Conference business models and margins are experiencing significant disruption. Expenses are rising but increasing registration fees can be risky. Companies are downsizing their expo footprint, and competition for mindshare is at an all-time high.
These realities are encouraging more conference organizers to look harder at growing conference sponsorship and annual partnerships as a relief valve.
For organizations that have traditionally been more autonomous, or focused on selling advertising and promotion inventory, this new direction requires significant strategic thought and organizational buy-in. Board or executive committee support is a must for organizations that really want to move this needle.
Like it or not, partnerships and sponsorships are an implied endorsement. Your customers will judge you based on your choices. Thus, they must be vetted well, transparent in intent, bring value to your customers (in addition to you and the sponsor), and, ideally, be repeatable, larger deals worthy of ongoing leadership time investment.
Reprinted with permission from Velvet Chainsaw’s Sticky Conference newsletter.