Growing and Diversifying Sponsor Revenues for the ASIS Europe Event

Our Work

Growing and diversifying sponsor revenues

for the ASIS Europe event

Creating and implementing a sponsorship strategy that increased revenues by 134% without increasing the footprint of the event and reduced dependence on a small group of large sponsors.

The Challenge

ASIS International is the leading professional society for security professionals, founded in 1955 and headquartered in Virginia, USA, with over 34,000 members around the globe. ASIS Europe is the organisation’s flagship event in Europe.

Exempla had already delivered a major redesign of the event that positioned it as a must-attend event for security leaders in the extremely congested and competitive market for corporate security events in Europe. With high-quality attendance assured, the next step was to ensure a sustainable revenue stream from sponsorship.

The challenges were twofold:

  1. The event was heavily dependent on a a couple of large sponsors. This situation was a risk in case one of them would decide to pull out
  2. To ensure financial sustainability, the event needed to increase sponsor revenues without creating additional costs, for example by adding for more meeting or exhibit space.

The Journey

The 2017 repositioning included a refocusing of the sponsorship acquisition to ensure their products and services matched the event concept and themes. This gave a significant boost to revenues, but growth started to level off in 2019.

The need to take events online during the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated a fundamental rethink of the value the event offered to sponsors as the face-to-face interaction that builds trust and generates leads was much more difficult online than in-person. Previously, the packages had been mostly based on traditional brand visibility and exhibit booth sales. We rethought and rebuilt those packages so they could provide the best possible value in an online environment. One of the major lessons learned from taking the ASIS Europe 2021 event online during the Covid pandemic was that content is the best engagement driver and could be leveraged more to boost sponsorship.

When we started planning for the first in-person event post pandemic, we continued to apply the lessons learned during the pandemic when redesigning the packages so they would deliver a clear sponsor value proposition constructed using five building blocks:

  • Leads generation
  • Thought leadership
  • Face-to-face interaction
  • Brand awareness
  • Data and insights

 

We created new packages that helped sponsors position themselves as thought leaders. A careful selection of sponsors for these packages was essential to ensure the content would be relevant, suitable and credible to the audience. We coached sponsors not to pitch but to make sure their content would be educational and built around their experience, forecasting or research.
We developed packages around networking functions that helped drive engagement and positioned companies to have the right conversations during and after the event.

While the exhibition generated revenues, we wanted to avoid enlarging the footprint as this would burden the event with additional financial risk and cost. Instead, we shifted from a trade show approach to an engagement model, which was better suited to the size of the event and the seniority of the audience.

The Result

The strategy enabled us to bring new high value packages to market, that brought in new sponsors and reduced the dependency on a small group of large sponsors by adding a significant group of mid-tier sponsors.

The shift to the new model resulted in a year-on-year increase in sponsorship revenues of 34% and a growth of 134% since the event redesign in 2017. Average investment per sponsor went up by 25% year-on-year.

The involvement of sponsors in the content did not detract from the quality. Sponsored sessions were among the best attended. Thanks to the work done by the programme team with the sponsors on content development and getting the right sponsors in, delegates do not distinguish between sponsored and regular content – they attend sponsored sessions because the content is good.

Testimonial

Peter J. O’Neil

CEO

ASIS International

Exempla has taken the sponsorship strategy for ASIS Europe to the next level and delivered a win-win-win for the organization as a whole, sponsors and attendees. The event is now financially performant, it delivers better value to sponsors, and has an improved attendee experience by weaving supplier content into the education program in a way that it adds value for all.

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