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Sponsorship guideline and packages

Getting started:

Increasingly, conference organisers are seeking sponsorship for their events, to offset expenditure and enable them to maintain low levels of registration fees.

Competition is fierce, with many organisations approached regularly with requests to support events, it is therefore essential to offer sponsorship packages which are beneficial to both the conference and the potential sponsor.

At the outset, consider who to target as sponsors. Create a list, in order of priority, of key companies, identifying those with a direct and specific interest within the sector affiliated with the conference. These companies will immediately recognise the advantages that supporting your conference will bring.

The next step in securing sponsors is to decide what you need from them - cash, or ‘in kind’ (e.g. giveaways, services, publicity) support. You will need to communicate this information clearly to potential sponsors in the form of a prospectus, giving them sufficient detail to enable them to make an informed decision as to the extent of their involvement.

Communicating on a personal one-to-one basis with individual sponsors, rather than blanket mailing, is more likely to achieve better results. Make contact with prospective sponsors as early as possible to give them sufficient advance notice to budget for, and plan to support, your event. In your prospectus you should include the date, time and location of your conference, any past history, the theme, anticipated attendance and delegate profiles. You should set out the benefits offered in return for donations.

Benefit packages:

Benefits may be offered in pre-determined ‘labelled’ packages or as a customised package to suit an individual sponsor's budget or interests. Benefits correspond with levels of sponsorship, with the levels determined by the amount invested by sponsors.

The pricing of sponsorship packages can vary tremendously from a few hundred pounds to many thousands, depending on the benefits offered and the duration and size of the event.

Some examples of sponsor package labels include:

  •     Platinum
  •     Gold
  •     Silver
  •     Bronze
  •     Title
  •     Principal
  •     Associate
  •     Supporting
  •     Participating

Giving a more targeted profile:

  • Plenary sponsor
  • Workshop sponsor
  • Posters sponsor

The list below includes some of the most common benefits offered in packages. There are no hard and fast rules here, it all depends on what is attractive to your sponsors and, importantly, what is acceptable to your conference or organisation:

  • Logo/organisation name on pre-conference programme and promotional materials
  • Logo/organisation name on signage, stage backdrop, on holding slides
  • Complimentary advertisement in conference programme
  • Link from conference website
  • Conference website
  • Exhibition space at the conference
  • Complimentary attendance at the conference or at social event(s)
  • Complimentary insert in delegate bag
  • Opportunity to mail delegates before or after the conference (subject to data protection)
  • Feature in conference press releases
  • Speaking opportunity

Additional sponsorship opportunities may include:

  • Delegate badges and holders / lanyards
  • Delegate bags
  • Signage / decoration or flowers
  • Coffee breaks or lunches
  • Elements of the social programme – e.g. opening reception or wine with dinner
  • Student places

In-kind services may include:

  • Provision of Internet café for delegates
  • Provision of speaker lounge or press room
  • Ground transport to / from social venues or hotels
  • Printing of speaker papers or other materials

When introducing sponsors to an event it is paramount that you deliver exactly what has been agreed, in a timely and effective manner. Keeping your promise to supporters by making certain all elements of your contract are fulfilled, is crucial. This will not only guarantee that sponsorship feedback is good but will also help gain support for your next event and enhance your reputation as a conference organiser.

To participate in the Conference Ambassador Programme, or to find out more, even if you don’t have a specific event in mind, please contact Caroline Reed, Conference Development Manager, T: +44 (0)191 440 5759, E: caroline.reed@ngi.org.uk.

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