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How to scale local events

There is no universal tool for finding local events. Several startups have tried and failed, and now, Facebook and Google are vying to be the must app for " what's happening around the city ." For consumers, Facebook Events seems to be going from the front but for traders, who need a few months' notice for food is not enough.

In this article, I will describe the benefits of sponsoring local events and how your team can select local events for one-time campaigns or scale.

Why events?

The events, especially the small ones, are intrinsically local: the city festival, the PTA picnic, even the small-scale film festivals and the book fairs. Participants are both regional and members of a key audience – parents, middle- and high-income arts lovers, and so on.

It is therefore not surprising that event sponsorships are very beneficial, but also very cumbersome, for local marketers.

The job of creating a successful event sponsorship is different from the process of launching a content marketing campaign or a paid search campaign. These tactics evolve, more or less seamlessly, once you focus on targeted audiences and keywords.

Events are not like that Events involve a direct connection with an individual organizer. Swag can evolve, but every relationship starts fresh.

Search for Seasonal Events

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<p> At ZipSprout, my employer, we organize sponsorship opportunities in two buckets: events and general donations. Measurable reach, as they aim to capture the full attention of the locals for a target time frame, while general donations allow for a slow and steady presence of the mark. </p>
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But events can be difficult to capture. When looking for events looking for sponsorship in a given city, it is common to find the perfect opportunity, only to quickly realize that it happened three weeks ago.

A more efficient way to search for events is to use seasonality to your advantage; look for seasonal events, for a "season" of a few months in the future. For example, we reached out to over 1,600 fall festas and Halloween parades in July and August 2017.

In our experience, targeting future seasonal events has almost doubled our sponsorship security, from an average of 17% of all organizations contacted to 32%. In other words, 32% of the autumn holidays that we have presented are now ready for customers.

Either the autumn festivals really liked our outreach team, or we landed on an ideal time for outreach. Six weeks to four months before an event is a great place for a partnership with event organizers. Awareness before this date, and they may not be ready for sponsors; awareness later, and the T-shirts have already been printed.

Event Sponsorships for Small Budgets

Test with:

  • one or two local events.
  • Stand materials.
  • your most outgoing team member.


  • Events that offer multiple marketing benefits, including a booth and digital marketing (link to a website, social media mention, mention of the e-newsletter).
  • Events that align well with your target market. This does not mean that only food-based companies should consider the farmers market, but if a local dentist plans a market stand, she should make sure that her presence is attractive enough to attract customers. far from the food stalls.
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  • customer relationship resulting from the sponsorship, whether through email addresses collected, new customer registrations or social follow-ups. Sponsor a conversion event in mind.

Sponsorship of events on the scale

Test with:

  • Five to ten events in a target city, with benefits that meet your local marketing goals.
    • For links building, find events with mentions of websites and social media.
    • For employee engagement, look for opportunities that include booths or networking opportunities.


  • Events matching specific marketing goals.
  • Events that fit well with your target market.
  • "Non-brand" events too. Unlike low-budget sponsors, large-scale campaigns have the opportunity to experiment. At this level, we often find that focusing on metrics and goals rather than "perfect compliance" allows for greater flexibility of the campaign, offering a wider range of local options.


  • mentions, new clients and SERPs are raising in this city compared to another city of equal size.

How to start

Here are 10 local events in the United States that are excellent examples of great local sponsorship opportunities. ( Disclosure: These events are not paid customers, but are events that have associated with ZipSprout for local sponsorships. )

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana – Treme Gumbo Festival – November 18, 2017
  2. Detroit, Michigan – Festival of Trees – November 19, 2017
  3. Chicago, Illinois – Morton Grove Winter Market – December 2, 2017
  4. Phoenix, Arizona – Christmas Run 12k – December 9, 2017
  5. Breckenridge, Colorado – Big Beers Festival – January 4, 2018
  6. Atlanta, Georgia – MLK Day 5K – January 15, 2018
  7. Dallas, Texas – DFW South Asian Film Festival – February 8, 2018
  8. Nashville, Tennessee – Nashville Chile Fest – February 18, 2018
  9. San Francisco, California – Pacific Orchid Show – February 23, 2018
  10. Annapolis, Maryland – Annapolis Film Festival – March 22, 2018
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These are just examples, but they are all also viable opportunities for events that reach local markets.

Event sponsorships should not be tedious if they are addressed as part of a targeted and goal-oriented campaign. The more strategic we are with the benefits of the target audience and events, and the more we use timing as an asset, the more we are able to build and add a process for events.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. The authors of the staff are listed here.