Local communities and organizations–be they service clubs or professional groups–depend on sponsorships to make ends meet at some of their events. This is also true for association trade shows and exhibitions. In most cases, the dollar amounts for sponsoring events of this sort are modest–ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
How many times have you been asked to be a sponsor? How many times have you offered to sponsor a select event in order to help out someone in your network? Both situations have the potential to give you huge exposure if done well. In addition, sponsoring an event for someone on your word-of-mouth marketing team enhances the relationship, because you are helping that person meet a goal.
When you consider which people you will network with and where, you’re being selective. Choose carefully, too, when you’re thinking about sponsoring an event. Is it a good investment of your time and money? Whether you’re being recruited or are volunteering, ask yourself the following questions before deciding . . .
- What is the target market for this event?
- What kind of exposure do I get for my investment?
- Can I get this kind of exposure without this investment?
- Do I get direct access to the audience?
- Does it make sense for me to be there?
- Which business or networking goal does it help me complete?
- Are other sponsors my competitors?
- How does this enhance my credibility with the person I’m helping?
- Why wouldn’t I do it?
All of these questions help you determine the value of a sponsorship opportunity. Now, imagine one day being in charge of putting on a huge event. Suddenly, someone from your network steps forward to offer you a substantial sponsorship because she heard through the grapevine that your event needed money. How would you feel about that person? You can create that same feeling toward yourself in someone else by offering that exact gift. Be selective, and offer your support in person. In effect, you are making a tidy “deposit” in your relationship bank account. This act of generosity definitely comes back to you in time, but for now it simply nurtures the relationship by helping someone in your network meet her goals.
This week, think of the people in your network. Who do you know that is planning an event–a conference, an open house, a 10K fundraiser–who could use your financial support? To strengthen your relationship with this individual, offer as much help from your business as you can provide.
Have you sponsored an event in the past? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience and how it impacted your relationship with the person in charge of the event. Please share your story in the comment forum below. Thanks!