What B2B Event Sponsors Want

I spent the weekend attending Northwestern’s annual Kellogg School Marketing Conference. Sponsorship was down over 50% from last year, organizers openly lamented. Times are tough for B2B events and competition is excruciating. So, how can an event land in the “yes” pile? The answer is to make sure new media is part of the deal.

Despite some very good panels and great speakers at the conference, technology was noticeably absent. For example, there was no Wi-Fi access for attendees, except for a single computer in the coffee lounge. I had to ask around to get the conference hash tag.

Professional conferences are, or should be, forums where thought leaders share tales from the cutting edge. As such, the medium is the message–incorporating new media helps speakers walk the talk. 

Many sponsoring companies are either looking to get more adept at social media or want to leverage what they’re already doing through their sponsorship deal. Simply offering logo placement and free ads in the conference booklet is, shall I say, just too old school.

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