Secrets to Scoring the Big Sponsors

IStock/Image Credit:AndreyPopov

The “big sponsors” seem elusive.  But, if you’re driven to score a few for your upcoming event, prepare to tailor your offerings to meet their expectations. Here’s the inside scoop:

  • The big sponsors want one-on-one meetings with your members
  • They want to deliver content and an ongoing strategic marketing programs that leverages diverse opportunities such as live events, webinars, emails distribution and other platforms
  • These folks are looking for real ROI, so you will really need to be candid about the opportunity to deliver to their metrics.

And let’s also have a reality check.  I’ve been in the board meeting when the question arises, “Hey, man, why isn’t Google (or Microsoft or Cadillac or insert a famous consumer brand a sponsor? They should be a sponsor.  Our members are CEOs for cryin’ out loud.”  True.  But, the reality is, it’s possible your association may not be able to significantly move the needle at all for them.  And, if interested, this sponsor will demand big time exposure including naming rights, the opportunity to present, etc.  Why? Because these big companies often think they are doing you a favor by participating!  And the prospect of providing this much premier inventory to someone – possibly a non-member nervous… so before you start nodding in affirmation to “the mega company should be a sponsor – it’s a no-brainer!” be cautious.

The truth is – the very best sponsorship opportunities likely exist right in your space today. They’re not the big consumer player, it’s the existing supplier that wants to take things to the next level, for the right opportunity.

So, when you build out your prospectus consider this:

  1. Compare offerings to other organizations, which attract your suppliers.
  2. Analyze the deliverables and pricing.  What could you learn?
  3. Get very familiar with the audience suppliers want to reach. Note: Sometimes chief executives are important to you, but suppliers really value CMOs or other titles.
  4. Don’t forget to re-evaluate why the long-term sponsor continues.  My experience is their ROI or business objectives change over time…and the right sponsorship may be different for them now.

 So, the bottom line for sponsorship growth may not be landing the new, big fish.  It’s improving the existing program for those that are already very good to you.

If this information is helpful, register for the next Moery Webinar entitled, “5 Tips for Sponsorship Packages and Pricing Optimization Webinar,” scheduled for May 18th.