When it comes to conferences, sponsor support can make or break the attendee experience. It’s obvious that sponsors provide revenue and resources to offset costs, but sponsors provide other intangible benefits for your event as well. Sponsorships show prospective attendees that your event is legitimate, well-respected and worth their investment.
Given the benefits of sponsorships, it’s important to keep a pulse on what your sponsors really want from your event—and ensure your event is meeting their needs, not just your own.
Your sponsors want recognition before, during and after the event. This could take the form of recognition in pre- and post-conference emails, webpages, the event app, program book, speaker recognition from the podium, signage, and more. Think through your attendee experience; what touch points already exist? Where do they go and what do they see at your event? Make sure sponsors are highlighted in these places so their brands truly benefit.
Bottom line: Your sponsors want to convert your attendees to leads. Make sure sponsors have the opportunity to get in front of your attendees and educate them on their programs, products and services. Ensure ample networking time so they can make one-on-one connections that will ultimately provide them with a return on investment for your event.
Sponsors want your event to be a success. Give sponsors an opportunity to participate in the design and marketing of the event. Can they send templated emails about your event to their customers? Can you distribute a joint press release about their involvement? Can you ask for their advice in conference schedule or flow? Engaging your sponsors in these discussions and tactics helps ensure your event meets their needs and is beneficial to their long-term growth.
When designing sponsorship opportunities, don’t just think about what’s in it for your organization. Keep these three points in mind so sponsors continually see value in your event and organization and want to return year after year.