Colgate Palmolive and Metzer Associates!
Monday, at a meeting at the Chicago Executive Summit, Louise asked how the SOBCon conference this year compared to last. She was surprised to hear that in this economy attendance and sponsorship are both tracking higher. We discussed what might be contributing factors:
- an even more dynamic, high-value content offer
- the increased interest in social media
- the longevity of the conference
- the return to such a fabulous venue — the city and the Summit facilities
- and one other … more practice at partnering with sponsors.
Last year as I was putting together the sponsor kit for SOBCon08, I faced a marketer’s problem. How do you communicate the value proposition of a conference with a potential of 150 attendees to potential sponsors who would rather be reaching 150,000?
Knowing Where to Sit at the Table
In trying to find the correct sponsor value proposition, I considered the people who come to the conference. This isn’t a room of 150 “ones” — people who never met each other — but rather one 150 — people who are connected to each other. I thought I had it. I could even explain it.
If one evangelist can move a crowd, imagine what a swarm can do.
I’ve been wrong before. On it’s own the idea of a network of 150, didn’t carry much sway in the minds of sponsors who were looking for more concrete value.
I’d been offering a transaction for sale. I have this. This is why it’s of value. I pass the contract across the table. The magic didn’t happen until I metaphorically moved my chair to the other side of the table. It’s easier to make a deal when I sit beside the person I want to make a deal with.
“What are your goals for the next two quarters?”
“How can we configure a part of the conference to help you there? Would doing this work? Suppose we added an interaction like this one?”
From the same side of the table it’s easy find mutual goals and a path where doing business is natural.
This year, I built the conference with flexibility for sponsors goals inside their role as participants. I’m pleased and grateful that as a result I’m announcing that Colgate Palmolive and Metzger Associates have joined our sponsor team.
We love all of our sponsors: Wal-mart, Allstate, IttyBiz, BuzzCorps, Blog Catalog, Proforma, One2One Network, Pathable, and Summit Executive Center. And can’t wait for the chance to work at the same table with them and you!
Have you tried negotiating from the same side of the table?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!