Get Noticed! Bringing Guerrilla Marketing Ideas to Event Sponsorship

ITA Group
ITA Group

event attendee wearing temporary tattoos

Traditional methods of advertising like television, radio, print ads and digital pop-ups aren’t working the way they used to. Consumers are tuning them out or actively skipping them when possible.

But what if there was a method that was harder to ignore?

This is where guerrilla marketing stands out. It doesn’t follow conventional marketing strategies. Instead incorporating the element of surprise to capture audience attention. One of the most powerful tools you have on your event planning tool belt is the element of surprise; surprises are scientifically proven as one of the best ways to engage a crowd or audience, as “novelty enhances memory.

High Creativity, Higher (Potential) Rewards

Sponsorship is a great guerrilla marketing strategy. It’s about investing energy and imagination into a campaign. Guerrilla tactics use unconventional communications, often in unexpected places that make a high-impact impression.

Here are nine guerrilla marketing ideas you might consider incorporating with your event to give your sponsors (or yourself) a visibility boost:

  1. Coasters
    Catch eyes as attendees unwind over a beverage. Showcase your message or logo on coasters at bars, nightclubs, restaurants, movie theaters and anywhere else your event attendees might find themselves having a cold one while they’re in town.
  2. Temporary Street Art
    Partner with a local artist and create a mural or installation. But remember, timing and location are everything. Don't overthink it. Sometimes what looks like your silliest idea might be the best one.
  3. Geofilters
    You are likely already creating one for your event, but how about adding another one for your key sponsor(s)?
  4. Scattered Props
    Planting props around your event can create mystery and get people talking, especially on social media. For example, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Shark Week, The Discovery Channel left “shark-bitten,” branded surfboards on Australian beaches, which created plenty of buzz.
  5. Stickers
    Stickers are an inexpensive and easy way to get your brand out there. You can use them on store windows, public transportation, bus shelters, and inside elevators. You can use large stickers to surprise your intended audience, like these Folgers Coffee manhole covers in New York City.
  6. Staff [Temporary] Tattoos
    What better way to get your brand out there then by getting event staff to brand themselves? Encourage event support teams to get temporary tattoos on their hands and arms so that the tattoos can be easily spotted. A tattoo on every member of the event staff proves that the event is worthy of being shown off.
  7. Giveaways
    Competitions and free gifts create a sense of urgency that can really create a lasting buzz around your business. You can also incorporate freebies that direct people to the larger event; take your catering supplier along to offer free samples which gives a taste of what to expect at the larger event. It’s also a perfect opportunity to hand out flyers, posters and marketing material to those who might be receptive.
  8. Pop-up Shops
    A pop-up is usually a small shop that opens for a short time in a high-traffic area, such as a busy street. Sponsors can host these pop-ups or have their brand featured in another company’s pop-up shop, like MakerBot, a 3D printing tool, did at Wired Magazine’s pop-up.

The idea behind such a sponsorship strategy is to take the attendee by surprise, leave a lasting impression and create a unique interaction that gets people buzzing about your event AND your sponsor. The aim of guerrilla marketing is to create a memorable and lasting impression. Why not bring this to your next event?

It’s time to think like a guerrilla warrior and evaluate new, unexpected methods to attack attract audience attention. Want more tips to add sponsored components to your event? Check out our post that explores what you need to know to evolve your sponsor marketing program.