I just got back from a great week at the International Meeting Planners World Education Congress in Atlantic City where I spoke on the topic of innovation. The Speaker Sponsor concept was presented to over 2000 meeting planners as an alternative way to hire good speakers when they have a low budget or no budget.

The theme of the conference was reinvention and was held in Atlantic City, a town that has been going through a reinvention of its own. The planners of the event did a great job putting it together and sticking with the theme.

Keynote speaker Sekou Andrews reinvented the concept of a typical speaker by marrying corporate inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry. His Shakespearian/hip hop style wowed the crowd. It stood out to me because it was so unique and different from a typical speech. In a world full of speakers who all have the same style and topics, Sekou taught me that there is more than one way to present as a speaker. He literally created his own niche.

Speaker Sponsor presented the last day in the thought leaders theater. My topic was “Speaker Sponsorship: How to Get a Top Speaker on a Low Budget”. A problem I heard from many meeting planners during the week was about budget cuts and trying to find a good speaker when they really don’t have the money in the budget to pay a top speaker’s fees.

Sponsorship is a great way to get that speaker without having to break the bank. Sponsorship of a speaker means the sponsor pays the difference between the low fee and the speaker’s actual fee, or helps the speaker get paid when there isn’t a budget at all. Then meeting planners were given several ways to work with the speakers and their sponsors to make it a win-win for everyone.

But the most unique speaker sponsorship I’ve seen came from the event MC, Dena Blizzard, who did a fantastic job of keeping the show moving and interesting. During her lunch presentation, she literally had 2 sponsor’s signs taped to her butt. This was brilliant as it was broadcast on 4 giant screens across the ballroom.

One of the tricks to sponsorship is to get the audience to remember the brand that is sponsoring. Typical signage in the room is still a good way to promote a sponsor, but it’s not as memorable as Dena’s butt sponsorship. I still vividly remember both sponsors, and think positively about them because I am sure they both have a good sense of humor. Since there was nowhere on the stage to put a sign, she used her imagination and her “assets” to create memorable branding.

Speaker Sponsor is working hard to provide more of these opportunities for members in the future.

As a speaker, there are numerous ways to get paid to speak, and sponsorship is one that is clearly in your hands.

Thanks to our own sponsors, Tropicana and McCormick & Schmick’s for their sponsorship of Speaker Sponsor at the MPI World Education Congress!

 

 

sponsorship

sponsorship

Sponsorship is proving to be one of the bright spots in an otherwise gloomy and volatile economy. An annual review from IEG predicts a 5.5 percent increase in sponsorship by North American companies in 2013 over the previous year. To break it down in numbers that’s approximately 13.79 billion.

The reason for this is that sponsorship is one of the best ways to create brand loyalty and stand out from the competition. As advertising branches off into more niche markets, and multi platforms and channels, sponsorship is going to play an bigger role than ever. Sponsors want to be able to focus on their targeted market in new and different ways. They want to get up close and personal with their customers and let them know they are appreciated. Being able to target their needs and wants in person assures that they are getting the message.

For the entity looking for sponsorship they are going to have to create more value for the dollar. This really isn’t a big surprise, as sponsorship has been evolving and becoming more sophisticated through the years. It’s actually good news for the rights holders who are willing to go the extra mile.

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