12 Benefits of Sponsoring a Virtual Awards Ceremony

The In-house Recruitment Awards are getting bigger and better every year! Following the success of previous years, we have added more categories which means we’re recognising even more In-house recruitment professionals.
An event like this can be easily misconstrued for being solely focused on glitz and glamour. This is an unfortunate idea because there is so much more to sponsoring a recruitment awards evening than just attending. With the right strategy and correct mindset, your participation will go much further! We’re sharing 12 helpful tips to discover how Awards Sponsorship is a superb way to generate leads, build your brand and ultimately give you an excellent return on your investment.
Why Act Fast

Get involved with the event as soon as possible, by doing this 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)
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 could equal little exposure and a minimal package, all of which renders sponsorship somewhat pointless.

Your Best-Case Scenario

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. However, for the majority it’s the pre-event strategy that counts, building a campaign with benchmark goals and desired deliverables. Whether it’s focused on branding, lead-generation, talent-attraction, or a combination of all it’s important to have decided beforehand.

Build a Winning Strategy

The best awards organisers will have devised a campaign schedule in the build-up to and after the event (like IHR does.) This is a great opportunity to connect with the organiser and align your marketing activities. Learn more about their process and how your company will be branded in their marketing process. You want to know what kind of social media posts and emails you will be mentioned in if any so that your message is aligned.

Get in on the Industry Press Coverage

A good awards organiser will have forged tangible relationships with relevant industry press. 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. This is a good opportunity to share posts on your own social media channels and make the most out of your new position. There might be some sought after names that you’d like to be associated with.

You’re a Thought-Leader

Show your audience you’re a connected 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.

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 on SLAs and build rapport.

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.

Brand Outside the Box

The most successful sponsors create a campaign that has branding at its heart. Ensure that the attendees are familiar with your brand, that will make it easier to network and produce post-awards results.
Ask the organiser what additional branding options might be available. Good examples for a virtual evening might be hampers being sent to guests, props they can use or banners on the Zoom backgrounds.
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.

Win through 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 team, 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 on when it is, a virtual holiday event! Whatever you do, make sure your employees know how important this sponsorship is and get everyone fired up.

Invite Your Clients

Everyone loves an awards night – now that it’s online it will be a great opportunity to connect virtually but outside of work. 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 to organise additional ticket!

Network with the Best

One of the major benefits of awards sponsorship is the networking opportunity afforded. Once the finalists are announced you’ll have a better idea of who will be attending the virtual event.

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 10th December 2020 online, 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 by filling out the form below. A member of our partnerships team will be in touch!

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