Did you know that corporations spend almost $17 billion annually in corporate sponsorships? (I know, right?) But it makes sense. Not only are organizations contributing to causes where they’ll garner clients, but they’re also seeing value in contributing to causes that resonate with their target audiences— creating a sort of marketing goodwill.
Our team spent a great deal of time researching corporate sponsorships before launching the Midwest Women Business Owners’ Conference last year in 2015, honing in on why corporations give. At the close of of our first event, though, you know what we found? Organizations chose to sponsor MWBOC because they wanted to:
- Reach women business owners.
- Augment their current marketing efforts geared towards female business leaders.
- Benefit from being seen as advocates for women owned businesses.
So far, 7 months from MWBOC 2016, almost 80% of last year’s sponsors have signed on to support the conference again. We asked them why and here is what we heard:
- “This sponsorship is about building relationships.” Sponsorship comes with tickets to several pre-conference events (deadlines apply, of course) which provide additional opportunities to connect with fellow organizations and leaders. It’s less about one-time exposure and more about long-term relationship building.
- “You guys go the extra mile.” When pressed, the sponsor who provided this feedback referenced the fact that I helped her figure out a strategic approach for connecting with other sponsors and even reviewed the attendee list with her to identify the women she should meet at the conference.
- “You offer sponsorship with strategy.” Again, I pressed this business leader for his definition. He said he found value in the follow-up plan we came up with that turned his sponsorship into thousands in revenue.
- “All the extras.” That’s right, in addition to the three pre-conference events, sponsors receive my “In the Black” monthly tips (normally reserved for clients) and my G.P.S. (Grow. Propel. Succeed.) e-newsletter (usually a selective opt-in). Plus, as a sponsor, you also get a “Tip Sheet” to help you get the most value from your sponsorship investment.
- “It helped me gain traction within this market segment.” Indeed. This audience is perceptive. They notice who and what you support and can assess whether you are authentically committed to this market. Separate yourself from the competition by going all-in with this audience.
At the end of the day, I think our organic tendency to add value to our sponsors is because we are so committed to this event—and its purpose. Sure, we could go out and grab a bunch of sponsors willing to pay a bunch of money to promote their company, but we are not. We are hand-selecting companies we approach for sponsorship based on our mutual commitment to small business owner success. Sound like an opportunity you might be interested in capitalizing on?
Below is a list of industries we see as strategic fits for MWBOC sponsorship. Whether you fit into one of these categories or one of the quotes above struck a chord, let’s talk. After all, when you can secure brand awareness, quality relationship building, and community goodwill in one investment, I’d count that as a win, wouldn’t you?
Organizations in the below industries will benefit from an MWBOC sponsorship.
- Automobile Dealership
- Business Brokers
- Commercial Real Estate
- Entrepreneurial Support Organizations
- Floral Design
- Food & Beverage
- Home Furnishings
- Home Healthcare
- Human Resources Solutions
- Interior Design
- IT Consulting
- Kitchen & Bath Remodeling
- Landscape Design & Construction
- Lifestyle Design Services
- Luxury Goods
- Payroll and Benefits
- Wealth Management