Should We Sponsor the Branded Napkins?

Branded Napkins

It’s a question that faces nearly every marketer: is a sponsorship worth the investment? It can be difficult to commit to dedicating your budget to an opportunity when your return on investment isn’t quite clear, but there are some ways to make a wise choice.

Trade shows, conferences, meetings and even events typically offer a wide variety of sponsorship opportunities. These could be branded items like lanyards, registration bags, and other tangible items with your company’s logo and messaging. Other sponsorship opportunities offer more personal interaction, such as the ability to make podium remarks before introducing the key note speaker.

When faced with so many choices, it can be difficult for a marketer to decide which sponsorship to invest in and how to gauge if it is worth the investment. With sponsorships, there is no easy or tried and true answer. Like so many other things, it depends!


When considering a sponsorship and choosing the best option, start by revisiting your event goals and objectives. The creative brief is a great tool to capture details about the event and exactly what you and your company are trying to accomplish. The right sponsorship can enhance your presence, make up for a less than ideal booth location or reach an audience that may not attend the exhibit hall.


Attendee personas are another important consideration when evaluating your sponsorship choices. Having insight into attendee interests and motivations can be an important determinant. For example, are they inclined to participate in networking events or are they more motivated supporting community service projects?

Think through the following questions as you evaluate sponsorships for your next event:

  • What are my quantifiable goals and objectives for this event? Will I be able to achieve them with our booth presence alone?
  • What other advertising and marketing is already planned? Will it reach my ideal target audience?
  • What new news, engagements or events are planned for my booth to draw attendees in?
  • How many of my ideal target audience members attend the exhibit hall? How much time do they spend there? Where else are they spending their time?
  • How do my ideal target audience members spend their time during the event?
  • What types of sponsorship opportunities make sense for my situation; for example:
  • Prior to the event to drive awareness and interest
  • Prior to the event to drive attendance
  • During the event to drive brand recognition
  • After the event to drive brand recognition
  • How lasting should the sponsorship experience be? For example, we could sponsor the luncheon and perhaps be recognized from the podium, have signage and napkins. Another option might be to sponsor the lanyards that are visible during the event. Or, we could sponsor a water bottle that might be taken back to the office and used for months.
  • How do the different sponsorship options compare in terms of apples to apples comparison of reach?

Whatever path you chose, it is most important that you synchronize your event strategy and spend with your objectives and your ideal target attendee. That will help you to get the most bang for your buck!


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