Being a sponsor can be a huge waste of time and money, or a great investment.
Here are the 5 ways you can tell the difference:
#1 – The audience is not your audience – Just ask one question – who is coming to this event? If the answer is not your audience, say NO. (Good example: you are being asked to sponsor an event for children but you only sell a product or service for adults. Though the adults might be there, your logo will not be what they are focused on.)
#2 – Your money buys you a logo placement – This is the biggie “for a gold sponsor your name will be on the stage signage” – oh my! A logo does zip for your company and being one of many means you will have zero impact. Kind of like a NASCAR race – lots of logos and no messages!
#3 – You will not have an active role in the event itself – If you cannot participate in the event, either at your location, through your customers or on the event day – say NO.
#4 – The location is at a competitor’s location – Charity walks or runs are a great example of you being asked to sponsor something that may start, end or go past everywhere but your place.
#5 – There is no way you can use this across social media and other marketing platforms – are there images, will you get video? If you can’t spread your company message across lots of social media platforms, in-house, at the event, and far more than just your logo – say NO>
It is rare that I tell a client to spend their money on sponsorships – far better to create your own event and then tie in with lots of others who will make your event a success for your company.
Or say no to the next 10 sponsorship requests and save your money to buy a big presence, at a big event, that reaches your audience, at a location you will benefit from, where you will have an interactive role, an event with lots of visual tools and you can promote your involvement across multiple platforms before, during and after.
Be creative – (hint: Google ‘sponsorship levels” and adopt every single good idea you can find) — groups putting on events need your sponsorship and if one comes your way that can maximize your sales – then ask for much more than the gold, silver or platinum levels – and don’t be surprised if you get enough benefits to maybe, just maybe, say YES!