Sponsorship Innovation: How We Increased Revenue by 30% in One Year

By Warwick Davies

Recently my sales team and I were tasked to help raise the revenue figure for an event. The World BPO/ITO Forum, which is in its seventh year of operation, was looking for new ideas to expand their sponsor base and increase the number of targeted leads for the sponsors. When considering our options and ideas we took into consideration sponsor needs: branding and lead generation.

Our top 5 ideas resulted in a 30% year on year revenue increase and satisfied sponsors.

1) One-on-One meetings with key decision makers

A key benefit for our top-level sponsors included a 15-minute, face-to-face meeting with up to four decision makers from Fortune 1000 companies. We found the decision makers, organized the schedule and provided the time and place for this exclusive meeting. Because of the high-level of the decision makers and the quality of the leads, our sponsors valued these meetings at $3,000-$5,000 per consultation.

2) Speed Networking

We converted a plenary session of the conference to a speed networking session for one hour. Sponsors hosted the tables and we cycled buyers through the tables. The sponsor got a chance to meet people (in a managed way) who may not have stopped by their booth in the exhibit area creating both branding and leads.

3) Hosted Conference Sessions

Co-marketing an event with a key sponsor builds client satisfaction, high visibility for the sponsor and increased leads at the event. Poland, a top, event sponsor, was open to the idea of working together. We brought their hosted session, originally to be held off-site at the Polish Consulate, into our event. Locating the event within the conference allowed people to attend without traveling. The result: A packed room and a happy customer!

4) Matching Software based on LinkedIn

We started Presdo Match, one month before the event. Uploading all the attendee data and auto loading everyone’s LinkedIn profile as attendees registered made this process quick and easy, and the result was fantastic! Our clients were given an opportunity to network before, during and after the event and the utilization rate surpassed 60%!

5) Sponsored Webinars

Sponsored webinars are a potent tool in sending a targeted message to your client. This tool allows a company to cover key information and benefits in a short time frame giving their customer base all the information they need to make their purchase decision: value, quality and benefits. Brighttalk, a self-service style webinar software, allows a company to easily set up webinars with sponsorship opportunities. This software also has an added benefit: it can be used as a lead generator for the conference. These quick, 20-minute sessions assisted in building attendance and making our sponsors very pleased.

These five innovative ideas created a 30% year-on-year revenue increase and satisfied sponsors. We’ll have to sharpen our pencils to get those kinds of results again next year!

Warwick Davies is the Principal of The Event Mechanic!, a consulting company which helps event organizers realize greater revenues and profits by improving existing events and launching new ones . His clients include event organizers in the information technology, healthcare, biotechnology construction and design engineering and executive event markets. Previously, Warwick was responsible for internationally recognizable event brands such as Macworld Conference and Expo, LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, and the Customer Relationship Management Conference and Exposition worldwide.

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