7th March 2024

Many conference organisers are currently having an internal debate focused on the following questions:

  • How much should event marketers be supporting sponsorship sales? 
  • How can event marketers cover both delegate marketing and sponsorship marketing effectively?
  • If event marketers are focused on sponsorship marketing, how will they still be able to bring in the audience needed – to keep sponsors happy?

This is because wise senior executives know they should not leave sponsorship marketing unmanned. Why? 3 simple reasons…

  1. Most of the revenue from a conference will come from sponsors – typically around 70% or more.
  2. This revenue is in many cases more reliable than delegate revenue i.e. it can be secured earlier and is likely to renew at a higher rate.
  3. Sponsorship sales people will perform better if marketing can help them position the sponsorship value proposition well, feed them with leads for new biz sales, and in the process also support renewals.

A key challenge is that sponsorship marketing methods and processes are very different to those used in delegate marketing. The two types of marketing require two different sets of marketing knowledge, skills, frameworks, tools, templates and performance metrics.

Here are just 2 examples of what is important in sponsorship marketing that is not relevant to delegate marketing:

  • For sponsorship marketing, we need to consider the SAOP framework created by MPG. This framework focuses on what sponsors are actually buying, and therefore how marketing messaging on relevant web pages and campaigns should be formulated. Here is a summary:
MPG Marketing
  • For sponsorship marketing, a key outcome we’re looking for is a batch of relevant new leads for sponsorship sales people to help them generate new business revenue. The conversion rate of these leads to sales should be between 8% and 15%, and it is incredibly important this conversion rate is measured – at a high level and also at a more granular level based on how the lead was generated (e.g. from an enquiry form vs a sponsor pack download).

It is important to consider how your event marketing resources should be organised to ensure sponsorship marketing is effective alongside delegate marketing.  And it is also important to ensure that sponsorship marketing is set up for success with the right level of investment, the right skills and the right KPIs.

Not investing well in sponsorship marketing will be the biggest opportunity cost for many conference organisers right now.

MPG can help you achieve a strong sponsorship marketing performance with:

  • Sponsorship marketing training – see latest course information
  • Sponsorship marketing strategy development
  • Outsourced sponsorship marketing – by experienced experts with a solid track record in this type of marketing
  • Database development focused on new sponsor acquisition 
  • Analytics to measure sponsorship marketing ROI
  • Tech stack upgrades – for a single customer view across marketing and sales

What our clients have said about working with Team MPG:

Working closely with our internal team, MPG developed a strong marketing strategy focused on achieving revenue growth for a key product in our portfolio – including recommendations for a virtual offering. We were impressed by the science and rigour they put into the process. I would recommend MPG as a good strategic marketing partner for a B2B brand.

Anna Knight, SVP Licencing, Informa Markets

Marketing to grow sponsorship revenue: why it’s important and how to get it right

7th March 2024

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