Sponsorship Development

In 2011, Agentis brought a new client on board that was interested in beefing up its sponsorship program. Under their previous management company, their sponsorship funding had been slowly decreasing from year to year. As the drop in sponsor funding was not related to an industry decline, Agentis felt that there was ample support from the community for the client's events—it was simply a matter of reaching out to the right contacts, with the right sponsorship package.

Agentis took the following steps to improve the client's sponsorship funding:

  1. Develop a List of Potential Partners
    While the client had a list of marketing contacts already, the list had been prepared years ago, and many of the contacts had moved to different positions or retired. This list was cleaned up through a combination of online tools and phone calls. Next, Agentis queried the Board of Directors for a list of industry contacts. Additional contacts were found via online searches, and member suggestions.
  2. Create a Sponsorship Program
    Agentis helped the client develop a tiered sponsorship program, with benefits specific to each funding level. The Agentis team has many years experience in association management, and can offer solid recommendations as to what potential partners are looking for when sponsoring an event, including name recognition and face time with their customer base. Sponsor benefits can include everything from onsite signage, promotions via email communications to members, website banner ads, and oral acknowledgements from speakers from the podium at the event itself. Sponsor-only receptions with invitations to key decision makers are also common. As the client event also featured an exhibit hall, an exhibitor-only option was also included. To encourage smaller companies to participate, a discounted "New Sponsor" level was developed, eligible to any company sponsoring the event for the first time.
  3. Market the Sponsorship Program
    Agentis began sending notifications to the list of potential partners in advance of the event to increase awareness of the sponsorship program. Print notifications were initially mailed, but as the contact list improved with each event, the primary method of distribution became email and personal solicitations. Board members were also asked to spread the word among their contacts. As attendance for the event grew with each successive year, many companies began sponsoring consecutive years.
  4. Receive Feedback from Sponsors
    Agentis developed an evaluation form to query sponsors at the conclusion of the event, to determine if they were satisfied with the program, or if had recommendations for improvement. Informal on-site interviews were also conducted with sponsor representatives in the exhibit hall.
Since Agentis has coordinated sponsorship activities for the client, sponsor revenues have increased with each year, with overall sponsor and exhibitor funding more than doubled from 2011 to 2017.