Is it possible to show sponsorship ROI?

Companies might be quick to write the check to sponsor your next event however most are horrible at maximizing their investment and then blame the organization for not doing their part.  bigstock-A-thermometer-with-mercury-ris-29958881But really…

Whose fault is it if sponsor don’t get the return they expect?

In my opinion it is both the sponsors’ and the organizations’ fault for not leveraging the opportunity so then when it comes time to renew the sponsor might reconsider.

In this post I’ll show you how each, the sponsor and organization, can leverage the opportunity whether is is an event, a meeting, or annual contribution.

Sponsor Leverage

Two minutes of fame

When introduced the opening remarks of a sponsor typically start by saying, “Hi, my name is ______ and I’m with _______ and we have been in business for XX years.  We have products include A, B, C, and we really care about our customers.”  What the audience really hears is BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

Instead the individual could start by asking a provocative question to get everyone to think, tell the audience to pull out their phones and perform an activity on their website, or tell a funny story to make the audience laugh.  Sponsors might have 2 minutes to talk about their company but really have 2 seconds to engage the audience.  The two minutes should be enough to build rapport with the audience and have a strong call to action at the end.  This is measured by the analytics of how many people sign up to receive an offer, download an app, or receive business cards.  If the sponsor has nothing to show after those 2 minutes then they need to work on their script.

Business cards,flyers, and literature

Most flyers and business cards have generic information about products and services that the company offers.  What the recipients really see is BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.  No one is going to carry your flyers around, post them on their refrigerator, or save them in their wallet to share with a referral later.  The biggest mistake companies make is that when creating marketing materials they don’t include limited time offer with strong call to action that is the best interests of the target audience.

Instead the sponsor could create a squeeze page to build an email list using strong copy.  The offer should be specific to the audience, not a like the same standard flyer used for general purposes.  Offers such as free trainings, VIP access, or gift cards are a great tools to build an email list.  It’s easy to create a squeeze page using online tools, create a trackable URL using, and measure how many accessed the link and took action.  The email campaign builds trust over time by demonstrating the benefits, features, and problems the sponsoring company can solve.

Expo booth

Booth work is hard work.  There is set up, tear down, and  you have to be aggressive at getting enough attention to get someone to talk to you.  On one spectrum you have some sponsors just sit there and on the other where exhibitors try to cram their flyers down your throat.

In the expo scenario you have to customize your conversation specific to each individual who walks by otherwise they can smell a sales pitch a mile away from the scripts you have mastered.  Start a conversation by giving them a compliment about something they are wearing, distract them with an unusual object, or ask them a question they haven’t heard before.  You aren’t looking for every person to be your customer from an expo booth.  Usually, 1/3 won’t engage no matter what you do, 1/3 would consider your products/services, and 1/3 need more convincing than others.

Organization Leverage

How much value does a sponsorship really provide anyways?  

Well, it depends on your type of business.  A plumber is going to have a different customer value than a mortgage broker however the customer might need the plumber more often.  Once the organization understand the impact it makes on its members then it can start to communicate the benefits in a way they have never thought of before.

Impact on members

Ask these questions of each of your membership company profiles:

  1. How much revenue could your member anticipate from one transaction you initiated?
  2. How many transactions are realistic to earn as a result in one year?
  3. What is the total customer life time value for each member?

A bank who originates one loan could earn around 5K in company dollar.  If the customer uses the same bank for 4 transactions during their life time that is 20K.  If the bank can’t originate one loan then they need to work on their sales skills which you might be able to help them with.

Leveraging an event

An event sponsor traditionally gets a logo on the website, a 2 minute spiel during the event, and flyers they can pass out.  However, what is missing is the right language to be used in multiple channels with the right analytics to measure the return on impact of the sponsorship $$$.

In the end the sponsor would hope to:

  • Increase # of customers
  • Increase the # of times a customer buys
  • Increase the adoption rate of services
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Increase brand awareness

The metrics to provide to sponsors include:

  • # of clicks to web banner ad linked to sponsor offer page
  • # of clicks to email banner ad linked to sponsor offer page
  • # of YouTube video views demonstrating high attention rate
  • # of handout downloads including logo to sponsors
  • # of survey responses reinforcing sponsor adoption rate of services
  • # of online requests for more information about sponsors

These results and metrics can be demonstrated before the event, during the event, and following the event.

Once you are able to finally prove the return on investment then renewing should be a no brainer and/or they will be willing to invest more next year.

If you are a sponsor or responsible for helping your sponsors receive a return on their investment I’ve created an Affiliate Seminar which creates a win win win relationship to help each other grow their businesses.


Organizations bring in Doug Devitre from St. Louis, Missouri USA when they want to dramatically increase operational performance, create breakthrough value propositions, and serve customers beyond geographical constraints on a minimal budget. For more than a decade he has been setting trends with how organizations engage customers with social media, video marketing, and custom-built software applications. Doug’s book Screen to Screen Selling published by McGraw Hill pioneered the way sales professionals sold homes without being physically present before the COVID-19 pandemic. He is one of a select few who have earned the Certified Speaking Professional Designation from the National Speakers Association and has experience as a REALTOR.

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