12 Key Ways to Benefit from Award Sponsorship

The In-house Recruitment Awards are getting bigger and better every year, and for good reason. Following on from the success of previous years, we are adding even more categories and recognising even more In-house recruitment professionals and teams with a brand new format!

The often misconstrued idea that most would-be sponsors generally make is thinking that it’s all about the glitz and glamour of that one evening. Sure, the night is the reason you’re reading this but there’s so much more to sponsoring a recruitment awards night than simply turning up! With the right strategy and correct mind-set, your participation will go a million miles further than a photo with the winners.

We’ve created a 12-point guide to help you discover how Awards Sponsorship is a superb way to generate leads and endorsements, build your brand and ultimately give you an excellent return on your investment.

1. Get in Early

In this case early-birds really do catch the worm; many in fact. By getting involved with the event from the very beginning, you will benefit from the following:

  • Preferential package rates. Awards organisers love to have their sponsors in place as early as possible and will encourage this with discounted prices (take it from us!)
  • The best opportunity to negotiate additional package features and add-ons
  • Have first pick of the category that is best aligned to your brand and services
  • Maximum time to plan your marketing campaign (more on this later)

Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to get involved. Contrary to popular belief, most awards producers will not significantly drop prices, so waiting until last knockings will only serve to leave you with no time, little exposure and a bargain-basement package, all of which renders sponsorship rather pointless.

2. Set Targets and Objectives

Before making the decision to sponsor awards, determine what you want to get out of it. The easiest way to do this is to work backwards. What is the desired outcome and how can you achieve it? For some it’s all about making a splash on the awards night; for most others, however, it’s a pre-event strategy, building a campaign and achieving set goals and deliverables, whether as a branding exercise, lead-generation, talent-attraction or a combination of all.

3. Make a Plan

The best awards organisers will have devised a campaign schedule in the build-up to and post the event. Ensure you are included in this schedule in order to build a plan around your various marketing activities.

4. Get Industry Press Coverage

A good awards organiser will have forged tangible relationships with relevant industry press. These days of course, the coverage is likely to be digital but some offline publications remain in circulation. Find out which media partners your awards organiser is working with and, as such, where your brand is likely to be seen and by whom.

5. Think Thought-Leadership

Show your audience you’re an industry expert by:

  • Producing quality, genuinely beneficial content pieces will ensure your campaign is underpinned by industry thought-leadership, which will attract readers and unearth prospects.
  • Agree with your awards organiser on what sort of topics would work best for the target audience and set manageable expectations around the delivery of the content. Weekly pieces may be too much but the regularity of bi-weekly or monthly will ensure consistency and help retain readers.
  • Written content might include blogs, bios, video interviews, profiles, opinion pieces and controversial industry observations. Once produced, ensure the content is published and correctly distributed.
6. Build Rapport with the Event Organiser

It is in the organiser’s best interest to ensure you get the most from your sponsorship of the event. Developing a strong and positive relationship will afford you more opportunities, great attention and, ultimately, a better campaign and outcome.
Request a meeting with the organiser so you can discuss ideas, develop an agreeable marketing strategy, agree SLAs and build rapport.

7. Find an Angle that Works for You

Awards are what you make of them. Over the years there have been some fantastic examples of companies using their strengths to undertake a campaign that accentuates their brand and service proposition.
For example, publishers get their brand name out there by interviewing the finalists and then producing unique and compelling content, something they can share with attendees and sponsors alike.

8. Brand Like Virgin

The most successful sponsors create a campaign that has branding at its heart. Of course, the pizazz of the awards evening is the glitzy part but make sure you’ve got a fantastic branding strategy in place in the lead-up to the big night, because the more familiar attendees are with your brand, the easier it will be to network and produce post-awards results.
Ask the organiser what additional branding options might be available. Good examples might be selfie-sticks, photo booths, drinks sponsor, light boxes, table decorations…etc.
And don’t forget social media. Mentions, retweets, hashtags; these all generate a stir, incite conversation and cost nothing!
Think creatively, too. Push some boundaries.

9. Win Some Internal Engagement

If your business is sponsoring awards, it benefits and affects everyone, not just the sales team. Awards are naturally exciting so use this to generate a buzz in your office, especially in the weeks before the evening’s celebrations.
Perhaps you could use the awards night as a company incentive, a team-galvaniser or, depending when it is, a Christmas party! Whatever you do, make sure your employees know how important this sponsorship is and get everyone fired up.

10. Invite Your Clients

Everyone loves an awards night – the glamour, the camaraderie, the excitement. So think how important your clients (or prospective clients) will feel if you invited them along, as your guests? They have a great night out (for free) and you get the recognition and kudos for aligning your company with a prestigious occasion.
Ask the organiser how much additional tickets would cost. Get in early and you will undoubtedly get some favourable rates on additional tickets.

11. Network with the Best

One of the major benefits of awards sponsorship is the networking opportunity afforded. So here’s a tip; once the finalists are announced ask the organiser whether you can choose who you sit with or be sat around. More often than not it is possible to orchestrate a seating plan that ensures you are easily able to mingle with people you want to connect with or further build relationships.

Again, the more involvement you’ve had in the build-up to the big night, the more receptive the organiser is likely to be when considering your seating arrangements!

12. Return on Investment – The Holy Grail

You might be surprised by how much you can measure and attribute genuine ROI to an awards campaign. With a finely-tuned and organised strategy, the results can be remarkable – and that doesn’t even take into account the elongated branding benefits.
Your CRM tracking technology will enable you to add a ‘campaign’ which will then directly attribute all activity and results to your awards sponsorship campaign. At the end of the campaign you will be able to exactly identify the output in terms of new client opportunities, lead generation, current and future prospects and, of course, sales revenue.
Ask your event organiser to provide information updates, in line with your KPIs and targeted outcome.

On the 4th December 2019 in London, 800+ industry dinner guests will be coming together to recognise the best and brightest within the In-house Recruitment Industry. You can always find out more detail about the evening itself or alternatively, you can look into how to get involved with sponsorship at the awards.

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