Sponsor Series Part 1: Participation

July 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm

By Maria Feola-Magro

As an event organizer, I am driven insane when sponsors don’t take advantage of all the options available to them as part of their sponsorship – that they pay money for. You wouldn’t go to a bakery and just get a box without the cookies, so why would you get the sponsorship to only have logo placement?

In this sponsor series, I will share some insights and advice for sponsors that are not only sponsoring conferences but also all types of events and opportunities.

Part 1: Participation

As a sponsor, you are a big part of our events and contribute by delivering insightful case studies and bringing in high-profile attendees. However, just because you are paying money and are treated as a VIP doesn’t mean you should sit back, relax, and let the event just happen. If you want to have your cake and to eat it too – you need to do a little baking and decorating to get there!  Okay – that was my second reference to sweets – but you get my point: for a successful sponsorship, PARTICIPATION is key!

Have you ever attended a trade show and found a product you wanted to know more about? The sponsor booth is filled with 5 staff people who are working on their computers, thumbing away on their phones, or having intimate discussions with each other. None of them are approachable; and, you feel like you are going to interrupt whatever it is they are doing.

Now switch gears – you ARE the sponsor that is at THAT booth with the purpose of bringing in new leads. If you are unapproachable, you are not attracting any new business and probably losing prospects instead. Your company just spent hundreds or thousands of dollars to participate in this event; and, if you are not engaging attendees, you are throwing away money – and opportunities!

Many events have conferences attached to the trade show. Get the most out of being a sponsor – don’t sideline the opportunity to have your staff attend the conference.  You are probably given a handful of complimentary passes, which serve as networking opportunities. Being IN the actual conference gives your staff the opportunity to make connections with attendees over the presentations they just listened to. Register your staff for the conference, put them EACH in a different session, and make sure they bring back information and business cards! Spreading your staff out also gives you more visibility since your staff is wearing name tags or other paraphernalia with your brand on them.  Also, check out the other booths and see what your competitors are doing. If your booth pales in comparison, it may be time to step up for the next event.

PARTICIPATE in the whole event! Your company already paid for it!

Stay tuned for the next topic in this series Devote Your Company.  Click the Subscription button on the right to receive an e-mail when the next topic is posted.


Maria Feola-Magro – Director of Events

As BDI’s detail-oriented and driven Event Director, Maria has increasing responsibility for marketing and event operations. Proficient in developing, organizing, and delivering successful events ranging in attendance size and event format.


Entry filed under: by Maria Feola-Magro, Sponsor Series. Tags: .

Speaker Series Part 1: Preparation & Engaging Attendee Series Part 1: Coming Prepared


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