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Event Planning & Management
11 March 2024 

Building a Strong Event Sponsorship Strategy for 2024

Bizzabo Blog Staff
Bizzabo Blog Staff
Building a Strong Event Sponsorship Strategy for 2024

In today’s challenging economic climate, it’s getting harder and harder for event teams to lock down sponsorship dollars.

At Bizzabo, we’re all about making every aspect of event orchestration easier for teams like yours, so we recently hosted a webinar called Show me the money: Navigating event sponsorship challenges in 2024 that was jam-packed with tips, tricks, and insights you can use to accelerate your event sponsorship initiatives. The webinar featured three expert event professionals:

Together, the panel explored strategies event teams can use to craft effective packages that sponsors will flock to, secure sponsors with plenty of time to spare before an event, and demonstrate the ROI sponsors can expect to achieve pre- and post-event.

In this piece, we provide some key takeaways from the webinar. If you want to learn all the magic our expert panel discussed, you’ll have to watch the webinar in full.

Tip No. 1: Inject Urgency in Sponsorship Requests

Human beings are motivated by scarcity and urgency. Act now while supplies last! If you’re looking to lock up sponsors well ahead of time, consider taking advantage of these tendencies and offer packages with time-bound benefits to encourage companies to be more proactive in their decision-making, Black suggested.

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We’ve built in some of these benefits to expire if they’re not purchased by a specific point because there is more than just the event — there’s the entire cadence of pre- and post-event, so there are benefits that you’ll miss out on, particularly for higher-level sponsorships. We’ve built in a lot of really important exposure opportunities that, if you don’t sign by a certain date, you can’t take full advantage of.
Arianna Black
Director of Events and Digital Experiences
Women In Product

Feeney’s also had success incorporating urgency and scarcity into event sponsorship strategies. She stresses the importance of being proactive when securing event sponsors.

Quote
If the venue has limited space, leverage the venue and its space. Let them know it’s a first-come, first-served basis, and you want to make sure they’re well taken care of, but you also have to confirm sponsors as soon as possible.
Jennifer Feeney
Head of Event Sponsorship
The New York Times

Tip No. 2: Be Kind to Returning Sponsors

As countless studies have shown, selling to existing customers is easier than prospecting new ones. Applying this strategy to your event sponsorship outreach can make a huge difference.

Feeney recommends giving return sponsors the first right of refusal for events that have already gotten off the ground. Such an offering taps into that urgency and scarcity once more. 

In Babins’s experience, incentivizing return sponsors and getting them involved early and often is a great way to increase sponsorship dollars. 

“If you sign on in 30 days, you get an x percent discount,” Babins said, adding that it’s almost never too early to ask sponsors to sign up for the next event. “If it’s a return event, I don’t think there’s a problem going to sponsors at the event or a week after the event. You want to get them as early as possible. You want them to see the value in this year’s event so they are willing to spend more next year.” 

Tip No. 3: Co-create New Events with Sponsors

If you’re launching an event for the first time this year, you can secure sponsors by pitching the event as a truly collaborative experience.

“We think of our sponsors for first-time events as partners in co-creating these events,” Black said. “It becomes building with them rather than building before them and then selling to them.”

Feeney recommends taking the same approach.

“If they come on board in the beginning, we make concessions,” Feeney explained. “We’re building the process and event together.”

Pro tip: Feeney suggested that engaging with sponsors during Q4 or Q1 tends to be more lucrative because decision-makers are figuring out how to allocate funds.

Tip No. 4: Demonstrate ROI — Beyond the Event Itself

Convincing sponsors to sign on to your event is much easier when they understand the event isn’t just a moment in time. For this reason, Babins emphasizes the importance of convincing would-be sponsors that sponsorship ROI extends beyond the event.

Quote
Look at the event as only one piece of the puzzle. What are you doing before the event in pre-content, at the event for during-content, and what are you doing for post-event content? All three of those blocks have to build together to make the foundation of what you’re doing.
Evan Babins
Event Manager
Intuit

For example, Babins recommends using pre-event content to drive traffic or people to the booth, during-event content to showcase what’s happening on the floor via platforms like X and Instagram, and post-event content to recap what happened at the show.

“It’s all about building that cadence and looking at the event as one small aspect of the overall campaign,” he said.

Get Started: Transform Insights into Action for Event Sponsorship Success

The insights shared in this webinar underscore the critical role of innovation, urgency, and collaborative partnership in shaping the future of event sponsorships. For those looking to deepen their understanding and expand their toolkit, the full webinar offers a treasure trove of strategies and tips directly from industry experts. 

Bizzabo remains committed to empowering event professionals with the knowledge and solutions needed to navigate these challenges effectively, ensuring your next event secures the sponsorship it deserves and delivers unparalleled value to every stakeholder involved. Dive into the complete webinar to transform these insights into action and set your events on a path to success in 2024 and beyond.

For more strategies you can use to accelerate your event sponsorship efforts in 2024 and beyond, watch the entire webinar.

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