Benefits of Selling Sponsorships Online
Sponsorships are a critical revenue stream for most exhibitions. As shows grow, they attract more sponsors, organizers are compelled to deliver more sponsorship opportunities, and the sponsorship sales process becomes more time-consuming and complex. Moving sponsorship sales online provides organizers with a number of efficiencies and benefits.
What are online sponsorship sales?
As with online booth sales, there is an evolution occurring with online sponsorship sales. At one end of the spectrum, organizers exchange paper contracts with sponsors, manage sponsorship inventory and issue invoices manually, and advise accounting to charge the customer’s credit card.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, organizers adopt an automated, online system that allows potential sponsors to choose from available sponsorship packages via an online e-commerce enabled portal within the show website. Buyers can select offerings, complete contracts, receive invoices, and pay in a single session, all from anywhere in the world using any device of their choice.
The most immediate benefit for organizers is the reduction in paperwork, which equates with fewer man-hours required for processing a sponsorship sale. The learning curve for sponsors is minimal because most individuals are familiar with purchasing products and services online.
By placing the sponsorship inventory online, organizers can benefit from a shorter sales cycle and higher sales volume. Such visibility, as well as seeing opportunities sold out, creates a sense of urgency among sponsors that drives sales.
An online platform pushes organizers to be more strategic about sponsorships. Because descriptions and images have to be uploaded prior to offering the sponsorships for sales, they can review the categories and inventory, make sure there are ample opportunities at all price levels, and budget costs appropriately.
The pace of online automation is continuing to push the exhibition industry forward. Few processes are left that can’t be delivered online. Web-based sponsorship sales platforms are among the latest products in a long line of Software-as-a-Service offerings for exhibition organizers. It may not be long before exhibitor and sponsor participation is transformed into an online, one-click process.
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