Category Exclusivity is defined by IEG as: the right of a sponsor to be the only company within its product or service category associated with the sponsored property.
So what does category exclusivity look like in practice?
In a “best case” scenario, a sponsor would have category exclusivity that extends throughout a property. For example, a naming rights sponsor for a venue would have category exclusivity that covers all sponsor benefits, extends to any third-party event sponsors, teams, venue tenants, vendors, and any broadcast or on-site advertisers. On the other end of the spectrum would be zero category exclusivity, meaning the property could have multiple sponsors within the same category.
I am hearing from many associations that selling sponsorship for their conferences and events is rough at the moment. Travel and conference/educational budgets seem to still be frozen by some organizations. Obviously, this affects the attendance numbers for some conferences but there seems to be more behind the lack of sponsorship.
Every sponsor is under increased internal scrutiny regarding the dollars they spend. It seems this scrutiny has cast a shadow over their desire to stay active with association conference and event sponsorship. Sponsors are looking for a change in the typical conference benefits such as logo ID on signage and their logo on a bag. Those benefits are no longer justification for spending. So what are sponsors looking for?
Here are five suggestions:
Despite the fact—or perhaps because—it’s one of the chickier chick flicks out there, Love Story is among my movie favorites. So it did not surprise me when the most famous line (“love means never having to say you’re sorry”) in its Oscar-nominated script flashed across my mind’s ear the other day. It did surprise me when it came to me in a sponsorship context.
I was in Kansas City, where I had the pleasure of participating in the Missouri Assn. of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (MACVB) Annual Meeting. One of my fellow presenters was Doug Price from DMAI (Destination Marketing Assn. Int’l), who spoke about trends and the future of destination marketing. Toward the end of his talk, Doug mentioned the advocacy efforts undertaken by the Seattle CVB and other cities (Indianapolis, etc.) to make the case for tourism—not just to prospective tourists, but specifically to local residents. I checked it out, and I found Seattle’s “Why Tourism Matters” campaign (www.whytourismmatters.org) to be an aspirational model for the case organizations need to make in support of—rather than in defense of—their marketing efforts. more
In my work here at IEG, I get directly involved with many nonprofits, such as associations and museums, as they launch new sponsorship programs.
One interesting challenge that has developed in several instances is how a nonprofit should go about working with a board member who will be involved in approving the launch of a new program, but whose company also is a good prospect for sponsorship. Sound familiar?
Typically, the information you would provide board members involved in the approval process of a new sponsorship program is much different than the information you would present to prospects for buying the sponsorship. It’s not that there should be any secrets kept from potential sponsors—as transparent selling is needed now more than ever—but they are certainly two different conversations.
The just-published April edition of PCMA Convene, the magazine of the Professional Convention Management Assn., contains an article by IEG’s Diane Knoepke addressing partnership strategies for medical associations. The article, including findings from an IEG survey of medical society executives, is available here. more
We have released a statement in response to an article published April 1 in the Journal of the American Medical Association addressing the relationship between professional medical associations and pharmaceutical, medical equipment and other members of industry.