Sponsorship is a vital component to most conferences and events. Not only can it add a (sometimes much needed) revenue stream, it can completely elevate the value of any conference. When evaluating your own sponsorship model, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Have you properly determined your assets? The first step you should take when creating or rejigging your sponsorship package is establishing what components of your conference have value. Speaking opportunities are often very valuable to sponsors, which is why keynote sponsorships (where sponsors can provide a brief introduction) are often successful. When creating your catalogue of assets, it is necessary to be creative and think out of the box. For example, event signage does not have to follow the standard foam core format. Attendees are moving all around the venue, lending too many other “signage” opportunities. Consider wrapping your elevators with sponsorship branding or adding logos to the base of a staircase. The more ideas the better!
2. Have you laid out your opportunities clearly? Now that you have identified your assets, it is time to create a sponsorship package. Determine the value of each asset and clearly outline the benefits of each opportunity. It is important to note that cookie cutter sponsorship packages are not always effective and Gold, Silver and Bronze levels do not address the needs of most sponsors. This is why the next step is so vital!
3. Have you had excessive discussions with your sponsor? Prospective sponsors appreciate the opportunity to create customized packages that directly relate to their overall objectives. Work with your sponsor to ensure their unique objectives are met. This one on one, personal approach makes all the difference! Use your base sponsorship package as a jumping off point to build a customized sponsorship experience for your supporter.
4. Have you kept your promises? Now that you’ve secured your sponsors, it is important that you are following through on your promises. As you are planning your event, ensure all of your sponsorship benefits have been met, so that there are no surprises onsite. This will ensure that not only are your sponsor’s goals being met, but that you are working to create long-standing relationships for many years to come.
5. Have you reviewed successes and opportunities for future year? Just like your event, your sponsorship relationships need to be reviewed and assessed. Provide your sponsor with a ‘fulfilment report’ and set a meeting to discuss their feedback. From there, you can hopefully secure an enhanced sponsorship opportunity that satisfies your sponsor well ahead of your deadlines!
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