Your Sponsors are your Partners
Typically when organizing events it's easier to think about your end customer being the attendee, delegate or whatever the nomenclature of choice is in your sector, but whether sponsors are you main source of revenue, or secondary to other streams, you need to see them as your partners.
This can manifest itself in many different ways; often before you even decide to host an event. For us the first question before launching an event is not, have I got a great venue lined up? Or will I be able to get people to come? It is can I sell sponsorship to companies who want to speak to this audience? There's dozens of ideas for great events that have never positively answered that question that I've had to cast aside for exactly that reason.
Sometimes thinking of your sponsors as customers first will have an impact on how you programmed events or make you make decision that might impact the attendee experience. This conflict is inevitable, but you mustn't avoid thinking about it, embrace it.
Frame every decision has having to achieve two things. One - it must make for a better experience for our sponsors. Two - it must make for a better experience for our attendees. If it can't do both of those things it's not something we should be doing.
Know Where You Add Value
One mistake I've seen a lot of companies make when starting out with sponsors is bundling everything they possibly can into a sponsor package, just to get the sign off and the invoice out the door. But sometimes you need to take a longer term view. Sometimes you've got to walk away from the deal, and the revenue, if it jeopardizes the future of your event.
A great example of this is around data. A standard question from the sponsor would be "can I have the details of all those attending?" This is the value in my business, if I share that with a sponsor what purpose do I fulfill next time round?
What is of value in your event business will vary based upon your sector, but once you've worked it out don't sell it no matter what the price. We don't blame sponsors for asking for these types of things to be included in packages, that are their prerogative, but never sell yourself sheep.
Principles Governing Sponsorship
All sponsorship should be based on contractual obligations between the sponsor and the sponsored party. Sponsors and sponsored parties should set out clear terms and conditions with all other partners involved, to define their expectations regarding all aspects of the sponsorship deal. Sponsorship should be recognizable as such. The terms and conduct of sponsorship should be based upon the principle of good faith between all parties to the sponsorship. There should be clarity regarding the specific rights being sold and confirmation that these are available for sponsorship from the rights holder. Sponsored parties should have the absolute right to decide on the value of the sponsorship rights that they are offering and the appropriateness of the sponsor with whom they contract.
- Title sponsor is highest status of sponsorship. It characterizes the most significant contribution to a company in organizing and hosting an event. Often the name of such sponsor is placed next to the name of competition, teams, individual athletes and is associated with it (for example, the logo of a title sponsor is placed on a uniform of football club teams). The status of a title sponsor also allows to have a decisive voice on the issue of presence among sponsors other companies operating in the same business, the priority right to use players and coaches for conducting joint promotions, right of presence at all official events dedicated to a sports event, mandatory mentioning in all activities conducted on behalf of the team, highlighting the name of title sponsor in film credits, television programs which were created with its financial support, placement of logos and banners. In case of title sponsor's presence the general sponsor position may remain free.
- General sponsor is a sponsor that makes one of the largest contributions (in absence of a title sponsor - usually more than 50% of all sponsorship funds raised) and that receives for it the right to use the image of competition as well as extensive media coverage. If necessary, the status of the general sponsor may be supplemented by the general sponsors for certain categories, as well as the main sponsor.
- Official sponsor is a sponsor that makes a certain part of raised funds (within 20-25%). Typically, the given status may be granted by category ("official insurance partner", "official automotive partner", etc.).
- Technical sponsor is a sponsor which promotes organization of sporting events through the partial or full payment of goods and services (e.g., medical equipment, fitness, organization of transportation and lodging).
- Participating sponsor is a company, the sponsorship fee size of which usually does not exceed 10% of total raised funds.
- Informational sponsor is an organization that provides informational support through media coverage, conducting PR-actions, joint actions, etc.
A lot of the great event managers don't think they can sell sponsorship, I think they're wrong. Every event manager I know is great problem-solver, if you think of selling sponsorship as a project with clear steps to go through you'll deliver great results like you deliver great events.
Contact us, see what is our events coming and be a sponsor.