We tend to think of sponsors only as sources of money, but we have to think long term - will they get enough value from the event to sponsor again next year? Here are some thoughts on how to make it work for them.
- They want to show their product and build their mailing list, keep that end game in mind
- Really encourage them to provide a flyer to put in the event bag. The pick up rate for flyers on a table is very low. Putting them in the bag means the attendee has something to look at while waiting on a session to start. Cheap for sponsors, easy for events to support. Ask them to include a discount code or other offer on the flyer, or refer to their raffle item.
- If you're doing event t-shirts, put logos from your top sponsors on the back.
- Be sure to include them in your event guide. Give the top sponsors a full page (can be same as flyer).
- Consider offering your top sponsors the chance to do a lunch time presentation, or to do a true product demo on sponsor session or track (just make sure attendees can tell it's absolutely about their product).
- Raffle items combined with pre-printed raffle tickets is a great way for them to build their list. Push on them to come up with a gift that geeks will salivate over - free software is ok, Xbox/GPS/etc usually does better
- Be sure to remind the attendees several times about the event being sponsor supported, and call out the sponsors by name (especially if you do a keynote)