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Maximizing Sponsorships

- Submitted by Brad Gibson, Director of Marketing and Business Development

The event industry knows all about sponsorships, it seems to come with the territory. Whether it's a venue, planner, or supplier, we're consistently asked to sponsor non-profit events, industry events, and many other ancillary happenings. It can be overwhelming juggling the important public persona of being gracious while trying to run a profitable business.

Here are a few tips that will help you navigate the challenging world of sponsorships:

Pick your sponsorships carefully
Each year, look at where your sponsorship dollars went and where you saw the best industry connections and ROI (Return on Investment). Remember that ROI isn't always determined by what you saw from new clients/business. It can also be measured by how many current clients you have serviced in providing a sponsorship. Sponsorship should be as much about giving back as it is business development!

Develop a culture that supports certain causes
If you have a high volume of sponsor asks, it may be worth looking at the areas where your company would like to give back. That way if a non-profit comes knocking asking for sponsorship you can tell them if their philanthropy does or does not fall in line with your agreed cause(s). As much as we'd like, we can't give away products for every non-profit and this will help you narrow down your freebies and manage expectations on the front end. There are sponsorships we do for exposure and sponsorships we do to elevate causes we believe in. You'll need to determine what cause(s) you want to impact. Speaking of... 

If you sign on to sponsor MAKE AN IMPACT 
This holds especially true for industry events where clients/colleagues are present. You want to treat your non-profit or industry event as you would any paying client and give them the full client experience and, if at all possible, show off! This is an opportunity to show current/future clients what you have to offer. 

Be ready to turn every sponsorship into an immediate business opportunity. It's tough to measure your return on investment if you didn't maximize the investment. When you evaluate your results be perfectly honest with your client if you feel there was any way that you could have been featured more or made more of an impact. This is how non-profits and associations improve the sponsor experience. And sometimes things are just not a fit, and that's ok, transparency and honesty will get you far in the event biz, and the same is true when it comes to sponsorships.

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Saturday, 26 September 2020