

Encourage attendees to watch custom video ads during breaks, tailored by the sponsors exclusively for the event. These videos  can serve to enhance brand visibility and foster a deeper connection with the audience. It's a win-win: while attendees get enriched content, sponsors receive a platform to shine.

As you sift through various live streaming platforms or sponsorship packages, it's crucial to collaborate closely with your sponsors. Exploring all options ensures that the final choice aligns with both the event's objectives and the sponsors' goals.

15. Branded transitions between slides

In the world of events, every moment is an opportunity for maximizing sponsorship engagement. One simple yet often overlooked strategy is to include sponsored branding during transitions, such as when switching between slides, presenters, or sessions. Through your event app, seamlessly incorporate branded slides showcasing sponsor logos, ensuring sponsors get the visibility they deserve.

When a sponsor is also a speaker, enhance their presence by displaying their cheerful photo along with contact details. It provides a dual benefit: attendees get a familiar face, and sponsors receive increased exposure.

Between sessions, why not acknowledge and thank your sponsors by airing their ads? However, it's essential to discuss and agree upon the duration these ads will remain visible on the screen.

A proven method to boost sponsorship engagement is overlaying logos on the lower third of the screen. This technique works wonders, especially during commercials or between segments. And for those standout moments, like sponsored presentations or engaging Q&A sessions, consider going fullscreen with sponsor branding. This not only captivates the audience but also ensures the sponsor's message resonates long after the event concludes.

16. Host a scavenger hunt

While some might categorize scavenger hunts as a type of brand activation, they stand out due to their emphasis on active participation. Instead of passively receiving a brand message or a free sample, scavenger hunts challenge participants to engage directly, often solving puzzles or tasks that incorporate the brand's message. This active involvement means the brand's messaging tends to linger longer in participants' minds.

Think of it this way: scavenger hunts prompt individuals to interact with branded challenges, ensuring a deeper connection than merely receiving freebies.

Scavenger hunts don’t necessarily require advanced virtual reality tech. While immersive VR scavenger hunts would be fascinating, we've learned from the numerous online quizzes during the 2020 lockdown that a simple task, like locating items in one's home, can be equally engaging.

Executing this in a brand-centric manner can unveil unique sponsorship possibilities. Socialtables offers a detailed overview of real-world scavenger hunts, many of which can be adapted for virtual settings with a bit of creativity.

17. Curate sponsored interactive workshops

When it comes to hosting successful events, creative ideas that engage attendees are key. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by curating sponsored interactive workshops. These workshops offer a dynamic platform for both event organizers and sponsors to deliver value to attendees.

During these workshops, brands can step in as sponsors and contribute resources, experts, or product demonstrations to enhance the workshop's quality. For instance, if your event focuses on wellness and personal development, a wellness brand might sponsor an interactive mindfulness session led by an expert from their team.

Additionally, integrating wellness breaks within these workshops can be a valuable touchpoint for sponsors specializing in health and wellness. Attendees can benefit from wellness tips and recommendations provided by sponsors while enjoying a brief respite from the event's main content.

By weaving sponsors into the fabric of these interactive sessions, you not only boost attendee engagement but also create a win-win situation. Attendees receive valuable insights and experiences, while sponsors gain an opportunity to showcase their expertise and offerings in a contextually relevant manner. It's all about fostering creativity and interaction to make your event truly memorable.

18. Consider offering VIP event packages

VIP packages are a creative and engaging opportunity, not just for attendees but also for sponsors seeking unique promotion avenues. These packages offer a coveted backstage pass experience within your event.

Picture this: exclusive meet-and-greets with keynote speakers, early access to event content, and personalized interactions with event performers. These VIP perks create a buzz and generate excitement among attendees. What's more, sponsors can join the VIP party by providing branded swag and interactive experiences that seamlessly integrate with the overall event atmosphere. By offering sponsored VIP packages, you not only enhance attendee satisfaction but also offer sponsors a dynamic platform to showcase their brand in an exclusive and memorable context. It's a sponsorship idea that delivers value and promotes engagement all around. So, if you're looking for innovative ways to boost sponsorship appeal, consider the allure of VIP packages for your event.

19. Integrate sponsored polls and surveys

Next up in our interactive event sponsorship ideas is the often underestimated survey. Ever wondered how to turn those inquisitive questions into engaging sponsorship opportunities? Look no further than sponsored polls and surveys. In the ever-evolving event landscape, audience engagement reigns supreme, and these tools offer a creative twist on the traditional sponsorship model.

Imagine this: During your in-person or virtual event, you conduct a live poll about the latest industry trends or attendees' favorite session topics. Now, here's where the magic happens. A sponsor, say an industry leader or a tech innovator, steps in and offers a sponsored poll question that seamlessly integrates with the event's theme. Attendees, in exchange for their insights, get a firsthand look at the sponsor's latest product or exclusive content. It's a win-win!

These interactive surveys and polls obviously provide valuable insights for event organizers. But there's more.  Through social media, sponsors have an innovative way to promote their brand while actively engaging with the audience. It's a prime example of how finding creative solutions benefit both attendees and sponsors alike. So, if you're seeking interactive event ideas that blend audience engagement with sponsorship opportunities, look no further than integrated sponsored polls and surveys to captivate your event's audience.

20. Try out customizable virtual backgrounds

Elevate your virtual event's aesthetics with sponsored virtual backgrounds, a creative sponsorship idea that brings both style and branding to the forefront. In the era of virtual meetings and events, customizable backgrounds have become more than just a novelty; they're a canvas for innovation and brand promotion.

Event attendees can swap their mundane living room backgrounds for vibrant, sponsored visuals that align with the event's theme or a sponsor's campaign. Whether it's a picturesque landscape or a branded backdrop, the possibilities are endless. For sponsors, this offers a unique platform to showcase their logo, message, or products, reinforcing their presence throughout the event.

So, if you're seeking a dynamic way to blend creativity and sponsorship, consider integrating customizable virtual backgrounds into your virtual event. It's a subtle yet effective approach to immerse attendees in your event's ambiance while providing sponsors with an engaging branding opportunity.

Sponsorship could be the difference between event success or failure

Securing the perfect sponsorship can mean the difference between an ordinary event and an extraordinary one. Beyond the financial incentive, sponsorship benefits ideas: it brings a plethora of opportunities for event organizers and sponsors alike.

Collaboration leads to enhanced engagement, brand visibility, and meaningful interactions, all while offering attendees a richer event experience. As the events industry continues to evolve, ensuring you're using the latest and best ideas becomes imperative.  Make sure you've researched thoroughly so you can make your event as attractive as possible to your ideal sponsor!

With Eventcube's comprehensive solutions (from streamlined, secure ticketing to sponsorship expertise), we'll help you seamlessly integrate creative sponsorship ideas into your next event. Whether you require bespoke professional services or want to explore our other plans, we've got you covered! Request a free demo today and explore what the platform has to offer.

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