Many companies prohibit taking advantage of potential sponsorship opportunities at their events, making it virtually impossible to generate any sort of revenue. Whether it’s a matter of competing interests or the marketing team not wanting to present competing brands, there are a variety of reasons some companies are unable to showcase sponsors and partners. Without that outside support, it’s spend, spend, spend and all upper-management sees is that the meeting cost the company X amount of dollars. Pure quantitative analysis has never been a friend to the meeting professional.
But what if one day you showed your boss a more efficient way to bring the team together while reducing your bottom line, all without the use of “sponsors”?
As an example of traditional sponsorship, an event might require a company to pay $5,000 in order to gain exposure during the conference in hopes of attracting the attention of attendees. This is a hard dollar value that can be seen and tracked on paper. But what about the soft dollars, the value of great service, the value of increased brand exposure?
We want to show you a few clever ways you can use conventional event app sponsorship opportunities in unconventional ways. Suddenly, your event app “sponsorship” becomes a bargaining chip with your host venue, trading “hard dollars” for “soft dollars”.
Let’s assume your event consists of 200 sales managers in town for a 3-day meeting. The hotel, which also hosts the meeting, has a variety of restaurants and other amenities including a brand new spa. That’s 200 visitors that the hotel can potentially upsell to. Lucky for them, your event app is used and accessed by all 200 guests throughout the 3-day meeting.
The best time to consider using your soft dollars is when you’re negotiating those hard dollar contracts like room rates, F&B, and A/V.
Take a look at a few scenarios to illustrate what the conversation might look like.
Sponsorship Level 1:
If the host hotel is willing to reduce the F&B contract by 5%, you’ll include the hotel’s 4-star restaurant in the event app map along with a suggestion in the FAQs section.
Sponsorship Level 2:
If the hotel is willing to reduce the cost by 10%, you’ll create a custom page for the restaurant with the menu along with a link on the Home Screen of the app.
Sponsorship Level 3:
With a 15% discount to your F&B costs, you’ll send out an alert to all 200 guests at the end of each day including a 10% discount coupon at the hotel’s restaurant. There’s a good probability that those exhausted guests aren’t going to wander too far if they have coupon in hand – convenience wins.
Your $1,500 investment in an event app has led to $5,000 reduction in your F&B contract while providing your hotel with unparalleled direct access to your attendees throughout the 3-day stay. That means if the hotel can get each guest to spend just $10/day, the hotel is already making more money than if they had charged you full price for your F&B contract. Even better, you just found $3,500 in savings taking into account the cost of the event app.
The cost savings don’t stop there. With an event app that works on every type of device, you’ll greatly reduce, if not eliminate your printed materials altogether. No more printing bulky sales binders, no more paper agenda booklets, and no more printed session presentations. All of your materials are easily added, edited, and accessed right on your mobile event app.
If you typically hand out 30 pages of material to each attendee, at 5 cents a page, that’s a $6,000 line item. You may have a few paper-loving attendees not ready to transition into the digital era yet, so we’ll account for the cost of a handful of paper guides and put your savings at $5,000.
Between the $5,000 reduction on your F&B budget along with the $5,000 savings in paper printing, your $1,500 investment in an app just translated to $8,500 in savings.
Depending on your event , your savings may be even greater. Next time you’re negotiating with your host venue, consider using an event app not only as a way to reduce your printing costs but as a strategic bargaining tool as well. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the planning process – opportunities for greater efficiency and meeting innovation are endless.
For more tips and tricks download the 2014 Ultimate Guide to Event App Sponsorship.
This article was originally published in Corporate Meetings Network.