Strong partners help an event succeed

'You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' could be a broad definition of sponsorship.

 It's not as simple as that, of course, but gaining sponsors is always beneficial – and good for the bottom line.

Like bartering, it's a matter of reciprocity but with one big difference. While the parties to a bartering transaction usually come out equally well from the deal, sponsorship is weighted far more in favour of the recipient. In material terms, you generally receive benefits in kind and/or cash contributions. The sponsors, meanwhile, benefit from the prestige and promotional impact of their involvement in a major event. Although image enhancement is often mentioned, there are also tax advantages.

What is par for the course in sports and entertainment is increasingly becoming a feature of the conferences and conventions sector. This is not surprising, as they enable sponsors to target a specific group gathered together in one place. From understated logos to eye-catching product presentations, anything is possible, so you should make a list of all feasible advertising or promotional options, including coverage and impact. Tip: If possible, avoid selling individual components and put together a range of attractive sponsorship packages instead.

Before you enter into actual negotiations, ensure that the content of the event does not conflict with a potential sponsor's corporate or product philosophy. If possible, check in advance whether there is an official sponsorship policy. Breaking the event down into separate areas such as transport or press coverage may make sense. Whatever you do, ensure agreements are set down in writing!