How to earn more from Sponsorship: be creative!
QEII Centre in conjunction with Gallus Events is running a Masterclass in September titled ‘Delivering Value in Every Event’. William Thomson of Gallus Events will be presenting a session and explains how a creative approach can see an increase in sponsorship.
Being creative does not mean reducing the price of your sponsorship packages. My first bit of advice is not to drop the price of your sponsorship packages. Rather than reduce the price, look to increase the value of the packages you offer.
What does creative actually mean?
1. Ask your potential sponsors what their objectives are. This may sound easy but be prepared to hear a stony silence at the end of the phone when you ask this question. The occasional sponsor is simply looking to spend money at any event. Deal with sponsors who know what they want to achieve from your event.
2. Tailor every package. State quite clearly that your packages are only a guide and that you will tailor every sponsorship opportunity. If you do get a clear idea of the objectives you can, perhaps, increase face to face interaction, or offer a slot on the programme: it all depended on the sponsor’s objectives.
3. Don’t reduce the price: reduce the offer. This was one of the most successful techniques you can use. If a potential sponsor says they don’t have the budget you say, “No problem. We believe we have a fair value for the package so why don’t you tell us what you would like to remove and we will re-price it for you?” This really does work. You either end up with the sponsor paying the full value or a reduced package that leaves you with parts of a package you can sell to someone else.
4. Every event is different so really think about how you can add value to your event by leveraging the support of your sponsors. I have two great examples to give at the event in at QEII Centre and I won’t spoil the surprise for the readers who are attending the event.
5. Don’t say “sponsored by”. I often struggled with the term “sponsored by”. I tried “in association with” and “partnered by” but they all seemed to fall short. This year at Tech-Fest one of Gallus’s events we have “powered by” and we think it was a factor in selling our packages so quickly. The two sponsors Eventsforce and Conferize really are “powering” our event with one providing a marketing platform and the other an event management platform: we really couldn’t power our event without them. This is the value a creative approach can add.
6. The more your sponsorship package says “brand awareness” the less value it will add. Events have to offer much more than logo placement. Focus on real value, not vanity value.
7. Never, ever sell more than a handful of sponsorship packages. Gone are the diamond, platinum, gold and silver multi sponsorship packages. The more logos the less value.
8. Use your event theme. Help and support your sponsors to leverage your event theme. Consider the theme when you are thinking about how exhibitors and sponsors can use it to create interesting content around your event. If you are creative they will be creative too.
Create value by being creative
In summary, sponsors are people too. And they like to be treated well and as individuals. Tailor your offering. Speak to them. Get to know them. There is a good chance they are quite creative too. So harness that creativity and focus on value.
Doing this will mean there is no need for creative accounting – only room for creative sponsorship. Follow these tips and you will see sponsorship revenue rise!
The Delivering Value in Every Event Masterclass will be held at QEII Centre on Friday 27th September