6 Steps to Turn Event Sponsorships Into Big Profits

by Michelle Salater on June 20, 2012


Are you an entrepreneur or small-business owner who’s looking to add a new revenue stream to your income? Then check out today’s guest post from Angelique Rewers, ABC, APR, aka The Corporate Agent.

You’ll discover step-by-step how to turn your next sponsorship into a major source of revenue for your business!

6 Steps to Turn Event Sponsorships Into Big Profits

Whether you are selling your services to small business owners or big corporations, one of the best ways to get face-to-face with your ideal clients is by sponsoring and exhibiting at events.
But because sponsorships and exhibits require a significant investment of your time and money, it’s important to make sure you plan carefully so you see a worthwhile return.

Where many small business owners fall short, however, is not giving enough thought to what they should be doing both before an event as well as after an event in order to boost their results. In today’s article I share with you six proven strategies pulled straight from my days years ago as a trade show manager. There are two for each stage of the planning process.

Pre-Event Strategies

  • Establish your one primary goal for the event. Surely it has to do with generating new business. But you want to think more specifically than that. For example, do you want to sell a lot of low-cost information products while you are at the event? Or are you looking to schedule phone appointments for a high-end consulting or coaching program? Once you know what your chief goal is, let that be the driver in how you plan out your exhibit and sponsorship materials.
  • Build excitement ahead of time. If you wait until you arrive at an event to start driving traffic to your exhibit booth or table you’ve missed a lucrative window of opportunity. You want to begin your promotions to attendees at least several weeks ahead of the actual event. Build excitement by dangling a compelling reason why they should stop by and see you — such as fabulous free samples or an irresistible giveaway.

And how exactly do you contact attendees ahead of time? Once upon a time you had to rely on the event organizer to sell you access to the registration list. (You can still negotiate that, by the way.) But nowadays, thanks to blogs and social media sites, it’s easier than ever to get in front of attendees before they arrive.

Bonus Tip: If part of your sponsorship agreement includes your logo on the event website, be sure that your logo links back to a special page on your website dedicated to your exhibit. Use videos, sales copy and photos to tell attendees about all the exciting things you have planned for them at the event!

In-Event Strategies

  • Line up help. This is a non-negotiable. It’s impossible for you to focus on having meaningful conversations to qualify prospects at the same time you’re collecting contact information, handing out giveaway items and scheduling follow-up calls. If you decide to invest in an event, then don’t cut corners. Even with a tight budget you can hire an intern or “temp” in the city where the event is taking place.
  • Do something exciting! The biggest problem I see with sponsorship tables these days is that they are a total snore. But exhibits are the time to let loose, have a little FUN and be CREATIVE! Give out yummy food samples. Hold a crazy contest — and award the winner something fabulous. Rent a photo booth. Hire a chair massage therapist. Just do something out of the box!!!! If you need some inspiration, check out www.exhibitoronline.com to see what professional trade show managers are up to these days. (Hint: It’s always important to check with the event organizer if what you’re doing involves fire, water or noise!)

Post Event Strategies

  • Follow up fast. It’s critically important that you block out two full days on your calendar immediately following the event… when interest levels are at their highest (and before your memory begins to fade). In addition to making phone calls to people who I feel I can really help grow their business, I also like to get an email message out within 24 hours to everyone who stopped by my table.
  • Make a “lessons learned” list ASAP. This may seem trivial. I promise you that it’s not. Your memory will fade. So if you don’t quickly capture all the lessons from your event, you will be destined to repeat the same mistakes again. Pay special attention to the total amount of your expenses and the amount of sales you generate within one week of the event. Ask yourself: what changes could I make to drive even more sales? By focusing on continuously improving your strategy you’ll be able to drive a higher and higher return on your financial investment.

About Angelique: As The Corporate Agent, Angelique helps small business owners realize big profits and serve more people by connecting with corporate clients. During her stint in corporate America, Angelique served as the manager of several 7-figure trade-show budgets. On June 27, for the first time ever, she’s hosting a teleseminar to teach entrepreneurs how to use her insider knowledge to earn serious revenue from event sponsorships—just in time for the fall event season! Register to join here: https://eventsponsorshipsecrets.com/.

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