October 14, 2021 by Dave Lutz
Our crystal balls are pretty foggy when it comes to predicting the return of in-person expo and sponsor revenue. Three of the big questions are:
For larger shows, advance deposits for booth space are often paid nine months in advance. This means show organizers who postponed in 2020 had already received 50% or more of booth fees. For many shows, those funds were carried forward to the virtual and/or next live show. This means that exhibiting companies have not allocated and spent their marketing dollars on live expos for nearly two budget years. Use-it-or-lose-it budgeting is alive and well in many corporations and is a real threat to near-term show revenue.
Exhibiting companies despise multiple and competing asks. If you have multiple team members, or vendors, soliciting your exhibitors for booth space, sponsorship, and print and digital advertising, this is the year to bring it under one account manager. Do this for the top 10% or companies by total investment. If you have 200 exhibitors, build an account management plan around the top 20. Retain them, and others are likely to follow.
One of the keys to growing sponsorship is to have senior leadership open doors. The same holds true when you are building a plan to proactively retain your largest or anchor exhibitors. Assign senior executives to each company and schedule calls with your top investors to discuss your plans for returning to face-to-face.
Now is the time to diversify your expo and sponsorship revenue mix and reimagine your sponsor menu/offerings. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Most exhibitors and sponsors prefer to write a single check. Help them get the most bang for their buck by creating packages that provide exposure before, during and after the show. Include visibility and activation through all of your channels, including any used for virtual participation. Comprehensive and customizable packages should be organized using these buckets:
What are your predictions for 2022 expo-and-sponsor revenue recovery?
Filed Under: Business Model, Sponsorship & Exhibits
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