Should Your Retail Business Sponsor Local Events?

Kate Bregovic
Kate Bregovic
Guest Contributor

As a public-facing retail business, you should carefully examine opportunities to readily engage your target market and multiple communities by sponsoring local events everywhere you can reach.

Yes, your retail business most definitely should sponsor local events. They provide you not only with an excellent marketing opportunity, but also a way to boost your brand’s credibility and generate huge amounts of goodwill.

Local events might seem like something completely alien to many retailers. However, today retailers who want to succeed should be using them as an opportunity to strengthen their brands, increase exposure and, most importantly, help their businesses stand out against their competitors. You also need to take into account that sponsoring local events enables your company to help the community grow strong and prosperous. This should always be the goal of every business owner who also wants to become a good corporate citizen.

Sponsoring local events offers multiple opportunities to grow your business in different ways. What you need is to make the most of local events by cashing in on every one of the following benefits.

Set grounds for expansion

Getting involved in the local community to establish a good name for your brand is one of the most surefire ways to expand your retail business in 2019. Event sponsorship is a perfect opportunity to do this as it provides not only exposure within the community, but also shows that you take the trouble to invest in it.

Online retailers today are opening brick-and-mortar stores all over the place, and if you want to expand in that area, events are the way to go. They not only help with your marketing campaigns, but they also provide grounds for networking. Use events to mingle with other local business owners and see if you can benefit from partnering with some of them. As a small retailer, for example, you might join forces with a few other small businesses to rent space more economically or efficiently.

Soak up all the exposure

Local events attract communities, which means that every time people visit your business’ original booth, see your clever banners, or pick up your stylishly designed business cards, you score exposure points from a new audience which might have been completely out of your previous reach.

Don’t forget about the media as well, because any local event is sure to rate mentions in most local newspapers, as well as on local TV and radio news broadcasts. Getting a plug through earned media mentions will inevitably be much easier and cheaper than placing your business advertisements through more conventional sources.

Unlike ads, this earned media exposure is frequently more valuable because it boosts your brand’s credibility. People who learn about your company through these sources will perceive it as something community-oriented instead of just stacking it with a dozen other retailers advertising through various outlets and platforms.

Get your brand aligned with sustainability ideals

There are several ways to embrace sustainability as a retailer, but they can be difficult if not downright unachievable for some brands. Sponsoring an event which promotes sustainability, on the other hand, is your chance to get your company firmly aligned with this movement regardless of what it is you sell.

If you have the budget and dedication, you can take this idea one step further. Instead of simply sponsoring a local sustainability event, you can organize one. This will give a huge positive boost to your reputation, and will help establish your company as a social brand. Use this idea when you need to get some positive publicity fast and when rebranding to develop a better image for your business. Bear in mind that 87 percent of consumers think companies should invest in causes, and sustainability is a great and noble cause to support.

Get a head start in lead generation

You should sponsor local events even if you are a new retailing brand that doesn’t yet plan to commit to brick-and-mortar locations. Local events are a great opportunity to do some quick and effective lead generation, and initiate quite a few immediate direct customer conversions.

For this particular purpose, you should not only sponsor but also participate in events like local fairs and expos. Use every available opportunity not only to exhibit but also sell your goods right there and then. This will also be the time to focus heavily on encouraging conversion and measuring attribution for return on investment (ROI). For example, you can give away flyers offering a discount for every customer who uses a code from the flyer when registering and placing their first order from your shop.

Enhance customer loyalty

You might offer a fantastic user experience with your website, but the power of personal contact will always have the edge. Sponsoring and attending local events gives you a way to interact with your customers and other shoppers in person. This means you can court their loyalty by building personal relationships.

You can also learn a lot about people by observing them and offering quick surveys right on the spot. This will provide valuable data which might prove more accurate than the information you gather from consumer reports.

The way you present your business at the event will also help influence the emotional connection consumers might develop with your brand. Don’t miss your chance to tell a powerful brand story, thereby encouraging people to be more loyal as well as more interested in learning what you have to offer.

As a retailing business, you should take the opportunity to reap all the above benefits from multiple communities by sponsoring local events everywhere you can reach.

About the writer: Kate Bregovic is a wife, mother, freelance writer and fitness enthusiast. She covers many topics – from business management trends to fitness regimes. When she’s not writing, she’s planning outdoor activities for her family, cooking or working out at the gym.  Follow her on Facebook.

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