High-Value Sponsorship Trends in 2024 (so far)

Julian Moore
May 28, 2024By Julian Moore

In today's rapidly evolving landscape, simply renewing the same old sponsorship packages year after year doesn’t cut it anymore … particularly when it comes to high-value sponsors.

Sponsors expect way more bang for their buck. Their marketing budgets are tighter than ever, and they're scrutinising every dollar to get the most return on their investment. 

Associations looking to attract (and keep) sponsors have been getting creative with their approaches in 2024. Some of the biggest trends we are already seeing this year include:

Metrics Matter.

Old-school vanity metrics like number of attendees mean nothing to today's data-driven sponsors. They want crystal-clear numbers on leads generated, conversions driven, audience engagement, and tangible business impact. They are looking for robust analytics and tracking capabilities to wow them and keep them coming back year after year. This is why AI tools like GPT are booming in the partnership space. The ability to map and measure each deliverable and its success in that stream is proving invaluable to sponsors.

Ditch the Boring Booth.

Static displays and slapping a logo on “something” aren’t compelling anymore. High-value event sponsors are looking for innovative experiential activations designed to create buzz and deepen attendee immersion like virtual reality demos, eye-catching stunts, gamification, etc. If it's not memorable and engaging, high-value sponsors are losing interest – and looking for other opportunities that can deliver.  This isn’t to say booths are a thing of the past.  They just can’t be the only option. Try asking your sponsor for a meeting to co-create an activity that will WOW your attendees.

Embrace the Digital Revolution.

Even as live events ramp back up post-COVID, sponsors are still looking for ways to maximise returns from digital experiences. They are looking for creative digital activations that get cut-through like gamification, sponsored sessions, metaverse integrations, and more. They are looking for associations with a robust and exciting digital sponsorship strategy. A new development in this area is CPD. We are seeing content delivered by AI Avatars who can speak in any language. This online event strategy allows you to offer workshops to partners delivered by a co-created avatar on any topic in any language – a huge potential to tap into new markets.

Content and Thought Leadership Matters.

As companies seek to position themselves as industry experts, many are reallocating sponsorship budgets toward thought leadership content and research initiatives. We are seeing sponsors snapping up opportunities to underwrite association research, white papers, webinars, and other content they would like to align with.

Lock in Lasting Partnerships.  

Many sponsors are looking for long-term, innovative partnerships-not one-off sponsorship flings. They are willing to commit significant funds to something that will meet their organisation’s goals in a compelling way. For these … don’t be afraid to think big … like really big. For example, have you considered starting a YouTube channel based for your sector. It doesn’t have to educational just engaging. How about TV adverts? Radio adverts? All the costs are covered in the investment required for the partnership. So Think Big, Be Brave! (the saying “Fortune favours the bold” comes to mind here).

If you’d like to ensure your sponsorship and partnerships programs are fit for the future, send Julian Moore an email [email protected] to book a time for a chat about how we can help.