Companies of all sizes sponsor events in order to gain visibility and reinforce their image as a benefactor in the community. Some common associations that come to mind are hospitals or health insurance companies sponsoring runs, banks sponsoring sporting events, and small businesses sponsoring little league teams. Law firms can also benefit from sponsoring events, by reinforcing their brand, or even bringing in clients more directly.
The first and most important step in sponsoring an event to market your firm is choosing wisely. Picking the right event or organization to sponsor is critical. The event should align with your firm’s mission. For example, sponsoring a 5k run to benefit a local church may sound good, but it could alienate potential clients of other faiths. One example of a great association is a personal injury law firm sponsoring local M.A.D.D. events. This syncs well with the brand of a personal injury firm. It would not work well for a criminal D.U.I. defense law firm. Random pairings are not ideal, because the association will not be immediately apparent and a lot of the marketing impact will be lost on the public.
So what kind of events work well for law firm sponsorships? Some ideas are to hold a banquet or dinner to celebrate a firm accomplishment or achievement in the community, a banquet to honor the recipient of a scholarship awarded by your firm, a press conference, a seminar on some novel legal issue, a workshop for the public, a contest, a charitable event (like a blind auction) or 5k run.
The event need not be charitable in nature; for example, it could just be a networking event. However, there has been a trend in recent years to engage in “cause marketing.” By associating your firm with the right cause or organization, you can show the public that your firm is actively helping the community.
Regardless of the event that you decide to sponsor, make sure to share it across all your social media platforms, in your email newsletter, and in any print newsletters that you send. You may want to include it prominently on your firm’s homepage.
Attendees at events love to grab swag! If you sponsor an event, go the extra mile by giving away a unique item that attendees can take home with them to remember your firm and the event. Whatever you choose, it should be cost-effective and branded with your name and logo.
The main way that event sponsorships promote law firms is through name recognition. Although this can be a good thing, it isn’t always. Many people perceive firms that sponsor expensive events to be too costly and not in tune with today’s client in search of cost-effective legal representation. This is particularly true for firms that sponsor large or costly events.
By sponsoring a small local event, your firm’s associates and paralegals can mingle with the public. Getting to know people who will likely need representation one day is one way to draw in direct leads through event sponsorship. In short, a few simple rules: choose your event wisely, publicize it well, consider giving away some swag, and mingle with the public. With some careful consideration, event sponsorship can be a fun and cost-effective way to market your law firm.