Resources  >> How Thought Leaders Get Speaking Sponsorships

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  November 06, 2014

How Thought Leaders Get Speaking Sponsorships

Many high-fee speaking invitations are funded by sponsors, those third parties who partner with meeting organizers to interact with attendees.  So this Successful Meetings article about what’s going on now with event sponsorship is a must read.

Look past the examples. The upshot: the days of selling “inventory” (programs, signage, and receptions) are gone. Instead, ideas are bundled based on objectives and solutions. They are customized based on the relationship. And the last thing buyers want is us speakers messing that arrangement up. We must go in as partners and add value to that bundle.

First step: don’t say a word. Listen. Understand the objectives (every sponsor wants something different). Then combine their answers to what you have to give. Ask yourself: what three things can I give a sponsor that will be valuable to them?  And suggest — not offer — these things to the event planner. Ask them: would these items help strengthen your relationship with the sponsor? Will this help you create a unique partnership?

Asking questions before jumping in with help will enable us to join the conversation as an equal vs a vendor begging to get involved. And remember: this isn’t the only partnership sponsors are interested in. Prove your worth, and you can create more opportunities after the applause.

 

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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.