AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Best Practices for Making the Most of AWS Sponsorship

If you’re an AWS Partner Network (APN) Consulting or Technology Partner looking to grow your AWS-based business, then chances are you’re evaluating the most effective ways to maximize your exposure to AWS customers, and go-to-market with AWS.

AWS Sponsorship is one of the best resources you can take advantage of as an APN Partner to get in front of the customers you hope to engage. AWS events attract a large number of customers, with both a business and technical focus, who have a strong desire to learn, learn, and learn some more about how they can solve their business needs with AWS and APN Partners.

Our goal is to ensure that we help you make the most of your experience sponsoring an AWS event. To that end, we’ve asked a number of AWS sponsors to share their sponsorship experience with us, and found some common themes we’d like to share with you as you look to take advantage of AWS Sponsorship.

Make the Most of Your Time – Educate Attendees

Advanced APN Technology Partner Qubole has found that AWS event attendees are often already well-versed in the benefits of the cloud; it’s then a matter of making sure the team takes advantage of the time to educate them on the specific benefits of Qubole’s solution on AWS. “Customers that attend AWS events are already looking to deploy applications in the cloud or have already deployed them, therefore we’ve found we don’t need to spend time selling the cloud benefits. Instead we concentrate on explaining why our combined value prop is a cost-effective option to deploy Big Data,” says Anselmo Barrero, Director of Business Development, Qubole.

You can take advantage of the event by bringing a deep bench of knowledgeable staff to help educate current customers and prospects. Dawn Smeaton, Head of Marketing, Cloud Workload Security, Trend Micro, explains, “AWS events attract cloud specific roles (architect, operations) that are difficult to reach at other technology events. Unlike other industry conferences, a significant percentage of attendees at AWS events will stop by our booth with sales or deep technical questions.” Think about how you can make this time count, and prove to these attendees the value of your services/solution through resources such as educational demos, case study walkthroughs, and deep dive Q&As.

Utilize an Event Plan that Focuses on Pre, During, and Post Show Marketing Activities

While it’s crucial as an AWS sponsor to have a strong physical presence at the event, it’s also important to have a strategic plan in place to generate awareness prior to the event both with prospects and current customers. Further, think about how you can capitalize on the post-show momentum by running both an email and social media campaign shortly after the conclusion of the event.

Implementing a well-executed social media plan that complements your efforts on the ground is a key component to this strategy. For example, begin tweeting about your presence at the event a few weeks before the event, ramping up your cadence in the days prior. Make sure to become familiar with the common event hashtags (such as #reinvent or #awssummit) so you can use them within each tweet you send out from your team at the event.

Advanced APN Technology Partner Trend Micro has experienced great success in utilizing social media before, during, and after sponsorship of AWS events. In fact, the company generated 1.3M impressions from social media related to AWS sponsorship in 2015. This was a 30% increase YoY.

Have a Strong Follow-Up Plan in Place

Advanced APN Technology Partner Cloudcheckr has achieved significant business growth in the last two years by strategically investing in AWS sponsorship, having grown their business 20x in the past 24 months. The company invests two-thirds of its marketing budget in AWS event sponsorship, and has found a lot of value in the customer interactions and lead follow-up. Steve Hall, Vice President of Marketing, CloudCheckr, explains, “AWS events have a much more targeted and knowledgeable attendee base. AWS event attendees are almost uniformly positioned to provide meaningful impact in a purchase decision…We consistently sponsor multiple AWS events at Gold and higher levels because it provides us with a unique opportunity to interact with a highly technical segment of our existing and potential customer base. Between the US Summits and re:Invent, AWS events deliver nearly 35,000 potential customers to our doorstep.”

Take Advantage of Event Sessions, Activities, and Expo Halls!

Being at the event affords you a fantastic opportunity to educate yourself on the latest and greatest from AWS, to schedule time for AWS Training & Certification, and to familiarize yourself with other sponsors’ solutions. If you’re an AWS Managed Service provider, for instance, don’t miss your chance to learn about APN Technology partner solutions that may complement what you do for customers. Nicole Maus, Marketing Manager, 2nd Watch (a Premier APN Consulting Partner), suggests, “Take advantage of any education that is offered at the event – use your participation as an opportunity to learn and grow your business at the same time.”

Some Closing Thoughts from AWS Sponsors…

“AWS always ensures that the content and event delivers real value and learning opportunities to attendees, which means they can attract a senior audience who keep coming back.” – Dawn Smeaton, Head of Marketing, Cloud Workload Security, Trend Micro

“AWS event sponsorship presents us with the opportunity for one-on-one interactions with the right people, at the right organizations, to help us facilitate business growth and provide a productive environment to nurture our AWS relationship.” – Nicole Maus, Marketing Manager, 2nd Watch

“AWS sponsorship offers a great opportunity to jointly promote Qubole with AWS, as well as to educate AWS attendees on the benefits of working together.” Anselmo Barrero, Director of Business Development, Qubole

“Be prepared, making sure to stay in contact with your AWS Sponsorship team, and make sure you bring sufficient staff. The event WILL be busier than you expect – every time!” – Steve Hall, VP of Marketing, CloudCheckr

There’s still time to become a Bronze sponsor at AWS re:Invent. Download the prospectus here.