Hybrid events and activism are the future

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Knowing how to address the disruption that comes with change is not dissimilar to applying a SWOT analysis to your sponsorships where Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats are highlighted to provide a mud map for where you should focus your energies.

In a SWOT analysis strengths and weaknesses are internal while opportunities and threats are external. Disruption flushes out great opportunities, you just need to apply yourself to discovering the ones that best fit your situation.

In terms of the industry, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered sponsorship, accelerating trends already gaining momentum such as the growth of hybrid events and the rising importance of cause activism and advocacy ( Nielsen Sports 2021 Global Sports Marketing Trends report). With live events making a come-back, these virtual upgrades have been retained, with further investment into digital innovations ahead.

Brands are also increasingly favouring socially conscious event opportunities that align with their values and provide a platform to communicate them. Authenticity is another big thing where brands are looking to keep it real with their consumers whilst providing ways for consumers to be true to themselves. Just look at athletes like Naomi Osaka and Marcus Rashford, both of who use their platforms to engage with social issues standing for communities of the future. Brands are coming along for the journey.

With anything niche, a community of like-minded people who want to share the experience is born. As the ownership landscape continues to fragment, there will be more of these communities of people who will be passionate about their new interests and about the sponsor who give them their platform.

If your sponsorships haven't changed since COVID-19, then perhaps they should have. It signals the sponsorship is potentially stale and you need to do something to change it up. It's time to embrace the change that's happened and to look to the future relevancy of your partnerships.

With every challenge there are opportunities and ones that may even send you in a different direction. Don't be afraid to mix things up to attract new audiences and ways of engaging with your target market. Be thorough in your approach and map your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in this current environment to ensure you are making informed decisions.

Visit us at www.eventsponsors.com.au for more ideas on how we can support you during times of change.

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