Your sponsors and exhibitors are no longer the folks who are underwriting your food and beverage costs at an in-person event. They’re now your business partners. Listen to this weeks episode to learn what to include in your 2021 sponsorship prospectus to win over existing and new sponsors.
Hello and welcome to JP Moery’s Association Hustle Podcast. President of The Moery Company, JP’s mission is to arm today’s associations with insight and strategy to thrive and a progressively complex and competitive business landscape. 21st century associations must move forward with a little bit of hustle and revenue development at their core.
I want to give you some encouragement – and a dose of reality – in regards to what is about to happen. I want you to be successful. That’s what I’m all about. That’s my main goal with this podcast! I’m so grateful that you listen and I want you to take the information that I share and turn into something good for you.
Here are some thoughts around sponsorships for 2021 because you’re probably getting ready for it right now.
Your sponsors and exhibitors are no longer the folks who are underwriting your food and beverage costs at an in-person event. Now, and in the future, they’re going to increasingly become your business partners as registration fee revenue continues to be reduced for a significant amount of time.
Recently, I pulled research information from IEG’s sponsorship.com website showing projections that approximately 40% of all global sponsorship revenue will need to be made up in 2021 because a lot of the inventory disappeared. We know this from our own experiences in the association area; when events were cancelled, so was the sponsorship revenue. This means that we need to make up 40% of that revenue in other ways. Associations were way too reliant on sponsorship inventory built around live events to sustain themselves.
Associations that did not have good inventory prior to the pandemic – such as a coffee break sponsorship with the same company for a decade plus – get ready, you’re going to get a butt kicking this year if you don’t change now. However, I know you can change. I’ve seen it happen where organizations have completely transformed their sponsorship program.
Sponsors are going to reconsider their play not only with you but with everybody else. This is an opportunity because they’re rethinking all of the other association that they have worked with before. There’s no silver bullet solution to this; we’ve got to ask the sponsors about what they’re most interested in and their intended ROI. We’ve got to reconfigure our inventory and we’ve got to provide diversity in our offerings to them.
If we can’t perform – a live event, for example – they will want their money back. Your sponsors want to see clear statements around risk mitigation and how they will get their money back if things don’t happen as planned.
Collection and analysis of data will be a priority so male sure that it is part of the value proposition especially if you’re doing a lot of virtual stuff – webinars, podcasting, etc. – because your partners need to see what their money did for them.
Contracts and agreements are likely to look different than they did in the past. By the way, that’s fair, because our event contracts look different these days. Sponsors are now our business partners and we have to treat them that way. We do that by reducing their risks which will give us a chance in the market.
Here are some ideas to include as part of your 2021 prospectus:
- in-person events
- virtual event
- video series
- digital ads
- social media
- sponsored emails
- ads in e-newsletter to monetize that
- virtual exhibit booths at events + ability to upload white papers, videos, and a way to schedule one-on-one meetings
Which gets me to the next point: select a virtual event platform that enables you to schedule one-on-one meetings. Sponsors are looking for the direct connection because that’s been taken away from them due to a reduction of travel.
Think about putting your prospectus together right now, friends. Your potential and existing sponsors have a lot of uncertainty when it comes to their budget. Give them the opportunity to set it by getting your prospectus out into the marketplace before everyone else – today, tomorrow, by the end of October, or early November at the latest.
Now is also a great opportunity to onboard new sponsors because other associations that they may have been working with before are not responding as quickly or with a robust sponsorship inventory.
It’s important to be transparent about your event planning for 2021, whether they are in-person, virtual, or hybrid. Be transparent about what you have planned and the make the calls for pivots early. There needs to be enough information out there for people to be able to decide on what their plan needs to be. Your sponsors and your attendees will not show up if there’s a lack of certainty in your messaging.
Launch the prospectus with a webinar. Your partners deserve a chance to see the offerings in a live briefing and to see all the things that you’ve got planned for them. By the way, if you collect data on who registered for the event, you will know who the key prospects are.
These companies are really important to our businesses moving forward. You will knock it out of the park if you treat your them well and approach the relationship with full transparency, elimination of risk, and diverse inventory.
Best wishes to you. Thanks for listening. See you next week. Bye. Bye.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of JP Moery’s Association Hustle Podcast. We’d love to connect with you. Check out our blog at moerycompany.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. You can also connect with JP on LinkedIn and Twitter at @JPMoery, as well as The Moery’s Company’s Instagram and Facebook page. To purchase a copy of JP’s book, Association Hustle: Top Strategies for Association Growth, go to JPMoery.com.
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