oh, sponsor, how do i love thee

Sponsorships can make or break a budget, and they can be a very elusive commodity for some. LinkedIn user, Bonnie M. from Chicago, asked a very good question in the Event Services category of LinkedIn Answers recently.

Her question was:

I am on the National Association of Women Business Owners Chicago’s Achievement Luncheon committee. We are trying to get companies to place ads in our adbook, donate to our raffle and donate centerpieces for our tables. Even though this event attracts 600 – 800 attendees each year, we are running into resistance because previous contributors say that they have not benefitted from participating.

What is the expected return on investment and what can we on the committee do to try to improve it for our contributors?

Here’s how I answered it:

The expected return on investment is new business or some kind of enhancement to their existing business. The companies you’re courting are looking to make new connections with the people at your event.

Do you invite the donors to the luncheon? Do larger donors get any “face time” with the attendees? Are you providing opportunities for these companies to interact with your attendees in any way?

Other ways to ensure that companies are receiving some ROI – mention their level of contribution in a written program and post a thank-you note to them on a web page, where you also include their logos. Have a table where they can display some literature about their products and services.

You should also share with your attendees the importance of them supporting the companies that donate. When your financial contributors feel that you do what you can to support them, they will be far more likely to contribute again in the future.

Check out the linked article from BizBash for more help.
http://www.bizbash.com/content/editorial/e6778.php

What are some of your favorite ways to show sponsors the love?

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