Sarah Halfpenny Events

Event Sponsor vs Event Partner: What’s the difference?


by Sarah Halfpenny

During the event brief stage, you should always consider the benefits an event sponsor or partner can bring. A well managed partnership can provide financial reward, open up marketing channels, promote your brand and accelerate sales, so don’t overlook this opportunity to grow your event.

We are all too aware of the benefit of having an event sponsor. They pay money to be associated with your event. The benefit to the sponsor is that they are placing their brand, product or service in front of your audience. They will pay for this access and opportunity to promote or sell their latest offering to these existing or potential new prospects. But what do they get for the money? Ultimately this is all negotiable and each sponsor may wish to develop a bespoke package to fit their objectives.

Below is a pick and mix list of what could be included in any event sponsorship package:

1. Exhibition space
2. Logo on all associated marketing collateral both on and offline
3. Provide branded pens, pads and lanyards for all delegates
4. Distribution of freebees, product samples
5. Inserts (Flyers, Brochures) in the delegate packs
6. Speaker slot or place on the Q&A panel
7. Interview – written or filmed
8. Show their corporate video, product video or advert
9. Sponsor networking and refreshment breaks
10. Complimentary / VIP tickets

There is no formula or exact science, you simply just need to understand your sponsor, target audience and sponsorship objectives. Once established you can then create a bespoke package that suits the client and adds value to the event delegates.

Typically an event partner or media partner describes a mutually beneficial collaboration with typically no financial exchange. So what’s the benefit of seeking an event partner?

The key to getting this right is to collaborate with the right partner. You need to seek prospects who have a vested interest in the event topic, product and audience. Once you have identified a clear synergy you can then create a mutually beneficial package that will both add value to your event and add value to their business.

An event partner may well find the sponsorship pick and mix list above an attractive offering, in some instance all these could apply. Like a paying sponsor you would simply negotiate to ensure the package fits their aims and objectives. In return an event partner will not only add value through associating their brand to your event but through opening up their exclusive marketing and promotions channel to help promote it to their audience.

Typically an Event Partner will be able to:

1. Promote event on their website
2. Promote event in company newsletter on and offline
3. Insert event flyer in corporate mailings
4. Promote event on twitter and relevant social media platforms.
5. Announce the partnership in Press releases and trade magazines

As with the paid sponsorship packages, this list will vary depending on what the partner has to offer, timescales and man power. Basically they need to enter into the partnership with an assurance they can deliver their side of the deal!