By Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM
• Delivering what your sponsors want
• Using a strategic, not scattershot approach to sponsorships
• Bringing energy and enthusiasm to the sponsorship process
Sponsor dollars are often the backbone upon which shows are produced, so much so that without them some events have to be cancelled. Many meeting and event planners tasked with landing sponsorships face increased competition every year while the coffers are simultaneously shrinking. For some, the additional stress of increased demand spells trouble for their programs’ success.
Let’s examine the traditional solicitation approach. Tiers of preestablished packages are created and sold for a specific sum. The
premise is dollars are given in return for recognition which will (ideally) translate into sales for the sponsor. Offerings include the
sponsor’s logo on print and social media marketing, mentions from a podium, an ad in a show guide, copious amounts of signage, and perhaps a drink named after the sponsor during the welcome reception. Packages are sold at varying prices with a smaller offering of benefits for lower denomination price tags.
Some planners have broken away from the traditional package names, calling a top tier a ‘valued partner’ rather than the hackneyed ‘platinum sponsor’ title that permeated call for sponsor letters in the early to mid-2000’s. Others have gone a step further and given monikers to their packages that reflect the host corporation or the event theme. While I acknowledge that bit of creative flourish, it still doesn’t register on my strategic meter and likely won’t garner any additional consideration for the folks disbursing sponsor dollars.
Try this approach the next time you are soliciting sponsorships.
These ideas should garner the decision makers’ attention, and ideally, inspire them to write you a check. That’s a win not just for
this year but for future events. The ROI of a strategic sponsorship package should be easier to quantify and their participation that
much more meaningful. All this upside will cost you little to no money while garnering dollars that were perhaps previously going
to competing shows.
By opening a conversation with the question, ‘How can we tailor a sponsorship to best help you achieve your sales and marketing
goals?’ you will find yourself brainstorming and exploring, which brings energy and enthusiasm to the process. What a contrast
from the dusty, old recital of standard offerings that garner little more than an I’ll get back to you when you’re done. Or even
better, instead of emailing the offer and either never hearing back or having to make repeated follow up calls, how refreshing would it be to have your potential sponsor call you?
Don't forget to check out Strategic Planners.
Want more strategic approaches to a planner’s typical tasks? Discover the first steps to becoming a Strategic Planner at
www.MidwestMeetings.com/Featured-Stories/Strategic-Planners. Have a topic you want covered or a question you want answered? Email me at: Christy.Lamagna@Strategic.Events. Until then, go forth and strategize!
When Christy joined the meetings industry 25 years ago, event planning was more of a concept than a recognized profession. In the ensuing two and a half decades, she proudly participated in its evolution. Christy has earned multiple certifications, writes thought-provoking articles and teaches strategic planning at the University level. Christy’s latest mission is to bring the industry and the talented professionals who share her passion for strategic planning the respect they deserve.