Jul 31, 2009 at 06:52 PM
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Study: Sponsors Cutting Budgets, Not Events

A new poll by Event Minds, a UK company that specializes in sales training and coaching for event pros, suggests that the majority (80%) of sponsors are cutting budgets at a 40% clip, but only reducing the number of events that they attend by 10%.

We'll wait for the full study to be completed to make conclusions, but here's a couple theories for what this could mean to sponsorship sales pros.

  • Sponsors aren't spending on activation and simply taking the rights that they are given, but not doing as much with them OR finding ways to activate more efficiently.
  • Sponsors are shifting to more local/grassroots opportunities, and doing more of them at a lower overall cost.
  • Sponsor sales pros are adjusting their pricing to reflect realities of a shift in supply/demand.

    Are you adjusting your pitch to accommodate these trends? Finding creative ways to maximize activation and ROI, without adding hard costs? In the sales cycle, getting creative with re-allocating your sponsorship assets to accommodate more deals at a slightly lower cost? As an example, some NFL teams have opted to sell naming rights to four corners/entrances to their stadium, rather than put all of their efforts into finding a full stadium naming partner in the current environment. What about enticing sponsors with discounted sponsorship this year, but adding escalators for future years or tying compensation to specific performance metrics? There's clearly still an appetite for deals, it's just a matter of finding the optimal price point to maximize revenue.

    This is the first of two stages of the Event Minds Snapshot Survey of SpEx Buyers. This stage was conducted by tele-polling 228 buyers of sponsorship and exhibition propositions from conference and exhibition organisers operating in a cross section of B2B and B2C industry sectors.