Just because the masses have always done something a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s the best way to do it.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re putting together sponsorship packages for an upcoming event. Or maybe you’re wondering how and where to start and if offering packages are even effective. You might also be a seasoned event professional who is rethinking your event strategy to better meet sponsor needs as the broader event industry shifts its practices.

Sponsorship strategy is key to generating enough revenue to prove ROI and join forces with valued, long-term partners. But not all is glamorous in the world of event sponsorships. It’s competitive and complex!

Simply throwing together a three-tiered package might not be not enough to attract and land the right sponsors who will make an impact on your event and your revenue goals.

So you might be asking…

Are tiered event sponsorship levels outdated?
Are they still even effective?

The answer is yes—and, perhaps surprisingly, also yes!

While event sponsorship tiers are still effective and attractive to potential partners, they sometimes miss the mark. Not all sponsors are created equal. It takes a little creativity and planning to hit the bullseye with your sponsorship offerings, and in this article, we’re going to show you exactly how to do it.

But it’s worth it! Sponsors can boost your budget, provide you with additional exposure opportunities, and boost your event’s credibility.

Should you create sponsorship levels? If so, how do you tailor them for best results? This article will discuss event sponsorship levels, the pros and cons of offering sponsor packages, and how to level up your sponsorship offerings to seal the deal with prospects. Let’s go!

What are event sponsorship levels, and how do they work?

Event sponsorship levels give brands varying options and benefits to choose from, depending on their financial commitment. You can offer tiers so sponsors have more control over their choices and budget. It also makes it easier for you to scale and plan when you’re not dealing with the hassles of customization for each sponsor.

Virtual and hybrid events have also expanded the possibilities and ways that event organizers can add value to sponsorships. Brands might feel hesitant to invest in virtual events, yet they offer sponsors more opportunities with features like banners within the event tech platform, push notifications, sponsored classes and games, video rooms for networking and demos, and more. Use your tiered packages to communicate this value to potential sponsors.

Tiered sponsorship packages (plus a real-world example)

Event managers typically offer three or more sponsorship levels. The standard gold, silver, and bronze sponsor packages are a common approach that’s well-known in the industry.  

Offer at least three sponsorship levels or tiers to give brands some flexibility to choose what serves them. Some might not need all of the benefits of your highest tier, but they still want to get involved.

Below is a typical sponsorship level package offering. The higher the tier, the heftier the benefits and the investment. You could also add a 4th tier, or offer packages that can hold an unlimited number of sponsors.

Gold 🥇 – $15K – 2 packages available

  • Large virtual booth              
  • 5 push notifications          
  • Splash screen              
  • 30-second video promo                
  • Up to 3 game challenges            
  • Up to 3 video rooms                
  • 3 banner ads                 
  • Up to 3 profile links              
  • Up to 3 profile downloads

Silver 🥈 – $8K – 5 packages available

  • Medium virtual booth              
  • 3 push notifications          
  • Splash screen              
  • 15-second video promo                
  • Up to 2 game challenges            
  • Up to 2 video rooms                
  • 1 banner ad                 
  • Up to 2 profile links              
  • Up to 2 profile downloads

Bronze 🥉 – $3K – 15 packages available

  • Small virtual booth              
  • 1 push notifications          
  • Splash screen              
  • 1 game challenge           
  • 1 profile link             
  • 1 profile download

What are the experts doing? Webex Events customers and platform experts discuss attracting and landing the right sponsors in this on-demand virtual event, Event Revenue and Sponsorship ROI webinar. Learn how to increase sponsorship ROI and structure your sponsorship levels for virtual, hybrid, and in-person events.

Event sponsorship levels: the pros and cons 

We covered sponsorship levels and what they typically entail.

But we still haven’t answered the question, “Should you even offer sponsorship packages?” If you’re wondering how to answer this, first, you need to know the pros and cons.

Pros of offering sponsorship levels

There are many advantages to offering sponsorship tiers.

A clear path to ROI

It’s easier to estimate and scale revenue when you know exactly how much revenue will come in. Creating a fixed number of packages for a fixed cost keeps you more in control and able to measure your success and event ROI. When you’ve got large amounts of money coming in from sponsors, you also don’t have to be so reliant on ticket sales to fulfill your quotas.

Creates a feeling of exclusivity

Event organizers offer sponsorship packages in limited quantities to create a feeling of exclusivity and compel sponsors to take action because they’re competing with other brands for the same opportunity.

As humans, we want what others can’t have because it makes us feel special. It’s why manufacturers like BMW made only 983 of its BMW 1 Series M Coupe in 2011—and sold out of its entire fleet. Exclusivity builds the value of an item.

Use features like the size and placement of banners, and sponsor involvement in event aspects such as food and entertainment to entice brands with exclusive offers. The more “cool” or exclusive a package feels to sponsors, the greater chance they will pay for it.

On the flip side, if you offered too many packages at each sponsorship level, the perceived value would decrease. If everyone else can have the same thing, why would you pay a lot of money for it? Plus, you don’t want too many brands promoting themselves all over your event. It’s best to limit them so your attendees don’t feel bombarded with sales messages.

Sponsor inclusivity

More packages mean more participation. A smaller brand might not be able to participate in your platinum level but offering a bronze level gives them the opportunity to leverage events for business growth. Offering low-level package features such as a small virtual booth and a branded profile with links can provide a lot more exposure for small businesses than they’re used to.  

Simple and straightforward

Fixed packages keep event planning simple. You don’t have to deal with ad-hoc requests or a lot of questions from sponsors.

Cons of offering sponsorship levels

While the above advantages to the tiered approach sound attractive, they can also deter potential sponsors. Here’s why:

Mismatch of sponsor needs

What if a sponsor wants all of package one but only half of package two? Also, some sponsors might not want to pay for a package that includes features they won’t use.

 Vanity sponsor benefits

Sometimes event organizers throw in “vanity benefits” such as company name or company logo placement or profile images. Sponsors would expect some of these to be standard features, not additional benefits for choosing more expensive packages.

Wouldn’t adding more features make your packages more attractive? Not necessarily.

Adding these “vanity benefits” as benefits of a particular package could make it look like you’re stuffing the benefits just to make them look more attractive, which could be a turnoff to brands.

Guessing at features

When you offer packages, you’re guessing at your sponsorship’s goals and budget. How do you know what features your sponsors like the best? How do you know what type of promotions they’re looking for?

Should you offer sponsorship levels?

At this stage, you’re probably wondering whether or not you should go ahead with sponsorship packages.

Sponsorship levels can be helpful, but they also can be a stumbling block. It depends on your unique situation.

What if a prospect wants half of the silver tier benefits and half of the gold tier benefits and additional unlisted features? Will you turn them away? Hopefully not, if they have the potential of becoming a valuable partner!

Let’s say your sponsor is interested in digital promotions during only one day of your event. Or maybe they want to partner with you, but they won’t benefit from some of the features in your packages.

Standard tiers also lack a clear ROI. While standard tiers make it easy to calculate the money in vs. money out, it’s not easy to track results from something like a sponsor’s logo on a printed banner.

Virtual events have also become popular in the last couple of years, but brands are hesitant because they don’t always see the value in sponsoring them. These sponsors might be more interested in innovative and creative features that are not typically part of a standard sponsorship package. Brands also want to see results, especially before getting involved with virtual events.

Webex Events + virtual events = sponsor success

Webex Events solved this problem by helping event managers convince brands of the value of sponsoring virtual events with robust data and engagement features.

Webex Events partnered with Vetsource after they needed to pivot their in-person events to virtual due to the pandemic and raise revenue via sponsors. The conference exceeded sponsorship revenue expectations and brought in $14,000 more than their last in-person event.

Vetsource leveraged Webex Events to provide event sponsors with exciting and innovative features and activities to promote their brands. They also used Webex Events’ Data Dashboard as a value-add to provide sponsors with post-event data on banner impressions, clicks, profile views, and more.

How to level up your sponsorship offerings

How do you level up your sponsorship offerings and satisfy prospects?

Below are some solutions on how to structure packages to satisfy brands looking to sponsor your event.

You can still offer sponsored tiers but consider introducing other options to make your packages more innovative and personalized, and that speak to the sponsor’s real need (A healthy ROI).

Here’s how to do it.

Customize it

Offer customizable solutions that can help sponsors get more visibility and track ROI.

Use your standard packages as a base to start from and allow sponsors to choose from additional features to create a custom package. Or, for high-value sponsors, offer an enterprise-level option where sponsors can customize their offerings 100%.

Don’t go in blindsided! Before you customize, you should understand the brand’s goals and desires. Consider meeting with high-value sponsors beforehand and asking them questions. Create customized packages with the sponsor’s values in mind.

Offer a-la-carte benefits

Customized packages will require you to create a-la-carte benefits sponsors can choose from. This model is for sponsors who have specific goals and need more flexibility with features before they commit.

In addition to your packages, or as a completely customizable option, offer a menu of items to choose from in different categories (personalized promotions, social media promotions, signage, exhibits, networking, push notifications).

Need some inspiration? This virtual event sponsorship guidebook includes 36 event sponsorship ideas for virtual events.  

Package it differently

The three-tier column layout with checkmarks for each benefit might be a little outdated for some sponsors. Change it up!

Instead of showing packages with each benefit checked off according to the tier, create one piece of collateral that explains the benefits all sponsorship levels receive. Then, show additional add-ons that are available.

Here’s what an opening page might look like that highlights the top benefits all sponsors will receive regardless of which package they choose.

Show them the money

What are sponsors really looking for? It’s all about the ROI.

Besides deciding on the event sponsorship strategy, it is vital to have the right data to make potential sponsors feel confident that they will enjoy a healthy ROI and achieve their business goals.

This is where event management software is key. Present sponsors with historical event data to show them the potential ROI of their promotions.

Webex Events Data Dashboard
Webex Events’ Data Dashboard gives event managers top-level and more granular data on attendee and sponsor actions.

Webex Events makes event sponsorship management simple and effective

Want an easy and efficient way to attract and manage sponsors, and create innovative sponsorship opportunities?

Webex Event’s modern event management platform offers different solutions for event managers, including state-of-the-art event sponsorship management.

Below are some of the features Webex Events offers potential sponsors to entice them to partner with your event:

Take sponsor & exhibitor ROI to the next level. Give your event sponsors top-notch visibility with banner ads, splash screens, custom profiles, push notifications, and our Sponsor Showcase.

With Webex Events, create a next-generation event sponsorship package that allows your sponsors to predict their potential gains more easily and participate in innovative, modern promotional campaigns.

Webex Events is also fully customizable and works for any event from annual conferences, nonprofit fundraising events, and trade shows, to internal corporate events, virtual events, product launches, and more.

Want to modernize your events and level up your sponsorship offerings? Start building your event for free on Webex Events and learn how it can help you attract, land, and manage your event sponsors.