4 Steps to an Event-Led Approach to Integrated Sales
Since joining Asset International as vice president of global event strategy and business development in 2011, Michael Garity has led the charge to increase print and digital revenue by leveraging the company’s growing events business.
He has done that by appealing to his clients’ desire to promote thought leadership. Asset International offers sponsored stories in AI magazines and website opportunities such as sponsored video interviews of the speakers, white papers and webcasts.
Here are some tips on how he’s done it:
• Begin with your editorial staff, which can identify speaking opportunities for sponsors. “There is heavy editorial management of their participation, regardless of their sponsorship level, to ensure the integrity of the event,” Garity says.
• Find opportunities for sponsoring executives to participate, like keynote addresses or presentations, interviews on stage or panel discussions.
• Build integrated programs that enable sponsors to extend the thought leadership message conveyed at the event to other platforms—and a bigger audience.
• When approaching sponsors with tight budgets, wait to upsell the other media components—either in a package or a la carte—until the event sponsorship is signed. “That’s when they tend to be most receptive,” Garity says.
• Tie the delivery of the sponsors’ messages on other platforms back to the event. For example, interviews with the sponsor-company speakers are gathered in a special magazine section “highlighting the best ideas from PlanAdvisor’s National Conference” and on the website.
How is the strategy working? Garity shared statistics showing how PlanAdvisor’s Movers and Shakers program has performed. In 2011, the team sold sponsored video interviews to six companies, resulting in a 2.5-percent revenue lift over and above the conference revenue. In 2012, it brought in an additional 6.5 percent in revenue and, in 2013, 11 percent.