Sponsorship is the acquisition of partners for your event or conference. It conducted mostly on the phone & involves pitching to clients from your target market & persuading them to pay to sponsor your event.
Important Tasks & Responsibilities in Sponsorship
- Growing key sponsorship accounts: It is your responsibility to nurturing your clients, up-selling them to increase spend, managing the relationship & ensuring repeat business.
- Identifying key solution providers: You will thoroughly research the industry & market. So that you can be sure of targeting the right prospects for your event.
- Meeting targets & KPIs: You will consistently strive to achieve & exceed financial targets as well as daily call times, proposals sent etc.
- Travelling globally: To attend the conferences & events in order to network with your sponsor & maintain relationship on-site.
Basics of Successful Sponsorship
- Sell solution not sponsorship: Before picking up the phone or sending the proposal, identify your value proposition. What’s the big idea? How would sponsorship of your event be meaningful to your fans, your property & the prospect’s business.
- Sell what’s most marketable not what needs funding: Just because you need money to produce a concert in the park. Doesn’t mean that is what you should be selling.
- Highlight benefits: Focus on the prospect’s need to build their business, not your need to sell. And don’t expect a prospect to wade through your data dump & figure out what they want.
- Don’t prorate your packages: Give prospect’s a reason to buy at the highest level. Reserve key benefits for your biggest sponsor rather than prorating your benefits. And making them available to partners at every level.
- Tailor to sponsor category: Identify what your prospect want to accomplish & who it wants to reach. This will vary by category & requires research into the category’s hot buttons & budget priorities.
Go to everyone in the category at once:
Once you understand the category do not send out proposals at one at a time. As it will take you years to get through the category. If there’s a fit for one company in the category, likely you can apply it to the others.
- Sign your media partners first: Having media sponsors signals to prospects that your property will be high profile & minimises their risk in signing.
- Don’t send a proposal until after the initial discussion: You have got the prospect on the phone & they have asked you to send something in writing. Do not send a full-blown proposal before you’ve met or had the half an hour call that ensures you are clear on their objectives, budget, process, etc.
- Commit full-time: Sponsorship sales are partially a numbers game, most sponsorship start with a cold call, according to IEG research.
- Put a deadline on your offers: There are only three acceptable outcomes of any call or meeting. That is yes, no or definite next steps. Next steps might include getting go-ahead to prepare proposal or scheduling for next discussion.
- Base fees on value not budget: The fee must be commensurate with the rights & benefits being delivered. Which may be more than the budget of what’s being sold.