You already know how to create appealing sponsorship packages to attract sponsors for your events. Now, here’s how to give your event sponsors and exhibitors extra perks to make sure they return again and again.
As you plan your association’s next event, you’ll likely think about building attractive sponsorship packages to drive non-dues revenue. But here’s something else to consider: It’s important to demonstrate value to your event sponsors and exhibitors to make sure they return year after year.
What most sponsors and exhibitors want is exposure to your event attendees. They also want to be known as leaders in your industry.
With these things in mind, here are seven effective ways to provide big value to your association’s event sponsors:
1. Get them involved with sessions.
Many of your sponsors and exhibitors work in your industry and have helpful insights and experience to share. Beyond asking them to sponsor a session and provide a brief intro, ask them to participate in session development. For example, they might serve on a thought leadership panel. Or they might co-develop and present a session.
2. Ask them to share data and resources.
These same sponsors and exhibitors might have timely industry data and other resources. Ask them if they have recent research data, papers, articles, or other helpful resources that could be shared with attendees.
3. Provide a meeting space.
A great perk for sponsors at in-person events is providing them with a meeting room for one-to-one meetings with attendees. You can even facilitate by surveying attendees before the event to find out what products or services they might be looking for, and then pairing them up with a sponsor or exhibitor for a meeting.
4. Help attendees find them.
Another great way to connect sponsors and exhibitors with the attendees who need their products and services is to provide an interactive online sponsor/exhibitor directory. Make sure the directory is easy to find and navigate. And be sure to include all of the basic information, such as company descriptions, website links, and contact information.
5. Invite them to provide giveaways.
One way to keep event attendee engagement up is to offer drawings for prizes throughout the event. Ask your sponsors to “donate” items for these giveaways, and be sure to recognize each sponsor of the giveaway as you announce each winner.
6. Ask for their input.
Of course, one of the best ways to provide value to your sponsors and exhibitors is to ask them what they want. Survey some of your top sponsors from previous events to find out what would make their sponsorship of your next event extra valuable. Also, ask them what’s been useful to them at other events they might have sponsored. The simple act of asking for their feedback will go a long way toward showing them that you appreciate them.
7. Thank them publicly.
Give your sponsors and exhibitors extra exposure by thanking them often in front of your event attendees. For example, recognize them at your keynote session. Include a “thank you to our sponsors” slide and signage throughout the event. Remind attendees to check out the expo hall. Highlight any special giveaways or offers from sponsors or exhibitors. Just be sure that the exposure you give each sponsor and exhibitor is appropriate for their sponsorship level.
Offering attractive sponsor and exhibitor packages is a must-do for recruiting sponsors for your event. Taking it a step further – adding extra value and perks throughout the event – will keep your sponsors and exhibitors happy and coming back again and again.
Discover more tips and techniques for delivering an unforgettable event experience. Read the guide, Top Techniques to Engage Your Members and Sponsors: How to Increase Engagement for Your Association’s Events