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Insights for Re-Thinking Your Sponsorship Strategy

Image in a conference room of a meeting with a slide deck on a powerpoint slide and people sitting and standing

Our LAI Live team kicked off the summer of 2023 by hosting our first Live Luncheon, bringing together local meeting planners to discuss hot topics in the event industry.

During this “Midday Power Hour,” various types of meeting professionals joined our event producers to share both a meal and their professional expertise. Around the table, the group discussed innovative ways to create mutually beneficial relationships with sponsors and thoughtfully incorporate them into events.

The food was great, but the conversation was even better. Everyone shared their invaluable experiences working with event sponsors. They bounced ideas off each other to create new ways to show value, make an impact, and increase sponsor ROI.

Tips for Elevating the Sponsorship Experience

A conference room is pictured with people at a live event A conference room is pictured with people at a live event

Here are the three key takeaways from the session:

1. The Three Catalysts of a Positive Event Experience

We kicked off the afternoon by asking everyone to recall a standout event they attended and explain why they thought it made such an impact. We loved everyone’s’ stories, and they highlighted three common “catalysts” that can take an event from good to great:

  • Emotion
  • Anticipated Needs
  • Wow Factor

Check out this blog for a deeper dive into the three catalysts and how to apply them into your sponsorship strategy.

With that in mind, the conversation moved to how meeting planners can adapt this three-catalyst approach to elevate the event experience for their sponsors.

2. Having Content and Sponsors Complement Each Other Is a Must

We’ve all been in a sponsor-led event session that seemed out of place with the rest of the program. This was a key talking point during the luncheon as we discussed better ways to align sponsor content with the meeting’s theme.

Sponsors make major financial contributions. They will rightfully expect to be part of the big event in some way. At the same time, they should still feel like an integrated part of the experience. This is why keeping open lines for communication and collaboration is so important. Some of the most productive interactions you’ll have with your sponsors are when you come together to brainstorm ways to tie their vision into the overall theme of the event without erasing their message.

3. A Desire for Partnership

Speaking of collaboration, something that stood out to us is that everyone in the room agreed that they would prefer their sponsors to be more than underwriters for their event — they want them to be partners. We’re talking multi-year relationships with sponsors who have a seat at the table, and with whom organizations can align their goals. The first steps in developing purposeful partnerships with your sponsors is thinking of ways to anticipate and address their needs, add value, and, ultimately, create the return on investment they’re looking for by tying their name (and dollars) to your event.

Events are changing, and so is the sponsorship experience. We recommend you keep these three takeaways from the inaugural Midday Power Hour in mind as you develop and implement new approaches to sponsorship that take the event and partnership experience to the next level.

If you’re looking for support with your sponsorship strategy, or with any other aspect of your event, our experienced LAI Live event producers are here to understand your vision and collaborate with you to make it a reality.


The LAI Live team can help. Contact us to get started.

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