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Event Sponsorship Trends of 2016 – The Perfect Sponsorship Strategy

As we look back on the past few months of developing and selling sponsorships for our client’s events, a few trends continue to play a large part in the success of our sales activities to help our client’s events achieve their sponsorship objectives.

First, every successful program starts with a well thought out and documented sponsorship strategy. The strategy should understand the goals of the host company for the overall event and the goals of the host company’s sponsorship program. Where is the alignment between the two? Is the host company’s goals focused on revenue or eco-system participation and validation? Additionally, it is understanding that there are multiple stakeholders for an event, within the host company as well as meeting the partner’s sponsorship objectives. Does your strategy meet your company’s goals, the goals of your partners and attendees? We see the strategy typically being developed for the first one but not the last two. We believe you need to document all three to have a successful sponsorship strategy.

Another trend that is on the rise is the customization of sponsorships. For our clients that we recommend what events they should be sponsoring, speaking or exhibiting at, we have encouraged that they should not take the “off the shelf package”, the one that is listed in the prospectus sponsorship. We assist our clients with determining their event goals and developing a customized sponsorship package with the host company. We use this thinking as we also create and sell sponsorships for clients. We recommend to our clients that they must be willing to have those strategic conversations with their partners to make sure that their event meets their partners’ needs. We mostly see this at the top tier level, but have seen it more and more at the lower levels as well. Your partners are being tasked with increasing their ROI at events, including yours. There should be a focus on how we can help them achieve their goals and return to sponsor next year.

Although not a new trend, thought leadership opportunities continue to be a key differentiator in sponsorship packages. It is an important task for event managers to develop programs in which your partner can demonstrate thought leadership through stand alone or joint keynotes, super sessions, breakout sessions, theater presentation or other areas. Whether these are done in combination with the host company, with other ecosystem partners or better yet joint customers presentations.

These are just a few of the trends we continue to see in 2016.
Happy Selling!

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