This is a guest post from Chris Baylis, President and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective.
Delete the page in your sponsor pitch deck that outlines your gold, silver, and bronze packages.
Whatever the naming scheme, tiered sponsorship levels are a longstanding tradition in the event industry. But these one-size-fits-all models are holding you back from winning bigger and better event sponsors.
Not convinced? Well, here’s what the experts have to say about sponsorship packages — and what should replace them.
Free Download: The 2018 Guide to Event Sponsorship
The sunk cost of tiered sponsorship levels
More events than ever are competing for the same sponsors. Don’t offer the same sponsorship packages, too.
So much effort is put into crafting a sponsorship package. Yet, in my experience as CEO and president of The Sponsorship Collective, it is the most overrated, unnecessary tool in your tool box.
Sponsors don’t want to buy a bunch of assets they don’t need. So forcing them to choose between arbitrary levels may mean you’re leaving money on the table.
Larry Weil — who’s better known as the Sponsorship Guy — doesn’t feel as strongly. “In some industries, packages work,” he says. “For some events, it’s what people have grown to expect. But if you’re in a new, innovative space with lots of variables — don’t do it.”
And if you absolutely must create tiered sponsorship levels, vice president of Goodwin Group PR JoJo Gutfarb emphasises, “Let sponsors know you can create something exclusive for them. If you don’t, you’re throwing money away.”
Offer an a la carte menu instead
Instead of offering prospects meaningless levels, give them a menu of assets to choose from. This can lead to bigger sponsorship deals and longer lasting partnerships with valuable sponsors. List your sponsorship assets by activation type — branding, on site, samples, experiential — to help sponsors quickly understand your event’s potential.
Some experts still suggest providing a baseline value to let the sponsor know if the opportunity is feasible to their budget. But I advise you skip it.
When you truly understand your attendees and have created sponsorship opportunities that perfectly align with your prospect’s objectives, a menu will open the door to sponsors. Leaving the price off forces them to contact you.
Get ready to win more event sponsors
Want more expert advice for winning and retaining valuable eent sponsors? Download the 2018 Guide to Event Sponsorship and you’ll get best practices needed to win sponsorships today.