Selling Corporate Sponsorships

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					                                                                     Five Star Speakers & Trainers
                                                                                    White Paper--
                                                     Advantages of Finding and Using Sponsorships
                                                         To Secure Professional Speakers at Events
                                                                                                1
Corporate Sponsorships Can Maximize Your Organization’s Events
Did you know you can encourage a larger attendance and more enthusiasm for
your organization’s next event if you leverage a relationship with another
company?

Developing a relationship with large corporate sponsors creates a win-win for
both organizations. The group receiving the sponsor-funds benefits byaligning
themselves to a well-known name, and obtains funds to afford specific trainers
and speakers that meet their unique event planning objectives. In turn, the
sponsoring organization has the opportunity to market themselves through your
company’s exposure to employees, vendors, customers and other associates.

This article provides the benefits and advantages of finding and using
sponsorships to secure professional speakers at events as well as a simple
process that provides step-by-step directions to implement the process.
This is important information for organizational associates who are responsible
for:
         •     planning company meetings
         •     determining keynote speakers
         •     establishing agenda topics
         •     managing funds and budgets for corporate sponsorships and
               events.
Review this information and forward it to others who are involved in the decision-
making process of event planning in your organization.

Benefits of Corporate Sponsorships
When you book professional speakers and utilize corporate sponsorships for
your company’s event you can benefit from:
        --better attendance
        --higher satisfaction ratings
        --invested funding
        --support from experience
        --ability to draw on look, logo, and feel of corporate sponsor

Sponsorships are on the rise. Organizations see the benefit of sponsoring
other’s events. And there are multiple departments and divisions within large
corporations that are interested and prepared to participate in sponsorship
events. The decision to utilize corporate sponsorships is logical and easy to
make. The process of making it happen requires agreement within the
organization, teamwork and coordination, and the ability to follow steps to make it
happen. Read on to learn about an organization that utilized a corporate
sponsor. The relationship allowed them access to the necessary funds that
allowed them to hire a specific keynoter they needed to make their annual
conference the most successful in the history of their organization.
                                                                     Five Star Speakers & Trainers
                                                                                    White Paper--
                                                     Advantages of Finding and Using Sponsorships
                                                         To Secure Professional Speakers at Events
                                                                                                2
                            Success Story Scenario
Kentucky Child Now! Is a non-profit organization established in 1998 whose
mission is to promote the healthy development of children and youth through
innovative state and community strategies.

As they prepared for their annual conference event, available funds to hire
specific keynoters became an issue. They had a specific agenda and required
unique talent and experience to participate in the event in order to draw
attendance from various office locations and volunteer groups. Exposure to
those individuals involved with Kentucky Child Now! was critical for the success
of the organization through the next year.

As they brainstormed with various members of the administration, along with Five
Star Speakers & Trainers event planning team, they discovered a relationship
that existed with Blue Cross Anthem (a licensed company of Blue Cross & Blue
Shield). Blue Cross Anthem’s mission objective involves a focus of improving
people’s health, with a specific focus on healthcare for families and children.

An introduction was made between the two organizations. The contact explained
the overall objective and mission of Kentucky Child Now! and suggested the
possibility of the two organizations working together based on commonalities and
focus of their mission to assist the welfare of children. The introduction was
made through email and included the web site address, the mission statement, a
brief explanation, and the name of the contact. They also mentioned the
organization’s current need to obtain funds to assist in their program
development for the “Great Kids Summit.”

Blue Cross Anthem was interested and began detailed phone discussions with
Kentucky Child Now! They understood the need and realized the synergy of
bringing the two organizations together to work on the conference event.
Ultimately, Blue Cross Anthem made the decision to serve as corporate sponsor
for the entire two-day event. What started out as a request for enough funds to
hire a specific keynote speaker turned into a strong relationship between two
organizations and the dollars to sponsor all keynotes, workshops, and breakout
sessions. The “Great Kids Summit” happened as a result of two organizations
working toward a collective objective to impact the lives of youth.
                                                                     Five Star Speakers & Trainers
                                                                                    White Paper--
                                                     Advantages of Finding and Using Sponsorships
                                                         To Secure Professional Speakers at Events
                                                                                                3
Corporate Sponsors: A Simplified Process
   1. Define your objectives and needs.
       Define your event, objective, purpose. Based on that event, determine
       what you can sell to the corporation you seek funds from.
   2. Determine exposure aspects for the potential sponsor.
       As you consider the benefits to potential sponsors, consider how media,
       retail, and other exposure aspects would appeal to potential sponsors.
   3. Develop the sponsorship offering.
       Consider using the potential sponsor’s name in the name of your event.
       Nike Presents Success Challenge 2005—Annual Conference
   4. Research. Research. Research.
       Learn everything you can about the corporation you are targeting for
       sponsorship funds. Use the Internet; explore their use of media, mission
       statements, and other events they sponsor. Get access to public reports
       on the company. Know them well in order to craft a strong sponsor
       offering. As you research, look for opportunities in multiple divisions or
       departments that might be interested.
   5. Contact the potential sponsor.
       Some tips to consider:
       • It is better to have a contact name. Seek existing relationships once
            you have targeted the potential sponsor.
       • Always start at the top and work your way down.
       • Offer observations and comments about their business strategy before
            jumping into an inquiry of their interest in sponsoring your event.
       • Use questioning techniques to learn if your contact is the decision
            maker.
   6. Meet them in person.
       Request an appointment to meet face to face or at least a phone
       conference.
   7. Sell to them.
       Be creative and design to meet their business needs as well as your own.
       Be prepared to explain how to make it work vs. waiting for them to tell you
       how it will work. Be in charge of what you want.
   8. Make the sale.
       Large companies may hold back 10% of their sponsorship dollars to
       insure delivery on promises. Be prepared to discuss a payment schedule
       and the plan of deliverables.
   9. Maintain the relationship and keep them informed.
       Always keep the sponsor in the loop as preparations are made for the
       event. Maintain one contact. Show them the event and provide them
       samples of banners, materials, etc…anything with their name on it. Help
       them to see you are utilizing their name, brand and sponsorship with the
       utmost integrity.
   10. After the event conduct a post-event sponsorship.
       Review with them your intent, show them their ROI, and provide a balance
       sheet of the event and all materials. Prepare a kit with written post-event
       list valuating the various components.
                                                                      Five Star Speakers & Trainers
                                                                                     White Paper--
                                                      Advantages of Finding and Using Sponsorships
                                                          To Secure Professional Speakers at Events
                                                                                                 4
How to Identify Ideal Sponsors
Ideal sponsors include corporations that have:
       •      an existing relationship with your organization
       •      an existing relationship with the speaker you want to book
       •      a vested interest in your organization’s success
       •      a current philosophy and process in place to offer sponsor
              relationships
       •      an interest in marketing exposure to your event’s attendees.

To effectively identify ideal sponsors, consider the following characteristics:
           1. current vendor relationships
           2. current customer relationships
           3. industry your organization participates in
           4. event attendees—volume, industry representation
           5. mission and objective of your organization
           6. mission and objective of your meeting event
           7. products and services of your organization
           8. products and services of ideal sponsors
           9. targeted professional speaker’s relationships with ideal sponsors
           10. organizations that actively sponsor events

How to Position Yourself to a Potential Sponsor
The key to successfully selling your event to a potential corporate sponsor is to
fully utilize these three “R’s”:
         1. relationships
         2. research
         3. reasoning.

Relationship: In the process of identifying an ideal sponsor for your event, you
will uncover existing relationships that can benefit the process of acquiring the
corporate sponsor you target. Maximize those relationships. Include individuals
in your discussion and planning. Incorporate their involvement in the initial
contact, presentation and selling process. Associates who hold current
relationships and business experience with the potential sponsor should be
included in the positioning process. They will understand the sponsor’s
environment and may hold insight into how best to sell the benefits of a
sponsoring relationship. If they know contacts, but do not have a strong
relationship or desire to be involved, still utilize them to assist in making
introductions and taking the conversation to the next level.

Research: Discussed earlier in this article, it is critical to know your targeted
sponsor. Research is important and will pay off in the relationship-building and
negotiating aspects of the presentation. The internet offers many options to
research the potential sponsor. One portal that provides good industry
information is:
http://www.virtualpet.com/industry/mfg/mfg.htm
                                                                         Five Star Speakers & Trainers
                                                                                        White Paper--
                                                         Advantages of Finding and Using Sponsorships
                                                             To Secure Professional Speakers at Events
                                                                                                    5
In addition to internet research, also access published shareholder reports,
media coverage, the potential sponsor’s website, and any and all existing
relationships within your organization.

Remember to include research on various departments and divisions of the
targeted potential sponsor. Organizations that offer corporate sponsorships as
part of their existing marketing plan and approach may build these relationships
within multiple areas of the corporation. If one division says “no”, you want to be
in a position to redirect to another department of the company.

Reasoning: Remember, corporate sponsorships benefit your organization’s
event and the sponsor’s marketing exposure. As you begin the planning and
targeting process, spend enough time determining the reasons and benefits for
the two organization’s to work together. Analyze the potential for increased
visibility, credibility, and quality for your event, your organization and the potential
sponsor’s organization.

As you present to the targeted potential sponsor, include recommendations to
them of how their sponsorship can be fully utilized. Think about the use of their
name, media exposure, banners and marketing literature, retail opportunities,
etc. Prepare your presentation from the perspective of the potential sponsor.
You already know that your intended use of their sponsor dollars is to hire a
professional speaker that has a large draw for your event. Be prepared to
answer the following question your sponsor will ask: If we give you funds to help
sponsor your event, what do we get from the relationship? The right answer to
this question will determine success in obtaining a corporate sponsor.

How to Contact Targeted Potential Sponsors
Once you have determined potential sponsors you want to contact, plan the
process of contacting them. Begin with the pre-existing relationships with people
in your own organization. Utilize them in the contact. Phone is better and
typically more effective than email. If the initial contact is made by someone who
is not part of the event planning team, then make sure they introduce additional
team participants in order for an effective hand-off. (If no pre-existing
relationship exists, consider having an executive or top manager of the
organization contact the identified sponsor and begin building the relationship.)

Once the initial phone contact is made, be prepared to send follow-up materials
by mail or delivery. It is important to get materials in the potential sponsor’s
hands immediately following a conversation and introduction. Include a brief,
one-page summary with back-up materials that go into more detail.
                                                                     Five Star Speakers & Trainers
                                                                                    White Paper--
                                                     Advantages of Finding and Using Sponsorships
                                                         To Secure Professional Speakers at Events
                                                                                                6
The more creative, specific and to-the-point the materials are, the better chance
you have of maintaining their interest in potential sponsorship of your event.
Again, this is the reason for ample planning time on the front end. Once you
have the targeted sponsor’s attention, you want to keep it. They need to
understand the benefit they can gain from providing your organization funds and
use of their name at your event.

How to Kick-Start the Process
Corporate sponsorships are logical and attractive to companies interested in
seeking funding and financial support to make their organization’s events
successful through a professional speaker. To begin the process of obtaining
and utilizing sponsorships for hiring a professional speaker, follow the steps
below:

Internal—
1) Review this report and forward to other decision-makers who should be
    involved.
2) Present to the event planning team. Include discussion of the process,
    benefits of a professional speaker, and benefits of a corporate sponsor.
3) Formulate plan and present to top decision makers in the organization for
    approval.
4) Implement plan.

External—
1) Contact Five Star Speakers & Trainers to discuss speaker and keynote
    needs.
2) Contact event vendors to begin preparation process.
3) Contact targeted potential sponsors.

Tool Kit to Obtain Corporate Sponsors
The following page provides a detailed checklist and talking points to use as you
begin the planning process. For additional support and ideas, please contact us
at:
Five Star Speakers & Trainers
Contact name
913- xxx-xxxx
www.fivestarspeakers.com

We look forward to assisting you in planning successful meetings and events that
meet your organization’s mission and objectives.
                                                                Five Star Speakers & Trainers
                                                                               White Paper--
                                                Advantages of Finding and Using Sponsorships
                                                    To Secure Professional Speakers at Events
                                                                                           7
            Checklist: Strategic Planning to Obtain Sponsorship

            Task                Assigned                  Details
                                  Task
Event Objectives:


Keynote/Trainer/Speaker
Needs:

Sponsor Funds
Goals/Objectives:

Exposure Aspects for
Potential Sponsor:

Potential Sponsors:


Research:


Sponsorship Offering:


Existing Relationships with
Potential Sponsor:

Initial Contact Approach:


Individuals Responsible for
Maintaining the
Relationship:

Priorities in the Sponsorship
Agreement:
                                                                                   Five Star Speakers & Trainers
                                                                                                  White Paper--
                                                                   Advantages of Finding and Using Sponsorships
                                                                       To Secure Professional Speakers at Events
                                                                                                              8
                                          Sample Letter

May 3, 2006

Ms. Initial Contact
Potential Sponsor, Inc.
123 Street
456 City, State 12345

Dear Initial,
Thank you for your time on the phone this morning. It was great to catch-up with you, and hear
about your organization’s current projects and direction.

I appreciate your potential sponsor interest in our upcoming conference scheduled in August.
ABC Foundation understands your need for more information in order to introduce us to decision
makers in your organization regarding sponsorships. I’ve included a summary of:
 •
     our organization’s mission statement
 •
     the agenda and objective of the meeting
 •
     market and media exposure for Potential Sponsor, Inc.
 •
     proposed sponsorship offer.

There was much internal dialogue regarding our two businesses teaming-up before I chose to
contact you. We believe in the advantages and synergy of our two organizations working
together to produce this annual meeting. More than 1,500 participants are expected to attend,
and the conference’s marketing brochure will land on the desks of 15,000 members. With your
organization’s name as a part of the conference name, I believe Potential Sponsor, Inc. will
communicate a strong commitment to the positive results impacting lives touched by ABC
Foundation.

Scott Brooks, Director of Marketing and Events, is our lead associate on planning and
implementing this event. He’s very experienced working with corporate liaison relationships and
our organization. I’d like to make the appropriate introduction and pull him into discussions within
the next week. I’m confident your team will enjoy working with him as we move forward in
conversations.

I’m curious to know your thoughts and how you’ll move forward with a recommendation to the
official decision-making group. Let me know what else I can provide for you. Scott and I will give
you a follow-up call by the 10th of the month if we have not heard from you or your associates.

Again, Initial, thanks for your time on this. It is important to me and I appreciate your interest.

Sincerely,

Don McAdams
President
ABC Foundation

				
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