November 01, 2000
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio November 2000 Current Issue
November 2000 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:

Checklist

BY MARTHA COOKE

WORKING WITH SPONSORS

The following checklist was compiled in part from Meetings and Conventions: A Planning Guide, by Dr. Don MacLaurin and Ted Wykes, Meeting Professionals International Canadian Council, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1997.

DEFINE NEEDS

  • Determine if the entire event or just certain sessions or functions will be sponsored.
  • Identify any specific sessions or functions with the potential for sponsorship.
  • Set a target dollar value for sponsor pledges.
  • IDENTIFY POTENTIAL SPONSORS
    Organizations that sponsor programs and events often are listed in publications such as The Chronicle of Philanthropy (www.philanthropy.com).

  • Consider sponsorships from corporations, nonprofit organizations, government (all levels), educational institutions, foundations, private enterprises and individuals.
  • Obtain approval for contracting cosponsors, if applicable, as some entities require exclusive sponsorship.
  • OUTLINE SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
    Sponsorships can take various forms. Among them:

  • Funds (grants for entire event, attendee travel and expenses, speaker travel and expenses, space rental, transportation, hospitality suites, social events)
  • Supplies (slides, printed material with sponsor’s logo, signage, computer hardware, prizes, refreshments, floral arrangements, attendee gifts)
  • Services (speaker presentation, security, staff, printing, promotion, mailings, online services)
  • PREPARE A SPONSORSHIP PACKAGE
    Create an event package for presentation to potential sponsors. The package should include:

  • Outline of event objectives
  • Event themes
  • Speaker names and biographies
  • Audience profile
  • Draft of program
  • Community and corporate benefits
  • PREPARE CONTRACTS
    All terms of the sponsorship must be clearly spelled out, contracted and signed before the event. The contract should include:

  • Date, name and location of event
  • Funds and value of goods and services to be paid by sponsor, payment method and schedule
  • The publicity materials in which the sponsor’s name (and, if applicable, logo) are to appear, including media releases
  • The host organization’s responsibility to track and gather any media coverage
  • The use and location of display cards and signage
  • The size, frequency and placement of any event advertisements (include ad deadlines, the form in which they must be received and policy regarding proximity to competing companies or brands)
  • The number of people from the sponsoring company who may attend the event free of charge
  • Guidelines for display and service, if applicable
  • Contact information for a designated liaison from the sponsor company and from the host organization
  • EXTRA RECOGNITION

  • Invite sponsors to preconference events.
  • Forward a list of all sponsors to the printing committee.
  • Consider recognizing sponsors with VIP designations, including head-table seating.
  • Send thank-you letters to all sponsors.


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