Gaining a viable and solid income from sponsors has arguable never been so important for event organisers. But no one would argue that earning every pound or dollar has ever been harder! With a restriction in budgets from your sponsors, a saturation of the events market and stiff competition from every other marketing and sales channel it is time for a review of your event sponsorship packages.
A survey in the association sector in the UK found that just under half (49%) of the associations who answered saw sponsorship FALL in 2012! That is worrying and it will no doubt be similar to the corporate world and no doubt reflected across the globe! So what’s going wrong? Why are sponsors not falling over themselves to splash the cash at YOUR EVENT? What is happening to event sponsorship?
One reason might be what your event brochure and more widely what your event looks like on the day. If your conference brochure looks like the one below it’s time to be worried. I have never been a fan of this logo heavy promotion: it’s a lazy way to approach value for those sponsors who are taking up event sponsorship.
I’ve never perceived any value in this approach and I’ve always looked to see what I can offer a sponsor instead of a logo placement. In the association events departments I’ve run, and the events I’ve managed, we saw a healthy increase in sponsorship from our value added approach.
The competition for your sponsor’s marketing budget is heating up!
The truth is that our events compete with every other form of marketing and lead generation and we organisers sometimes forget that. With the Social Media revolution has come very stiff competition for the cash from the marketing budget that used to slip and slide its way to your event sponsorship pot. Social Media is a threat (I would love to see what percentage of the fall in event sponsorship moved to digital marketing) but it is also an opportunity. So ask yourself is your event really adding value to your sponsors? Are you really providing the hottest and best leads that you can?
It’s now not just a lack of perceived value it’s an actual lack of value
I am fortunate that as a consultant, I get to see loads of sponsorship packages. You may be surprised but the phrase “your logo will appear on……” is still the basis of many of these packages. I would argue that very, very few businesses sponsor events to simply promote their company. Sure, awareness is important but what they want are leads and good ones at that. And traditionally exhibitions and conferences have never really delivered in the way that they should. It’s only now that sponsors are talking with their wallets.
Sponsorship heath check
Why don’t you pour yourself a hot drink and take five minutes to review your sponsorship package. And importantly, try and look at it from your sponsor’s perspective. To get you going, here are a few questions that I’d love you to answer:
1. What has changed in the sponsorship package to reflect the heat that you are feeling from Social Media and other digital marketing channels for your event?
2. What have you done to allow your event to piggy back on to Social Media to add more value for your sponsor?
3. How many times does your sponsorship package mention the phrase “your logo will appear on..” or something similar? The more the phrase it appears the less ‘true value’ you are probably adding!
4. What makes your event different from other events in your sector?
5. And crucially, what’s your Unique Selling Point? Not just unique from other events, but unique from all other options for that marketing pound or dollar?
Gallus Events offer consultancy in events and are well placed to help you review your events sponsorship packages. Drop us a note if you’d like to hear more about our work in this area. And best of luck!