Meetings Canada


Sponsorships: Finding the Perfect Fit

We live in a world where sponsorship has to be a perfect match for the event/conference and the sponsor.

February 14, 2012

We live in a world where sponsorship has to be a perfect match for the event/conference and the sponsor. A couple of years ago, I attended the annual PCMA conference.

One of the sessions presented a panel of high-end sponsors. A question from the audience: “How can I get my sponsors to give me more – my association is struggling in these poor economic times.” The response from one of the sponsoring companies has stayed with me ever since: “Our cupboards are bare, too.”

Keeping that in mind, we truly must ensure what we offer sponsors is of high perceived value. Yes, the logo on the screen is lovely; yes, the ability to drop something into the conference bag is enticing.

But the bottom line is this: how will giving your group money and being on your conference screen bring the sponsor more business?

Sponsors want to get to your market so they can get more business. The fit has to be perfect.

If you are responsible for securing sponsorships, here’s a fast checklist. If only it was this easy!

1. Find the soul of your event/conference.

2. Understand your guests, delegates and the products/services they require.

3. Find the sponsors who will benefit from interacting with your delegates and understand the soul of your event/conference.

4. Customize each sponsor’s contribution, being very careful not to give a lesser contribution more bang-for-buck than a major contribution.

5. Offer each sponsor touch points to your guests/delegates.

6. Ensure you deliver what you promise and that value was received by the sponsor. Did they get to their current, potential clients? Did they get new business that can translate into dollars?

7. Report back to each sponsor post-event/conference

8. Do the ask for the next year or multi-years.

Easy? HAH! Remember, their cupboards are bare.

If you are the seeker of sponsors, I highly recommend the book The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit, Ki Skildum-Reid & Anne-Marie Grey. Available on

I use this book to teach a 14-week course on Sponsorship in the Festivals, Events & Conference Management post-grad program at Centennial College.

Disclaimer: While I know Kim and use this book, I do not receive any remuneration for suggesting it.

Want to do some research? Check out the following websites:

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