How to get internal buy-in for event sponsorship

Here are some ways to get C-Suite onboard with your sponsorship plans

You’ve found an event, or you’ve been approached to sponsor an event, and you believe it’s worth it. You’ve checked it out and they have a fantastic track record and reputation in the industry. You’ve done your due diligence and have a solid idea of how this event will work in your company’s favour. The tricky part is getting the internal buy-in. Convincing C-suite that spending a large portion of the annual marketing budget on event sponsorship can be tricky - but it will be a lot less stressful if you follow the tips below.

Here are 5 tips to get the internal buy-in for event sponsorship.

  • Prove the event aligns with your marketing goals
    Sponsoring events for the sake of it just isn’t worth it, the approach is ineffective if you want to see results. On the flipside you have to have goals to be able to prove results.

    So the first thing you should do is prove the event aligns with your marketing goals for the year. Ask yourself: what direct impact will being part of this event have on our marketing goals? For example, reaching highly-targeted decision makers is usually at the top of a B2B marketers list of goals. If the event can give you access to these leads prove it. Show C-suite the prospectus of who will be there and how you plan to nurture and convert them to marketing qualified leads post event.

  • Show the potential opportunities and how you’ll take advantage of them
    Create a list of what opportunities this event can give to your organisation, and how you plan to handle them. For example, there might be more than 5000 industry professionals at the event, which is an opportunity to generate wide-reaching brand awareness in your target market. Other opportunities could include; generating sales, having the opportunity to meet buyers and decision makers, networking with industry leaders and the ability to demonstrate your product in person. Again, layout a plan that shows how you’re going to work on these opportunities post event. 

  • Explain any added value or perks of the sponsorship
    With any event, there can be associated perks based on your level of sponsorship. These can include added bonuses of a pre-event marketing campaign such as blogs, PR and interviews with your company. This is a major perk of CeBIT sponsorship and allows our sponsors to begin the brand outreach process before the event starts. This kind of approach gets the word out about your company—you will find prospects interested in your product or service will seek out your organisation at the event. Highlighting these types added bonuses and the benefits they bring to your organisation will help to get buy-in.

  • Discuss how you will calculate ROI and what your expected outcomes are
    Return on investment is a critical factor for any part of a large marketing or sales spend. To show the sponsorship deal is worth it, you want to have a plan to calculate your event ROI once everything is over. Developing a specific plan before the event and making sure the entire team is on-board will make it easier to accurately calculate the ROI post event. Again, showing this kind of pre-planning will make it easier for the decision to go ahead to be made.

  • Show the company has someone who will help you and support you with your sponsorship
    A sponsorship deal is like any other business deal, you’re giving money in return for something. Events that take sponsorship seriously will be well organised and have the partnership in writing, in a professional document with clear instructions on where to go next and who can help you with any questions. Professionalism goes a long way in business and proving the company your sponsoring knows what it is doing will help your confidence and also the confidence of those whose approval you’re seeking. 

Final thoughts
Event sponsorship is only a worthy spend if you know what you want get out of it and you have a plan to achieve it. Getting the buy-in from C-suite to approve a big budget spend will be easier if you can show the plan outlining the goals, opportunities and potential ROI this sponsorship can bring the organisation.

CeBIT Australia: The ultimate guide to converting event leads to sales