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Brian Pagel

Get the Most Out of Your Sponsorship Program

Brian Pagel B2B - 08/27/2013-14:31 PM

Like most show managers, you probably view sponsorship sales as an opportunity to increase revenue for your event. As we all know, well-positioned sponsorships can enhance the look and feel of your event and, at times, impact attendee perceptions of your event. This is especially true when you think of banners in common areas that can impact how an attendee views your event before even setting foot on the showfloor.

In understanding the importance of sponsorships, are you thinking strategically about the development and fulfillment of your sponsor offerings? Have you taken a close look at your approach to sponsorship sales? Here are a few things you should consider before your next event:

Have you reviewed your menu of opportunities recently? You should review your past sponsorship menu and pull off items that have run their course or that no one is buying. In this case, less really is more.

You should direct your customers to the items that are most popular and most profitable. You can always bring things out of the vault if there is an opportunity, but overall you should keep it simple.

Have you recently reviewed your pricing model? Is it high or low, based on the health of your event and competitive set? Are you only charging rights fees, or are you positing your offerings as a turnkey program?

You never want to gouge your customers, but don’t be afraid to publish your offerings at a premium. It is always easier to go down in price instead of up midway through a cycle.

You should strive to charge a “rights fee only” for as many of your offerings as possible to avoid variable costs like printing, materials and installation. If the customer wants a turnkey program, you need to charge a premium for that service, as it will require resources to fulfill.

When creating a custom program for an exhibitor, what sort of elements do you include? Of course, you want to create an offering that meets the customer’s specific needs, but consider adding elements that carry little additional cost to your event P&L.

This could include logos on kick panels, directory advertising, list rentals, publication distribution, blog posts, etc. If planned properly with enough lead time, you can leverage these low- or no-cost items and maximize your return.

Often overlooked are programs and offerings for the smaller exhibitor. While not the big-ticket items, a few modest program offerings can drive new revenue streams from your customers with smaller budgets.

Take another look at your sponsor offerings and their price points. They can have a significant impact on sponsorship revenues at your next event.

Brian Pagel is a vice president at Emerald Expositions, where he runs The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. Since re-joining Emerald Expositions (formerly Nielsen) in 2001, Pagel has also served as a vice president in the Decorated Apparel Group. A 15-year veteran of the publishing, convention and exposition industries, Pagel has also held senior account executive positions with Leader Publishing and Bill Communications. He can be reached at Brian.Pagel@Emeraldexpo.com.

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Brian Pagel

Three Core Elements Marketers Want From Tradeshows

Brian Pagel B2B - 08/21/2012-15:39 PM

 

Like most of you, I pay close attention to what is going on in the event space. I find myself particularly interested in trends and the overall outlook for our industry. Not surprisingly, some events are up, others are down and many find themselves relatively flat. However, being internal optimists, we always look for the silver lining—exhibit space was off, but attendance was up. We had more exhibitors, but the average booth size was down. We are the masters of the spin for our customers, but what is really in store for trade shows?

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research recently released research on “The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction.” Even during the “Great Recession,” and now in the midst of an increasingly digital world, in person events remain an important tool for many marketers. Your customer’s still have a desire to show their products and services to a highly concentrated group of targeted influencers. 

This is the good news, but there are still many risks to our overall business. Budgets are decreasing and every dollar is being scrutinized. Simply put, you cannot afford to rest on the historic influence the event industry has had as a marketing tool. We need to challenge the norm and look to adjust our model for the future. Savvy marketers want a simple, measurable and hassle free experience. So what does that mean?

Simple: Everything from the contract process to payments to registration needs to be easier.  Consider an alumni program that will take basic information (address, phone, contact, product category, directory listings, etc.) and carry it over year to year.  Give them the opportunity to update that information, but why should you ask your returning customers to recreate the wheel with every event?

Measurable: We all deal with question on ROI. Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all approach, but if your staff understands a marketers objectives in advance of the event, you can work to formulate and define what is or is not a realistic outcome. How will you ultimately be graded?

Hassel Free: If you have been in the business for any period of time, you know the single biggest complaint is drayage, labor and other variable costs.  Most exhibitors do a poor job of planning, and far too often they are surprised by their invoice.  Make it easy and look at “all in” packages that are inclusive of drayage, basic utilities, etc.

What are you doing differently to make for a better customer experience?



Brian Pagel is a Vice President at Nielsen Expositions, where he runs The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. Since re-joining Nielsen in 2001, Pagel has also served as a vice president in the Decorated Apparel Group. A 15-year veteran of the publishing, convention and exposition industries, Pagel has also held senior account executive positions with Leader Publishing and Bill Communications.

 

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