Hacks for Securing (and renewing) Sponsors for your Events

(Recorded July 20th, 2016)

Sponsors are from Mars Organizers are from Venus.. Or it just seems that way?

What do sponsors want? ROI.. more leads.. more exposure. It seems like we really need to get creative in order to attain and retain those sponsors. But creativity is running low and resources (aka, money) are getting tighter. So how can we boost that ROI and be our sponsor’s hero by delivering real results?

Join us for our webinar where we’ll go through some great (and creative) tips and tricks…and maybe a perk or two along the way. Co-hosted with Kathy Cohen of EverThere.

Click below to access the materials mentioned in this webinar and the slide deck.

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Read the transcript 

Jordan Schwartz

There we go. We are recording this now. If you’re interested in obtaining CEU credit for your CMP re certification, I will be sending out an e-mail after this webinar, probably by Friday you’ll receive it. Give me a little time for housekeeping with instructions on that. Again this will be recorded and will be available for on demand viewing on our website as well, and [Kathy 00:00:34] has said that she will make the materials, and some of the data that’s being referenced in today’s webinar available for download later as well. Don’t worry about scratching notes too hard, you can always come back. You can sit back a little bit, enjoy your coffee and enjoy what Kathy has to tell us. Kathy take it away.

Kathy Cohen

All right thanks for that Jordan. First of all thank you all for joining today. I’m really glad to have this opportunity to have a chat with you guys and to join forces with Jordan and pass along a little bit of my experience and share with you the findings and lessons that we’ve learned over the year. A little bit about myself, my name’s Kathy, I’m actually from Australia if you haven’t guessed that from the accent by now.

Jordan Schwartz

You did not sound like an Australian accent to me it’s true.

Kathy Cohen

It’s a little different. I do apologize in advance if some of my slang does come out in there we just tend to do that. I should also mention that it’s about 9 o clock here tonight, so my dog is next to me so if he does do a little [inaudible 00:01:44] I’m really sorry about that in advance. A little bit about myself, I’ve actually been in the hospitality and event industry for over 10 years now. I’ve actually studied event management and production at university whilst working as the universities event coordinator. Since then I’ve taken over … I’ve gone through that phase and I’ve worked in events and producing them for a few years, and now, since then I’ve actually taken the other side of the event world and started to focus more on the solution side.
I’ve been with Everthere for about a year now, and we were actually previously called [zaleero 00:02:24], and we’ve just gone through a re branding in the last month or so since we’ve learned that there’s so much more to the process that we ever thought was possible. It felt super important for us to change our brand to reflect our vision and also where the product was actually heading. It’s actually from that experience over the last year that I got to work extensively with both event professionals and event sponsors at the same time. Lessons from the process were extremely valuable and I thought it would be a great way to share with you today, so I can help to somehow solve the ever growing pain of obtaining and retaining those event sponsors.
All right. Hi I’m Kathy, I forgot that slide, there you go, that’s me. Today what we’re going to cover pretty much, what we’re going to go through is the results from a survey we conducted with marketing teams in leading companies. Mostly we spoke to them about sponsorship challenges, a little bit about what they expect, and how they look at the opportunity when they come to decide on sponsoring events. We check out some common pitfalls and I’ll give you some examples as well and we’ll go through some hands on, result orientated tips and tricks and to make your sponsorship package ready for marketing experts in 2016.

Jordan Schwartz

Let me jump in real quick. If folks have questions as we go, feel free to just tap them into the questions box in the webinar software. I will either try to answer them myself or bubble them up to Kathy as appropriate.

Kathy Cohen

By all means, feel free to, any questions along the way. Then finally we’ll go through some ways to apply some of the … Some solutions to the main challenges that we’re going to discuss. Especially when the opportunities that sponsors have when deciding to sponsor an event. Let’s start with some of the challenges that we face as event managers. We all know that sourcing sponsorship is a hard and arduous challenge. From cold calling, e-mailing, social media, introductions, anything, sometimes it feels like you have to beg in order to secure that sponsor. Once you have that sponsor aboard, it doesn’t stop there. It goes on to … you do some onboarding from your part, you get them to send over the materials, tying loose ends, ensuring they all have what they need and all the setup, it’s a massive job.
Then of course comes the hard part. Proving your sponsors their [ROI 00:05:13] post the event. Even though you’ve provided the sponsor with the amazing exposure to their ideal engaged target audience, sponsors these days expect to get some kind of actuable and measurable result from the event in order to learn, assess, and improve their performance. Now the issue is obviously how can we prove that? How can you guarantee a sponsor a certain number of leads from the event, that they can actually act upon and realize that the event was worth while and that they should come back, which obviously brings me to the next stage. All that incredible work you did for so long to secure that sponsor and to have an excellent event, will simply be all that road to get there would be cut in half if that sponsor saw the tangible value in that event, and decided to come back. Meaning that you’ve retained them to next year. It just cuts all that in half.
Okay let’s take a step back and check out a little bit, and try to see it a little bit from the other side. Now we’ve had a lot of experience working with event sponsors in actual events. We work together with event managers, and through the process and I will get to the part where I explain a little bit more about what we do, but that’s not really the point here. I want to get this side of things over to you. We had a lot of experience working with sponsors in actual events. We worked with over 500 sponsors in tens of events over the last 2 years. That actually allowed us to see what was happening. The what was very clear to us, but the why wasn’t. Why it was happening. The what in a nutshell are the major challenges that sponsors are facing when decided to sponsoring an event. You can see from this slide, we notice that the process from the beginning, beginning to end is long, complicated, and it requires a lot of effort on their part. If it’s talking to you guys, and agreeing on terms. If it’s gathering marketing materials to include, and developing strategy. They have a number of KPIs they have to meet from the event, and all the logistics that they have to go through to actually getting there, or setting up and pretty much reaching those KPIs.

In saying that, don’t get me wrong, these guys totally get why event marketing is so valuable, or else obviously they wouldn’t go into all that effort. Exposure to leads to get credibility, that is why logos and banners work so great. Though obviously these days, when data has become such a massive play on measuring every activity in order to act and improve, definitely impacts their decision. At the moment which is the last point there, at the moment measuring ROI from an event is limited. Whether it’s how many business cards were collected, or how many signups were captured from a marketing activity, or how many QR codes were scanned at the booth. How can you actually tell or measure exactly how many people were exposed, or did the messaging work? Or was the activity effective? If I did something different, could I have done it better?
In order to be able to measure all of that, they would need to go again and again and go through the whole process in sponsoring another event, which makes this whole channel extremely unscalable and having to create that partnership every single time.

Jordan Schwartz

Kathy, it seems like there’s a big difference between the trade show, exhibition type sponsorship, where I have a booth and I can scan people and collect business cards, and the … Just the branding sponsorship, where maybe I’m on the lanyard. I’m the sponsor for the networking reception. Is there … Do you make a distinction between the challenges there?

Kathy Cohen

It’s always a challenge isn’t it? Always comes back to what the sponsor wants to get out of the event. What their objective is, when deciding to sponsor the event. Whether it’s just exposure and brand awareness, to regeneration, which I will touch on that just now on the next point. In saying that, you have to understand, and I don’t know if you guys are aware, when speaking to an actual sponsor, when considering all the factors that go into not only setting up the booth, paying the sponsorship fee, sending the person over, all the logistics and everything. It ends up, from the way they generate leads at the moment, at events, it ends up being around 230 dollars per lead that they pay. That is just a standard average, but you have to … These guys, they know it. You have to think about it from their point of view as well.
To scale something like that or to measure something like that, it’s extremely difficult when you have to duplicate the activity in different events around the world, and measure it from the beginning. You can’t really A, B test the whole messaging of it, because you have to go through the whole process in order to try it again. Whether it’s banners and sponsorship, whether it’s logos on lanyards and everything, they need to be able to measure that, and then also there’s the booth part and the booth traffic. It’s different, but it’s all in the same way, you know what I mean?

Jordan Schwartz

Yeah I do. I think that there are … Sponsors will have different goals, and they’re going to choose the type of sponsorship that they pursue, based on those goals. I think for each one of these, it’s just really a whole different set of answers that you provide in terms of measurability for example. It’s very easy to measure … If I have a booth, [these 00:11:27] are the obvious measurements that I have. Number of leads [inaudible 00:11:30]. That’s a pretty good one right there. I can even follow each one of the leads through my own pipeline, whereas for brand awareness, it’s a lot harder. [crosstalk 00:11:44] I’m kind of curious … I’m looking forward to seeing if you have some tips on how to reassure sponsors that they are getting their value out of brand awareness sponsorship.

Kathy Cohen

Okay. Awesome. Let’s go to the next part. We wanted to actually take everything one step further, and actually go into the considerations that the potential sponsors were experiencing when they were taking the decisions, in their offices, in their little [inaudible 00:12:14] buildings all over the world, and have a team seize a situation when they make these decisions, and how it affects their behavior that we actually see on our platform.
What we found, and this is what I call the phenomenon. What we found was extremely interesting and it seemed very important for us to share it with you guys because you might not always have the experience of the process from the side of the sponsor. This deeper understanding, it allows you to see what’s important to them and how they see things. Even in a statistical level, which is why we conducted a survey, it’s an understanding that we think can contribute immensely to your sales, to building the right sponsorship package, to increase the retention and to manage this conversation with sponsors in the right way in order to pass that message along. In saying that, when you … In order to reach all that we knew that we needed to ask questions that will help us find out who they are, what their pain points are, what their attitude was toward event marketing.
For example we asked questions to see if events are a strategy for them, or an opportunity to find out if they’re more opportunistic with their approaches to events. For example, if someone approached me … Someone approached me so I’ll check it out. Or if they had an actual event marketing strategy in place. This makes a world of difference from your side. For example, if I approach someone and had a set … Someone who has a set strategy in place, it would be harder for me to enter something that is already closed, rather than approaching someone that’s waiting to be approached, and get a few proposals and then I’ll have to convince him that I’m the best option for him, [inaudible 00:14:05].

Or another example of questions we asked were, some factors of what influences them, because then I would pitch the sponsorship differently to each one. For example, if they want to get more leads, I would make the pitch about that. If I was more interested in brand awareness then I would aim there. We divided all the info that we received into about 13 subjects and we tried to understand the full picture in each one. That’s what I’m just about to go through, and hopefully we’ll understand this better.
The survey that we’ve done, we questioned around 300 marketing professionals from different industries. This was tech, b2b, b2c, marketing, dev ops, and startups and the majority of the answers were from CMOs and COs of those companies, which means they are the decision makers and those who would ultimately make the decision whether to go ahead and sponsor an event. The thing that we were interested in is to see what they wanted to achieve from the event. Our assumption was … This is the question. We wanted to find out what sponsors looked to get out of sponsoring events. We went in there assuming that everyone would want to achieve exposure and brand awareness, and that other things were a little less important.

You can see here, when we looked at the survey results, that you can see that growth and creating new business is extremely important to them, a lot more important than brand awareness. This is something that actually surprised us in regards to this behavior as in they usually take what makes it more appropriate to them is that usually they take actions that are more marketing orientated, or geared toward brand awareness, but on the other hand, they themselves see these actions as creating more business. Meaning they see sponsoring events as a way to create more business. This is extremely interesting gaps, and we’re so used to having conversation with them as brand awareness and exposure because we assume that this is what they are after, but from the results it’s clear to see that growth and [biz 00:16:23] dev is much more important.

Jordan Schwartz

I think that [crosstalk 00:16:27], brand awareness is a proxy for growth and business. If I were to get brand awareness and my business didn’t grow … It seems obvious in that perspective that wouldn’t be satisfying for me. That brand awareness is a stepping stone on the way to growth.

Kathy Cohen

Exactly, but let me rephrase. Generating new business and growth means pretty much generating leads. Meaning that they could have actionable results that they could take away and actually grow their business from there. [Biz 00:17:07] dev is more of, you’ve got a bunch of leads that you’ve just gotten from the event and you want to act upon them. Brand awareness is a little bit hard to … It is a stepping stone, and it is definitely important, because aligning yourself with the event is extremely important for credibility. It builds you up, I mean by all means, it’s not something that should come at the expense of brand awareness, but you can see that creating new business and creating that growth from the lead generation is very important to these guys.
I’m just going to … This is another point. From the next slide you can see the activities that they use. The marketing professionals, they actually use to generate leads. You can see a large percentage of it actually goes to events. You can see that they, after social media and paid ads by Google, the event strategy, or the event sponsorship comes in 3rd and it’s the most attractive solution to achieve this goal, to generate these leads.
What you can take away from this fact, is that events are actually more of a lead generation tool rather than a brand development or exposure. If they would like … It’s what they would like it to be. This is what they have in mind when they decide to sponsor. Inherently, events are supposed to create more exposure, but when you compare an event to an ad on TV, it’s a lot more logical that they would expect to generate leads from the event. The bottom line is that lead generation and growth are a lot more important to sponsors than we thought, and it must be reflected in your sponsorship package and in the sale itself. When you’re going to approach sponsors.

Jordan Schwartz

What are some ways that you can integrate lead generation into a sponsorship package. Obviously there’s … If it is separate from the trade show and exhibition portion.

Kathy Cohen

I’m just going to, I’m going to give you a couple of examples coming up, I just want to go through just one more thing before I do. I do have some great examples.

Jordan Schwartz

Fantastic.

Kathy Cohen

If you bare with me, I’ll go through a little bit more, and then we’ll touch on that.

Jordan Schwartz

Consider yourself [inaudible 00:19:36].

Kathy Cohen

Sorry?

Jordan Schwartz

I said consider yourself born [inaudible 00:19:40].

Kathy Cohen

Thank you. Okay. When we went to event sponsors, this is another phenomenon we found out. Why are companies not choosing to sponsor events? When we went to event sponsors and we said to them, okay guys come on, you can use our platform, we can generate leads for you and everything, we noticed that a few companies, especially the smaller ones said, “Oh no, we don’t sponsor or participate in events, or we’ve done some events, but we’ve stopped now because it dint’ really work for us, or events don’t really work for us.” We thought okay, why don’t we get down to the details and understand the real underlying issue here. What are the reasons for why they won’t say … They would say that events don’t work for them as a successful channel, because we see so much value in it. Then we ask the question, then we ask them the question, if you don’t sponsor events, and the question before that is why do you sponsor events. If they said they don’t sponsor events, why do you not participate in events?
As you can see, most of them said that they don’t see the value in it, or a need in it. When we look at their objectives, connecting back to the last slide, connecting it to growth, they don’t see how events can create growth for them. Here lies your opportunity. Something we can account for as an event professional … It’s something we can account for when we pitch the package already. Before the solutions that come inside the event itself which I’ll touch about in a minute, this is a solution which can come into effect right now. When you’re making the sale, say something like, “I assume that creating new business and growth is something that’s important to you. You might not think that this event would be the right place to achieve that, so there are a couple things in this sponsorship package I’d like to highlight.” Then you go in to highlight the opportunities in the package that will deliver on that goal.
It’s super important to ask when you make a sale, do you guys participate in events? Is it something that you guys do regularly? If yes, it’s a totally different conversation. If they say no, then you ask why not, and you use that and create an objection list. One that you can use in the future as a guideline to prepare for these conversations. You’ll be armed for answers in advanced, and solutions to solve these problems. It’s super important to talk to these guys, and understand where they’re coming from and what they’re looking to get out of the event.

I’ve actually had a testimonial for one of the guys. I’ve actually also asked open ended questions and this is one of the answers that I got. You can see that measurement is become a central factor. At the end of the day makes sense. If you look at marketers, they have marketing budgets to distribute. Even if it’s an agency that does it for a company, or a company that does it in house, and there are things with which they can prove ROI or prove why they need to spend that money. There are things that they don’t have a choice in. They have to spend the budget on [inaudible 00:23:02]. This is where it ties into the last point we spoke about. You’re not not going to be the leading event of your industry and fall off the map, of course you’re going to be there. There are things that you’re going to have to choose between. You’re not always going to prefer doing something that is measurable and provides a clear return, rather than … Sorry you’re always going to prefer doing something that’s measurable and provides you clear return, rather than something that you have to take on all the risk on itself, and you’re not going to know how it turns out at the end.
As you can see from the testimonials, they’re saying it clearly. It repeats across the board, and in every question we ask, and as event professionals, we can learn from this and we can add that to the sponsorship proposal when we prepare it to make it a lot more results on measurement orientated. Here’s a cool example that I wanted to share with you on how to prove that as well. I had an example with the [Sephora 00:24:13]. I hope you guys all familiar with Sephora, they’re a makeup company. They have a lot of products. They actually organize events during the year. What these guys have done, was instead of giving let’s say small gifts or swag at the event, they actually had the event attendees opt into an activity and sign up to get a gift that was a lot more valuable. Meaning instead of giving a 4 dollar worth of something, or a giveaway, they said to them sign up here and leave your e-mail and you’ll get something that’s 10 times more worthy. Instead of 4 dollars it was worth 40 dollars.

It’s an example of how you can incentivize attendees to become leads. Since it’s more worth it for them to leave their e-mail address, because they know they’re getting something valuable for their opt in. Any questions until here? There’s going to be more examples in the future.

Jordan Schwartz

One question I’m sitting on that I’ve been waiting until you finish this section, but yeah, I’m interested in the examples really. I think that’s the hardest part is … Getting hand raisers. Getting people to say, “I’m interested, I want to learn more.” People don’t like to be sold to.

Kathy Cohen

Exactly.

Jordan Schwartz

Doing it in a way, I think the Sephora example is a nice one because they have that feeling of they’re just getting something for free and something that they want, and it’s a nice twist because the most qualified leads for Sephora, are going to be the people who want their swag.

Kathy Cohen

Exactly.

Jordan Schwartz

Often you’ll see giveaways where you’ll have a squishy ball or something like that, but the people who want the swag aren’t necessarily … There’s nothing about the swag that makes them a qualified lead for the product. I think that the Sephora example is a really nice example of tying the swag to the product, to make sure that the leads you’re collecting are qualified.

Kathy Cohen

Another example that you can do is create a raffle or a draw within the event as well. You’ve got to remember, yes it will capture a lot of leads, it might not capture the highest quality leads, but it does give attendees the sense of oh I’m going to get something, I’m going to win something. That’s also another example. The key point to take away from here is you have to keep the attendees in mind when you’re pitching to the sponsors. I’m going to touch on this seriously in a little bit, but you … When you think about it, the attendees are your strongest card. They are your main sale point. You have to keep them in mind when you’re pitching to sponsors, because sponsors are after your attendees. When the attendees are happy, the sponsors are happy. When you provide an attendee with an experience that they get value from, they will keep that sponsor positively in their mind, when they come to taking it away even after the event. That makes them brand investors.
For example, I wanted to keep the example for later on, but I’ll give it now because I think it’s appropriate. In South by Southwest, Dell had created a lounge inside the event itself. They said they actually gave attendees an option to come in to their lounge, and they received free iTunes voucher, and they could download their own music and chill out with their own music that they wanted in the lounge. They got a lot more response from that than saying to them, come to the Dell lounge and listen to a lecture about something. They actually gave something to the attendees that they enjoyed, and they could tailor it to themselves, and they were happy to giveaway their signup. They were happy to sign up for this perk. Because they were getting something of value that was important to them That’s another small example of an activity. There are endless activities as well.

Jordan Schwartz

For sponsorship opportunities where there just isn’t that same opportunity to collect lead information, like for example, sponsoring a lanyard, getting your logo on a lanyard, or brand awareness and logo placement elsewhere within the event. Do you have advice on how to justify the value, or how to … How do you turn that into data that you can give to the sponsors so that they feel like they’ve gotten their money’s worth and so that [inaudible 00:29:38].

Kathy Cohen

One way that you can do that is integrate social media. In saying that, when you’re putting the banner up or when you’re putting the logo on the lanyard, or when you’re putting that … You can say use hashtag Dell2016 and I’m not sure of the event name, and you directly go in the draw to win blah blah blah. As soon as they do that, share the hashtag on your social media channels and we will draw the winner on I don’t know what. Some kind of incentive and then that way you can count, you can actually tell the sponsors they would be able to count the amount of hashtags, or they would be able to count the amount, some kind of exposure they would get. They could see that by using the hashtag or getting it exposed or somehow integrating social media into the actual banner or logo, they could actually measure that offline, or online during the event. They could see that they could actually use their own tools to measure it.
That could be a way to do it. Otherwise, it’s very difficult when you just have a banner. You could say take a picture. They could run campaigns pre event, where they say take a photo of our banner and send it to us and you could win this. Something that engages the attendees pre event that they could do then during the event, and then measure it like that. It’s quite hard for the actual event manager or event organizer to measure it for them, or to give them the tool to do that. Which is actually what we do, but I’ll get to that later. That’s not the point here. I’ll continue and then there’s a couple more little points that are super important I wanted to touch on.
The next one is we wanted to actually find out why it’s so hard to close these sponsors during the year, and what we assumed is that most likely they already have strategies in place. Now you can see from the findings, is that 50% of them answered that they either have a formal event marketing initiative in place, or that they have an informal marketing initiative in place, and do have some budget allocated to it. We found that it’s so much harder to convince sponsors to come on board during the year, when their marketing strategy is already set. When you’re approaching them, you have to approach them during the last month like December, or the first 3 months of the year. After that, it becomes a lot harder since they would have to begin to reallocate their budget.

From this, we say, we give you these key points. I think it’s super important because it’s worked for us and this is something that we’re serious advocates of. Every time you have a successful event, and you have to try and sell it, sell that sponsorship to that sponsor for the next year right then and there. Or at the earliest possible while it’s fresh in their mind. You know that they have a formal strategy and that you may lose them if you don’t go for it straight away. This also ties back to the testimonial from before. Those guys that have a formal strategy in place, they would have crazy KPIs [inaudible 00:33:27] to me. Measurement that becomes extra crucial in order to prove their ROI. Once you have provided them the measurement, provided them the leads, provided them the ROI, you’ve just gone boom boom boom, I’ve delivered. Show it to them and tell them all right, jump on board, let’s do it again for next time.
Now it’s in conclusion, but I wanted to jump on these points because they’re very important. Some of these … If you can take anything from all of these key points that I’ve gone through, you should definitely [sell 00:34:10] sponsorship as early as possible, and if you can do it in the last month or the first 3 months of the year, it will be much easier for you later on. Check whether the company you’re trying to sell to participates in events, and if they don’t, talk to them about a value proposition, and how it’s cost effective in terms of ROI.
Measurements, make sure you have measurable marketing activities like we spoke to above. In your sponsorship package, add it in there already. Say to them, let’s work together to create an experience. Make sure you show them that you’re part of the solution and not part of the problem, as in, when you come to a meeting, you’re coming in armed with solutions to all those issues that they’ve raised. That you’ve had the conversations with them, you’ve gotten to know them, you know what their pain points are, you know what their objections are. Come up with the solutions to battle that and show them … Rather than saying this is the event and that’s what it is, no. Show them how you can create memorable experience for the attendees, you can provide value, how that’s going to benefit them at the end. Get information out of them and use it to make the sale a lot more effective.

Now I’m assuming that you probably all thinking, okay, of course, I can create [inaudible 00:35:36] leads, I can spam my attendees with endless e-mails until they come back with something. I can get heaps of exposure for my sponsor and try to [inaudible 00:35:47] them just to satisfy them, but this actually comes at the expense of the attendee. The answer is, if you can create activities that are measurable and that are business generation orientated, that’s the power and the ball stays in the attendee’s court, then you have a success in your hands. We build our product based on that. I’ll tell you that in a little bit. We believe that in this age of people that are pretty much ad proof, they don’t notice when you think about it. Do you really look at TV ads or do you change the channel? Do you really walk along the street and look at billboards? Not really.
When you’re walking through an event, yes you see the banners and everything, but do you really go in and delve into the information or what’s on that big massive banner? Usually you don’t, let’s be honest. For that reason, people need experiences. That’s why events are so super important. That’s why any event itself, it’s important to create these micro experiences like I gave you the example with Dell. These experiences need to be yes, and I’m doing by the attendees now. The attendees need to say, “Yes, I’m interested. I want to try this. I’m ready to give you my e-mail address because this is what I want and I’m interested in your product and what you have to give me.”

Jordan Schwartz

[crosstalk 00:37:20] Before you get too much further, I want to, I’ll offer a little bit of a counterpoint. I definitely agree with you that the experiences and having an interaction with the attendee is going to be so much more valuable. There’s a lot of data though that shows that familiarity breeds liking. Merely having seen something before increases your affinity for it. That I think is the theory that underlies brand awareness marketing and the reason that there are billboards. Yeah you may not look at it consciously and I don’t think anyone drives down the highway and says oh, I never hold of McDonald’s before but I saw that sign. That constant repetition of the brand does something in our brains that causes us to like it a little more. I think with newer brands especially, that’s important because it not only establishes that basic liking, but also a sense of … Of it being established.
When I’m evaluating software products for example, if I’ve never heard of it before, that’s kind of a mark against it. If I’ve heard of it I’ll say oh yeah I’ve seen their name around. I can’t, I don’t know where I’ve seen their name. I’ve seen it on the sidebar of a website, but that means that they have enough of a budget to be buying advertising. Even if it’s not at a conscious cognitive level, there is an emotional reaction that I have toward having seen something before, being, having a sense of familiarity of it that I think is valuable. I don’t mean to undercut any of the points about … I think that the value of interactive experiences is so much more valuable. I wouldn’t discount the brand awareness altogether.

Kathy Cohen

You are completely right and it’s definitely not what I was trying to get across. It definitely should not come at the expense of branding and brand awareness. Brand awareness as you saw at the beginning, it’s extremely important as well. It shouldn’t come at the expense of that, it should come along with it. The main point that I’m trying to get across is that when we sell the sponsorship packages, branding should be a part of it, and brand awareness should be a part of it, but it should also include lead generation and biz dev. That is a measurable key for the sponsor themselves. It definitely shouldn’t come as an expense of brand awareness but it should be a key factor that stars in your sponsorship package. That is the …

Jordan Schwartz

A few questions that I again, I’m sitting on from the audience. Before we leave the last slide, there was one that was very relevant. We just had one person that wanted to know what is a KPI. [crosstalk 00:40:35] Let’s make sure we define our terms.

Kathy Cohen

Okay sorry about that, sorry guys. A KPI is a key performance indicator. Usually when, for example, I’m actually the marketing manager for Everthere so my boss for example came to me and he said Kathy, okay, I’m going to give you a KPI where I want to have 10,000 visits to the website within 2 weeks starting from today. After that I wanted to see it grow with 10% with every month. My KPI, or my key performance indicator would be these set indicators that I have to meet each certain time period.

Jordan Schwartz

Your goals then. Your measurable goals.

Kathy Cohen

Measurable goals that I have to reach. For example, the marketing guys that would be at the sponsors or that would make the decision to sponsor an event, they would have a KPI from their CMO, from their boss, that would say, in order for me to see value in the event, I need you to come back with at least 50 qualified leads or 50 business cards. I want to see at least 100 people sign up for my draw, or some kind of goal or indicator, measurable indicator that they would come back with from the event. Does that make sense? Sort of?

Jordan Schwartz

It does to me.

Kathy Cohen

Okay. Okay great. Perfect. Yeah anything else, ask away guys. How can we … Before I get to that, we actually … All of this stuff we do in Everthere as a form of digital swag bag. Our digital swag bag is permission based, but there is so many different ways that you can do it. I’m talking about the experience. That’s actually what we … We create an experience within the event in a form of a digital swag bag that is also permission based and the attendee has to choose to want to give their e-mail address. They have all the choice in their hands, but there is also so many other ways, and you guys probably have lots more ideas of what kind of experiences that you can use within the events as well. You’ll see, when you create activities that attendees like more, and when you add these measurable activities in your sponsorship packages, you create them with the attendees in mind, you will see that the attendees are a lot happier, they’re a lot more engaged, their results are a lot better, and the sponsors are happier.
Here I was about to talk to you about Dell, but I’ve already spoken to you about Dell. The thing is is that also, which you have to keep in mind is the offers don’t have to be tangible all the time. It can also be something that’s a little different. Your sponsors can offer free trial for example to their product. Or they can offer a free consultation. For example I had SimilarWeb, they gave away a free analysis of their competitor. You chose their competitor and then they gave you a free analysis of their … SimilarWeb are actually a platform online that analyzes your competitor’s traffic and movements online. You can actually study from their actions. They gave as a present, an analysis of your competitor of your choice. This is something that might be attractive to a certain group of people. You have to keep that in mind, when you’re coming to the sponsors and you say okay who is your target audience. Our attendees is this and this and this, great. This suits them, so your product can benefit the attendees in this way, so let’s build an offer together, or an experience together that would benefit both of us. Everyone that’s involved.

If there is one thing in saying all that, is that if there is one thing that I want you to take from all of this today, is that you need to stop talking about only branding and exposure. They have other ways to achieve it, but it’s stepped away from becoming the main star of the show. There’s another, there’s a co star that’s come along in the experience. You can help them create more business and interactions and after that these guys, these attendees they become brand advocates and they’ll continue to be loyal. Even if it’s not exactly the person that the sponsor was actually targeting in that particular event. If it’s let’s say, I wanted CMOs, but the guy that came along was just the marketing, the social media manager, even if it’s not exactly that person, they would still go back and they would still talk about your product. The event or the sponsor’s product. They’ll pass it on and they’ll go back and the person that you actually originally wanted to, your sponsor wanted to reach, will be hearing from you from these advocates. All right.

Jordan Schwartz

Do we have time for, we leave some time for questions?

Kathy Cohen

Yeah leave some time for questions, and I was just going to talk a little bit, talk to you guys a little bit about what we do to tie it all together and that’s it. Go for it with the questions and then I’ll sum up.

Jordan Schwartz

I think it’s relevant because I know that what Everthere does is create these … The digital swag bags, that provide leads and measurable KPIs to the sponsors. I think if you want to go ahead and take a moment and talk a little about that, that’s definitely welcome.

Kathy Cohen

Okay. Everthere is pretty much, like I said it’s a digital swag bag for events. What we do is actually bring external content to events which allows event professionals to generate more revenue from an event. This means we create an extra channel, and extra revenue channel for the event organizer. Apart from that, we actually create a marketing experience that’s completely permission based. It’s attendee orientated, it’s result orientated, and it generates leads. When it comes to attendees, I can tell you guys … I’m sorry to sound a little bit show offy, but I can tell you guys that the attendees love the product. We have 80% of attendees at events use it, or go onto the bag. 25% of them actually continued opt in, make the decision to leave their e-mail address. We have people who have used it in number of different events and they still continue to come back and see the value. It’s still super important for us that the content of the bag and the offers are extremely targeted, and offer value to the attendees, so that we can maintain this super important relationship we do have with the attendees.

Jordan Schwartz

This is a really efficient way. As an attendee walking around a show floor, it’s often difficult to cover the whole space, and to really get a sense quickly of where I want to spend my time. Frankly where to get my fill of swag, because there’s only so many balls that I can get. Having it all digital like that seems like it can make it a very efficient way for me to just go through. I can look at everybody, decide who I’m interested in learning more from, and if those, the swag is tied to the benefit of the product, like we talked about earlier, which it’s very easy to do with digital swag because you could offer discounts and free samples of digital products, then it makes the whole process very frictionless for the attendee.

Kathy Cohen

Exactly. When the attendee actually comes in in the morning to the event, they come in and they at the registration desk. That time is the time where everybody looks at their phone. Because it’s that awkward moment where you don’t really know anyone, you’re not really going to a session. Getting your lanyard and the day starts. You’re still excited and everything, but you’re looking at your phone. Suddenly you get an e-mail from the event organizer saying, “Hey we’ve got great perks waiting for you, from all our partners and all our partners. Why don’t you jump on and check it out.” I really want to clarify this, Everthere is not an application. It’s not something that they have to download, it’s not something that they have to … Put an extra thing on their phone, which is something they hate by the way. It’s just a plain web link. You send them an e-mail, they click on the link to the bag, and it opens in their phone browser. Over there, you have the experience. What it does, and you can go through offers that are from the event sponsors, and external offers that we bring into the bag as well.
By that, the attendees, not only they can see okay, at booth number 72 of Dell they have a free iTunes voucher that I can go and get. Awesome. They can choose and they can go oh, I really like the consultation that’s going on in SimilarWeb booth, and this actually, what it does, it gives for example SimilarWeb and the guys that are actually exhibiting at the event, it gives them a lot more booth traffic and a lot more relevant booth traffic. Because the people are choosing and they know ahead of time where they want to go, what they want to do. This could also be a tangible gift. Okay I’m getting a USB key in the shape of … I don’t know. Or we had guys do, come get a free glass of beer, and that got a lot of people by the way.

Jordan Schwartz

I’m sure.

Kathy Cohen

It was in the UK so you can understand. A little bit like Australians, we just go where the free beer is. Yeah that’s pretty much what it does. At the end of it, the attendee gives their e-mail address, and they receive their bag in their e-mail with instructions on how to claim their offers that they just chose. That like that, the sponsors actually receive a list of leads of people who genuinely were interested in what they have to offer. This means, hey, I like your offer, here is my e-mail address, I know you’re going to contact me, but I opted in anyway because you gave me value. You, as an event organizer can take that list at the end of the event, and give it to the sponsor and say, “Look at all the leads I’ve just generated for you,” and these guys actually opted in by themselves, and gave permission for you to send them e-mails. Or for you to send them something, or for you to communicate with them, they want you to. They opted into it. That’s pretty much what we do in a nutshell.

Jordan Schwartz

Yeah and if you don’t mind me squeezing in here as well, I know that Everthere, in your previous … When you were still [zaleero 00:52:40], we’d integrated that into the [pathable 00:52:43] platform. The event app … Using the event app, you can launch that digital swag bag from that [pathable 00:52:50] app. We just have a little bit of time left. There were some questions … I’m curious if you have insight into some of these. One person asks, “Are multi year sponsorship negotiations more successful and effective than asking each year?” Do you have data on that or experience?

Kathy Cohen

I definitely have experience. We’ve worked with events that have actually come back to us and said, “Yeah we want to use you again because we’ve noticed by having Everthere inside the sponsorship package, it actually allowed us to show more value and provide more value to the sponsor,” and they’ve decided to jump on next year as well. When you think about it, I takes you so long and so much effort to secure a sponsor. Once you actually have the event, share the results with them, and show them and prove to them that it’s worth it, they will see the value in coming back next year. It’s going to cut not only your time in going after sponsors and securing that sponsorship, it’s also going to … You’re familiar with these guys. You know what they need. You know what they’re expecting, and they know what they expect from you, and they know what they’re getting, it’s a lot easier for you to meet expectations as well. Definitely multi year sponsorship are better.
You also have to think about obviously the variety. If you’re always having the same sponsors it might not be that interesting to your attendees, but then again it might be, it depends on who your attendees are, it depends on what markets they’re in, it all depends on the different objectives of the different stakeholders in the situation.

Jordan Schwartz

Yeah. The way I think about it is I’ll take the time that we spend on, am I selling anything. We have the event, the [pathable 00:54:53] event app. We offer multi year discounts. The logic there is I know how much time my sales team spends on any given sale, and the percent that go through. I do the math and know what the cost of renewing someone will be, versus if you’re in a multi year contract, I don’t have to spend that. If I can take that cost and essentially pass that through a savings to a customer, and say if you’re willing to sign a 2, 3 year deal, that’s going to save us money, honestly, because my sales team can spend their time on other things. Then I’m happy to share that savings with you. Everybody’s happier.
But I think for the first time, there’s always a reluctance. Everyone is a little nervous about trying something new and I think especially with sponsorship they’re going to be waiting for those metrics, the success metrics.

Kathy Cohen

It goes again, you’re bringing it from an event producer point of view, and I’m bringing it from the sponsor point of view. It’s great, it goes hand in hand. It’s exactly what we’re trying to get here. Yeah from both sides, definitely.

Jordan Schwartz

We have I think time for maybe 1 more question here, or unless, do you have a little wrap up that we want to do? Or we …

Kathy Cohen

Look I mean, at the end, my dog is I’m sorry, but my dog is barking a little bit. I’m just going to, one second. I just wanted to say, at the end of the day, we’re all concentrating on proving sponsors who our attendees are and adding value and you should definitely, every time that I go toward a sponsorship conversation, you should definitely keep in mind who the sponsors are. Ask them questions. Find out what they’re key points are and take that, arm yourself with that when you go into the conversation with them. Keep in mind also the attendees and how you can add value to them, and if you want to find out a little bit more about Everthere or anything like that that sounded like something that you’d like to work with, I’d be more than happy to jump on a call with you, have a little demo, and take it further. Feel free to ask me questions, feel free to even write to me if you have any more questions.

Jordan Schwartz

I will pass on the [crosstalk 00:57:35]. Yeah I will pass on the unanswered questions to you so that we can see if we can get some of those answered in e-mail. Like I said in the beginning, this presentation will be available for on demand viewing, as well some of the survey results that Kathy referenced. I will followup with an e-mail with contact information for Kathy, and for [Pathable 00:58:01] after, probably by Friday of this week. With that, I encourage you to feed your dog, take him for a walk.

Kathy Cohen

Yeah. He needs that now. I’ve locked him in the bedroom.

Jordan Schwartz

We can’t have that. [crosstalk 00:58:19] stalling, they’d like us to wrap up this webinar, thank you everyone for making the time, bye now.

Kathy Cohen

We can’t have that. [crosstalk 00:58:19] stalling, they’d like us to wrap up this webinar, thank you everyone for making the time, bye now.

Jordan Schwartz

Thank you everyone, thank you

Kathy Cohen

Bye.