Organizations and associations struggle to get and keep strong conference sponsors. Today, many, many organizations and associations are fighting for the same conference sponsor dollars. A company will sponsor an event if they see the tangible benefits of doing so.
How to Get Sponsorship for your event
A Conference Sponsor may step aside if they perceive any of the following sources of resistance:
Lack of knowledge of the event or participants who attend(ie- are delegates front line employees or decision makers?)
Low will or desire to participate in the event. Some sponsors really actively participate in a conference, by attending special events, the motivational keynote speaker and even workshop sessions. These are sponsors who are more likely eager to part with sponsorship dollars to see the event prosper. Encourage sponsors to be actively engaged and be involved in a conference. Recruit them to introduce guest speakers.
Non-alignment of goals. Organizations usually have goals for their sponsorship dollars. To build awareness, generate new contacts, reach decision makers, solidify relationship, sell something and more. Where possible align your goals with there's. If a sponsors goal is to solidify relationships, than allow time for networking and encourage delegates to go to the sponsors booth ( give incentives, etc). If a sponsors goal is to reach certain decision makers, plan a workshop these decision makers will be keen to attend and have the sponsor introduce the guest speaker.
Different values and beliefs. At a recent event, a motivational keynote speaker was sponsored by ( and introduced by) a sponsor that seemed to have opposite goals. The motivational keynote speaker was delivering an inspirational speech about dressing for success and the sponsor was a uniform company! The message by the guest speaker was all about expressing yourself and your uniqueness through your clothing. The sponsor promotes the value of conformity and professionalism through staff uniforms.
Lack of upper management direction. Often the sponsorship decision maker isn't the one who attends the events. If you are dealing with a marketing or sales rep, they may not have clear direction from upper management on what they hope to get out of conference sponsorship and participation. For instance, if the motivational keynote speaker sponsorship dollar amount you are looking for doesn't align with their budget you may miss the opportunity for any participation
- Lack of feedback following the event. Post event follow up and appreciation will ensure repeat sponsorship. Report results like number of delegates, number of decision makers, media and press mentions, event evaluations and more.
- Low coorelation between event follow up and results ( ie new customers) and their conference sponsorship dollar.