It’s hard to believe that 2021 is just around the corner. Although it’s been a very difficult year for the events industry/entire world, we have to be prepared for when the flood gates open (we’re back producing live events). They may look a little different, but we still need to properly plan no matter the format: live, virtual, or a hybrid somewhere in-between. Below are some best practices and recommendations to help ensure you maximize your sponsorship revenue for next year:
- Sales Cycle – Opening sales before the end of the year is critical to a successful sponsorship sales campaign. Many companies will set their 2021 budgets in Q4 of this year, so you want your event on the short list. Don’t delay opening sponsorship sales…. time is of the essence! Some companies may even have 2020 budget available that will disappear if not used; your 2021 event may be the perfect place to invest those unused dollars.
- Sales Prospectus – Start with compelling data from your past event. If your 2020 event was cancelled, don’t be afraid to use 2019 attendee and sponsor data for reference. If the event theme is not finalized, go to market with a generic cover and content, but get an initial Sponsorship Prospectus out and into the market! You can continually update it with new content throughout the sales cycle.
- Contract – We were all caught off guard by this pandemic and never in our wildest nightmares could we have imagined what happened in 2020. Make sure to update the terms & conditions in your contract with appropriate pandemic language to protect yourself in case of cancellation or shift to virtual.
- Database – Make sure your database is as up-to-date as possible. Keep track of bounce backs and make sure you reach out to companies for new marketing contacts when needed. This pandemic has been brutal to the event industry and many are no longer in their previous positions. Always try to expand your database by searching company press releases, speak with your account representative to see who they are trying to partner with, and add them to your database. Is your event promoting a new technology initiative? What companies are aligned with this initiative?
- Hybrid & Virtual – Of course, with the popularity of virtual events, most future live events will offer hybrid sponsorship benefits. Design your sponsorship packages with enough flexibility to allow a shift to completely virtual. Know your price points and benefits beforehand…. don’t be surprised and reactionary.
These principles are just a few of the best practices we employ to assist our clients deliver successful sponsorship sales programs. If you could benefit from an experienced successful strategic approach and execution to sponsorship sales, we’d love to talk with you about your goals and pain points, as well as share our experiences. Simply drop us a note at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set up a time to chat and learn about your specific sponsorship goals and objectives. Each of us is well-aware of the impact the pandemic has had on our daily lives, society, and the event industry. At EMP, we anxiously look forward to the near future when live events provide a place to personally engage in a safe, respectful manner; where hosts, sponsors, and attendees can greet one another with a handshake, fist bump, elbow bump or just a friendly smile of acknowledgement and get down to business.