Win Sponsors

How Successful Events Win Sponsors

Source: eventmanagerblog.com

So, what are the characteristics of innovative sponsorship programs? What should we seek when investing in or selling sponsorship?

Authority

Events that show authority, independence, freshness will always be sought after for sponsorship. The paradigm shift here to swing your event positioning from push to pull.. Calling up, chasing, and sending proposals is perfectly acceptable when you are trying to push the idea to your sponsorship audience. Being chased, being asked, receiving inquiries about sponsorship opportunities, often referred to as inbound, are pull activities. You are simply harvesting the good results of your amazing event and event content. Brands may run their own events but customers know there will always be a bias or a secondary objective. To set yourself apart, you really have to step up your event content game and be recognized as valuable in the community, which makes your event almost inevitable as a sponsorship decision.

Collaterals are worth nothing

There is no value in a standard proposal. Innovative sponsorship programs start with the sponsor in mind, not with the dimensions of your booth or the logo size. Would you discuss the dimensions of your apartment at a first date? Instead, shift your attention to how your event can help sponsors achieve their objectives. That is why collaterals are quite worthless if mass produced. They immediately disengage your audience. They are a one-size-fits-all, generic attempt to just sell. Customization, conversation, flexibility in inventory makes sponsors happy.

Metrics > Logo placement

Logo placement, though still appealing to some, definitely does not belong to the sponsorship of the future. Of course, logos on branding are nice to have but that’s all. What sponsors want is solid data. They are after profiles, clicks, leads generated, how many people passed through their stand, how many people hung out around the booth. Do you have the technology in place to provide this data to your attendees? Have you taken advantage of the incredible number of developments in technology to support better metrics?

Matchmaking

Information overload is one of the biggest problems with today’s events. Some event professionals took the flourishing of online content as a stimulus to do more sessions, invite more speakers, create more tracks. How does that help sponsors? It doesn’t. They are looking to zero into those clients who can make a difference. They are not interested in noise or hundreds of people passing by. They want to be matched with those who could potentially become clients. Your job is to make this magic happen.

Meeting design

Design is not decor. Design is creating a user-friendly experience where attendees, sponsors and all stakeholders get something out of the event. If you cram an exhibition hall with thousands of booths without some areas to rest, attendees are going to be in a bad mood. That means they will be negatively inclined to do business, which translates into poor sponsorship effectiveness. The real question is, can you get sponsors to work with you on creating value for your attendees? Lounges, games, food... the elements that can deliver a sponsor message are endless. Innovative sponsorship leverages experiences.

Rewrite your inventory

Directly correlated with how you design your event is the quality of the items on your sponsorship menu. Average menus are for average restaurants. You really have to work with your chef to create tantalizing sponsorship opportunities that stimulate the appetite of the most demanding brands. Make your inventory creative! Think how you can deliver better experiences by means of more innovative opportunities. A shout out on the main stage is worth zero. Think about that.

Deeply assess your real estate

It is very easy to give away too much too soon to those sponsors who show a little level of interest. Successful events are aware of the worth of their inventory and allocate it strategically, knowing exactly the demand levels for each item. Too often, few sponsors get too much, leaving too little for others. This harms your event because it precludes you from having healthy relationships with brands who may be more willing to engage with your audience. If your event is worth it, you have to sell it accordingly.are going to be in a bad mood. That means they will be negatively inclined to do business, which translates into poor sponsorship effectiveness. The real question is, can you get sponsors to work with you on creating value for your attendees? Lounges, games, food... the elements that can deliver a sponsor message are endless. Innovative sponsorship leverages experiences.

DIY

Some sponsors may know you. They know your audience. They also know what they want. Give them the flexibility to pick and choose whatever they want (and price it accordingly); a la carte wins over fixed menus, especially in times of budget cuts. You can always upsell, but start by giving them the freedom to choose what they think works best for them, rather than what you want to sell them. The standard rule is that if a sponsorship item doesn’t sell well, it’s because it is flawed. Learn from this. Create more opportunities your sponsors want.

Embrace communities

One of the biggest changes social media brought along was the flourishing of spontaneous communities. They are often very unorganized and eager to find platforms to connect in person. Your event is the perfect opportunity to give them space. Having communities showing up at your event presents incredible sponsorship opportunities. Think about the echo you can have online from individuals who usually connect online every day. How can you offer such opportunity to sponsors? How can you support a community while delivering a strong message?

Shift your focus

Innovative sponsorship programs look at the needs of attendees first. They understand the core needs of those attending events and they offer the opportunity to provide solutions to sponsors. How can you solve the issue of attendees waiting in line for hours? Get a sponsor to pay for registration at the airport. How can you solve the issue of attendees walking too much on your trade show floor? Get a sponsor to pay for scooters. These are incredibly practical ideas that add value to attendees while delivering relevant sponsorship messages.what they think works best for them, rather than what you want to sell them. The standard rule is that if a sponsorship item doesn’t sell well, it’s because it is flawed. Learn from this. Create more opportunities your sponsors want.