In a chaotic world where the industry sees itself turned upside down at every turn, learning about year-long sponsorships becomes crucial. And while events have always been about creating meaningful and lasting connections, our rush to find sponsors every year somewhat goes against this ideal. The focus is less on establishing a beneficial partnership and more on just getting someone as fast as possible. And this causes planners to not be as creative, forward-thinking, or successful as they could be within the scope of event sponsorships. But what if there was a better way?
Taylour Miller from United Planners Financial Services is our special guest on this week’s #EventIcons. At United Planners, the team has crafted an incredible strategy that drives business by creating year-long sponsorships through creative thinking. By tackling the world of event sponsorships with this mindset, United Planners establishes relationships that consistently bring in results to all parties involved. So if you want to learn how you can create year-long sponsorships, press play and join us!
Year-Long Sponsorships: How Do They Work?
Taylour explains that the program comes down to business unit owners. These owners range from retirement to insurance, investments, and more. But instead of procuring partners event by event, they prefer to establish year-long sponsorships.
The typical packages we’re all familiar with still apply – gold, silver, and platinum. Big time sponsors get a general session everyone has to attend and then others get a breakout room or maybe an exhibit booth. Due to the different levels, it’s all dependent on what they get throughout the year. Since they work on a partnership basis, United Planers present themselves as advocates, deeply focusing on what they can do for their sponsors and what their sponsors can do for them throughout the year.
By finding strategic partners that can bring a win-win agreement to the table, United Planners achieves higher retention, they smooth out cash flow, attendees like the sponsors better because they are interested in what they have to offer, and more revenue for the company. The benefits of year-long sponsorships are pretty much infinite!
Taylour gives us an example. Sometimes, they might be planning a particular lunch that they don’t have a sponsor for. And apparently, it’s not uncommon for United Planners to reach out to these strategic partners and tell them the situation – it’s $2000, is there any way the sponsor can help? And usually, the answer is a resounding yes!
How Do You Maintain These Relationships?
Just like any other relationship, year-long sponsorships require work. But at the end of the day, the answer is marketing. Taylour reiterates that it’s all about what you’re giving them and consistently thinking to yourself how you can improve. Creativity has to take the lead in order to create a strong partnership. Show them off and what they can bring to the table, not just for your people, but for them too. You need to make sure you’re stepping up our game to keep that sponsorship going.
How is it going to be valuable to everybody? What can you give them? How do you make them feel important? Use all of your platforms to keep them engaged – website, social media, webinars, the sky truly is the limit!
Taylour also reminds us of the importance of keeping track of everything. Jot it down – tell them what you’ve done for them in the past, keep everything on record so you have consistent data to back-up the transactions associated with the sponsorship. And on the same vein, you’ll want a partner that tells you what they want and need. So strive for partners that want to be communicative, and ask for feedback about what they want, what works for them, and change it accordingly.
Creating year-long sponsorships means the end of a lot of headaches associated with these relationships. And it represents endless opportunities for higher revenue, more attendee satisfaction, and a solid overall strategy. If you want to know more about sponsorships related to virtual and hybrid events, make sure you head out to our blog posts about the subject – both of them! And join us next week for another incredible episode of #EventIcons!