Making the Most of Conference Sponsors

Is your association hosting a large conference or trade show? As you begin to plan the event, costs start to add up. Venue rental, catering, audio and visual equipment rentals all the way down to name badges and printing agendas – these costs rack up quickly.

While charging people to attend is one way to cover some of the costs, you may be looking for ways to subsidize their rates or otherwise bring in income.

Having conference sponsors is a great way to help with the mounting expenses.

Attracting Sponsors

In order for sponsors to sign on, they need to feel justified it is worth their participation.

Some things your will want to share with potential sponsors include:

  • Attendee demographics – how do they align with the sponsor’s target market?
  • What is included with their sponsorship – they will want a detailed list of the opportunity
  • After conference benefits – will you be providing the list of attendees to them?

Sponsors will want to know exactly what they get in return for ponying up their cash. Providing them with suggestions of how to make the most of their sponsorship will help convince them to work with your conference.

Offer Unique Alternatives for Sponsorships

Just like banner ads on your computer, eventually attendees will not notice the large banners hung in the break area. Additionally, large conferences may have multiple sponsors.

Companies want to know they will stand out among the crowd; offering unique ways to sponsor the event is one way they can benefit. Be sure to charge premium prices for these special opportunities.

Here are some ideas for ways your sponsors can rise above the rest:

  • Offer a wifi sponsorship. Each time the login information is presented, have the sponsor name included. Better yet, have the sponsor’s name included in the password for the wifi.
  • Append the name of the sponsor to the name of the congregation area. Each time the emcee refers to the spot, have them reference the name – such as “between sessions, enjoy snacks in the StarChapter break area.”
  • Have a sponsor for your conference app. Each time the app opens, the sponsor logo or a special discount from the sponsor could be shown.
  • People will rush to charge devices between sessions. Host a sponsored area for people to recharge their phones or tablets. Offer spare charging cords or adapters, with a logoed tag, to poor souls who may have left them at home.

Having sponsors is a wonderful way to help with the heavy costs of hosting a conference. When working to sign up sponsors, they will be looking for ways to be noticed by attendees. Offering unique sponsorship ideas is one way to get them to agree to assist your association with hosting a successful conference.

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