How To Acquire Sponsorships for your Mobile Event App

Posted by Matt Milloway on Jul 26, 2013

Mobile event app sponsorship opportunities enable our clients to recoup the costs of developing an iPhone, iPad and Android app, often times even turning the app into a profit center. While we offer a varied lineup of sponsor features, the process of finding the right organizations and securing money for sponsorships can be challenging for event organizers. The following roadmap illustrates best practices for planning, pricing and presenting sponsorships to generate a significant return on investment in any event app. 

Planning

All successful methods of generating sponsorship revenue start with planning well before the event. Determine the needs of potential sponsors and even plan aspects of the event with those guaranteed to want placement in the app. From discussing exhibitor booth logistics to promoting important marketing materials or social media sites, understanding priorities of potential sponsors will enable event organizers to present customized sponsorship packages.  

A related best practice is the early identification of available sponsor features to better accommodate must-have custom requests falling outside of existing app functionality, as many organizations come to the table with a plan in mind for promoting their products and services.  For example, our banner ads typically link to a website, but a specific request to initiate a calendar invite from a banner ad was successfully implemented in the ASE 2013 Mobile App due to the client’s timely communication and knowledge of existing features prior to meetings with potential sponsors.

Pricing

Setting prices for different sponsor features is a highly variable practice and largely depends on the type of event, budgets of organizations involved and other criteria best known by each individual client. While no blueprint on specific dollar amounts exist, a few key factors should nevertheless play a part in setting up a pricing structure.

Impressions, or a fancy word for “how many views something receives”, indicate how many app users will see a specific sponsor ad. In this regard, year two of an event is greatly helped by prior app analytics, which illustrates specific details regarding total number of downloads and views to specific sections and pages in the app.

Determining how many users will see a specific ad in year one, however, is more challenging and comes down to educated estimates. Given three in four business travelers use smartphones and nearly two thirds use tablets, any aggressive promotional campaign prior to an event should generate a 50% reach to attendees. Using simple math and considering the estimated event size will yield a rough number of engaged users to present to potential sponsors.

Regardless of exact numbers versus estimates, pricing of ads can be tiered by feature and sold based on location in the app. Splash screens and banner ads will be seen by every app user, while a dedicated sponsor area may be overlooked by some users and should be accounted for in pricing. Packing these assets into incremental bundles (increasing in price by amount of exposure) should help generate larger sponsorship deals.

Presentation

While a sponsor package presentation may occur in person, over the phone or via email, a one-page proposal outlining the sponsorship offering is recommended. Include any pricing and impression statistics from the previous section, as well as screenshots of specific sponsor features offered. These proposals are ideally tailor-made for each potential sponsor but versions can also exist to send out as generic material to smaller opportunities. 

Make sure to follow up on meetings and proposal submissions to ascertain an organization’s overall interest and answer any questions. Often times, the final price may have to be negotiated and additional requirements met on the written proposal. Be flexible and make sure every expectation can be met or exceeded by the mobile app development team. 

For more information on sponsor opportunities:

Apps For Events is a service of AppBurst, a mobile application development company located in Palm Beach County, Florida.