Event Sponsorship: Connecting Organizers with Exhibitors

Exhibit hall of event exhibitors and event sponsors

Sponsorship Program Growth


If you didn’t know this already, associations generate most of their revenue (aside from dues) from their meetings, trade shows, and conferences. In fact, ASAE found registration fees account for 50% of meeting revenue while exhibitions account for 27% and sponsorships 17%.

Although the study was released in 2012, it’s good to know that sponsorship revenue grew 3% from 2005. And will most likely continue to grow.

According to a recent study by Global Experience Specialists (GES), 56% of event organizers expect sponsorship revenues to increase over the next 3 to 4 years. As stated by David Saef, Vice President of GES MarketWorks and Strategy, A top priority of event organizers today is driving revenue growth, and sponsorships are seen as a top area of opportunity, while exhibitors are looking to enhance the value of sponsorships,”

While event organizers and exhibitors were surveyed separately, there are certain opinions by each category of people that overlap in certain ways. Here are 3 key takeaways for associations to consider when determining their sponsorship programs.

What’s it All For?

Although many exhibitors want to know the effectiveness of their sponsorships, event organizers either don’t offer or even have the right data to offer them. 82% of event organizers don’t offer their sponsors a feedback report to be exact. As reported, 66% of sponsors have been able to find other ways to measure their efforts, including tracking booth visits, surveying attendees, and the number of handouts given away.

Because of this gap, associations should consider being more proactive in offering data that shows the success and failure of sponsors. Measuring what worked and what didn’t at the event will allow the organizer to determine if the sponsor offerings were worthwhile as well as let the sponsor know how to properly gain the most exposure among attendees.

What Can an Event App Do?

With a multi event app in place, opportunities for sponsors to measure their efforts are greatly enhanced. For example, banner ads can be placed in the footer or header of the app’s homepage for strong visibility. Banner ad campaign reports would allow a sponsor to see which ads worked best and track which attendees were most interested. Or try sending a push notification with a special offer for attendees who visit a certain sponsor and measure the amount of people who claimed the offer. One could even create an in-app evaluation to gather attendee feedback. No more wandering the venue begging people to fill in the survey sheet…they have the survey right in their hands!

It’s 2015. No More Logo Pens!

The GES survey revealed 29% of exhibitors want their sponsorship dollars to go toward something unique for attendees. What is classified as unique is up to the exhibitor, but being able to sponsor in a specific area of a conference was ranked highest among unique factors. An exhibit hall categorized by product is a good way to allow for this.

Event signage and attendee materials are among the most common sponsorships provided by organizers. Interesting enough, exhibitors ranked these types of sponsorships as less desired. Not to mention these placements are only seen during the conference.

What Can an Event App Do?

Sponsoring media, like an event website or event app, was ranked to be the second most unique factor for sponsorship by exhibitors. In our tech savvy world, these mediums grant a ton more exposure. Attendees who want to learn more about your conference will go to the web or your app if you have one, so why not grant your sponsors key visibility?

Go Beyond the Conference

The last point made in Associations Now’s post was meeting organizers and exhibitors ultimately share the same end goal—they want their relationship to extend beyond the end of the meeting. 61% of exhibitors choose to sponsor to acquire more brand awareness. And they want that visibility to go beyond the 2 to 3 days of the conference. For organizers, they want to have a broader relationship with sponsors. This can be created with sponsorship packages and longer-term buys.

What Can an Event App Do?

A multi event app is one great way to provide sponsorship exposure before, during, and after the event. Not only are there ad placements available but attendees will be able to connect with them directly. Sponsors can create a chatroom reaching out to attendees, send out a poll asking for feedback, or even exchange contact info for an ongoing relationship.

Our own multi event app provides organizers with a variety of sponsor options. Check out our post More Sponsorship Opportunities with ConferenceBeat for a rundown on our programs.