Generating New Sponsorship Dollars




Today, I want to share my experience of bringing new sponsorship revenue through the door. Man, I tell you, I know it’s something that folks are really focused on – here are a few observations for you.

  • First and foremost, we’ve learned in our business about 60% of all the sponsorship dollars we sell are new dollars, new money. About 40% is renewal.

We’ve learned a great deal about this over the years. For example, we’ve found often you spend just as much activity and time renewing someone for the same dollars, as selling a new sponsorship. The renewing sponsor may want to change their logo, or they weren’t pleased with the reception and the overall outcome of the last event. Typically, with renewals, we’ve seen a little bit more back and forth on different issues and we’ve watched this occur by tracking our activity in Salesforce.

  • Secondly,  I want to remind you that new money may actually come from old sponsors. At the end of the day, if you’re able to upgrade a renewing sponsor, you develop a stronger partnership, gain more value, and the result is more money – new money.

In fact, upgrades open some basic sponsorship opportunities for a new entry. There are myriad benefits of getting someone to upgrading a sponsor and ‘ll tell you – when the green comes across the table, it’s the same, right? Upgrades = new revenue opportunities.

  • Finally, a brand-new sponsor that has never participated is probably the most difficult sale in the association business. Executing this sale is even more difficult than recruiting a new member because they’re a part of the industry. The prospective member can see value in government relations and more of the entire enterprise.

A sponsor, on the other hand, that may not be a member or a minimal associate, have very clear goals when they make that sponsorship commitment for the very first time. It’s new money. They could be spending it somewhere else. They have well-defined desires and outcomes expected from that sponsorship sale. Again, that first-time sponsor can be a challenge.
Some takeaways here: first, renewals take as much work. Two, newly upgraded sponsorships certainly count as new revenue. Three, it takes diligence to get a new sponsor, so don’t forget that. Hope this is helpful to you. Good luck with raising revenue for your events and programs.
Here is a fantastic resource on how associations can transform sponsors into thought leaders – a winning strategy to increase revenue at your organization, build thought leadership for your vendors, and provide you members with more value – check it out: A Win-Win: How Associations Can Transform Sponsors into Thought Leaders, with Bob Buday.


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