Do you produce/organize events? Sponsorship is an incredibly effective way to drive revenue, improve efficiencies, build partnerships and enhance the attendee experience. Here are a few tips on how to approach and improve your event sponsorship program.
Get on your sponsor’s calendars, and also your exhibitors. There’s a window for selling sponsorships, and it opens and closes at any time of the year, which means you need to be selling all of the time. And it’s not just about recruiting. You also need to integrate sponsors/exhibitors into your event program so they can market their upcoming participation. The time to start is NOW.
You know your event better than your sponsors. Show them you are there to help. Ask questions, uncover their goals. And most of all, help them create a plan that will set them up for success.
Do you know what’s going on with your potential sponsor’s business? How are their needs changing? What are the latest products/innovations/disruptions? Find out what’s top of mind for prospective sponsors before you start the conversation…then show how you can help.
Sponsors love data. More than anything else, sponsors use data to evaluate, select, and justify their investment. GO DEEP. Dig into your audience and really understand who they are, what they want, and everything that makes them tick – professionally and personally.
A “need-to-be-there” event practically sells itself. Your event must be perceived as sexy, cool, up-and-coming, or already there. Lead with what makes your event the hottest ticket in town, and highlight the elements that back up what makes your event a can’t miss event (killer speaker line-up, totally new technologies, one-of-a-kind activations).
Look at what competitors are doing. Look at what non-competitors are doing. Understand exhibition trends and innovations. The more you know, the better you can understand what companies to target as sponsors, what to charge and how to help continuously improve your program to enable their success.
High impact event experiences will generate BIG TIME buzz for your event, but often at steep costs. That doesn’t mean you have to pay for it. Envision what activations and experiences your event should feature. Find the sponsors to back them. Turn on the excitement!
Prospective sponsors know they’re being sold to. They don’t necessarily believe your pitch…but they will believe your sponsors. Don’t hesitate to get your satisfied sponsors to give you a positive testimonial – one that proves you can deliver.
Your next year’s sales and communication cycle starts before your current event even begins. Be ready to execute an onsite re-sign while current sponsors are motivated. Follow up with a full, data-rich, post-event report. This goes a long way to ensuring repeat (and possibly increased) participation year after year.
Sponsors need to know that the data they are using to evaluate your event is valid. An accredited 3rd party audit will go a long way to affirm the value of your event and justify any potential price increases. Use these tips to create and sell sponsorships for your event. You might just tap into possibilities that surpass your expectations. Find out more here.
GES has the experience, processes and proven strategies to optimize your sponsorship program. And a full suite of services designed to get your event working for you! Learn More.
About the Author
Andy is responsible for increasing sponsorship revenue and improving sales processes with strategic recommendations for GES Event and Exhibition clients.More Content by Andy Herman