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Expo! Expo! Speaker Spotlight on Jeff McKissack

Jeff McKissack discusses the takeaways attendees will gain at the session he will be presenting during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2023 on 5-7 December in Dallas, Texas.

By Mary Tucker, IAEE Senior Communications and Content Manager

Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2023 features a three-day educational journey covering seven diverse content tracks, including this illuminating session led by Jeff McKissack titled Hook, Line and Sinker: Courting New Sponsors and Exhibitors for Your Show. Everyone is looking for new relationships to create new dollars in event sponsors and exhibitors. But what “bait” are you using?  How do you connect the dots to identify and cultivate new sponsors for your events?

Likewise, what incentives bring potential new exhibitors to your events that can be persuaded to exhibit year-after-year? And, how do you provide “added value” to engage and retain existing sponsors and vendors so monies don’t leave out the back door as new monies are coming in the front door?

This is all done through a process Jeff refers to as “hook, line and sinker” where he details what the attraction point is; what the actual pitch is; and what efforts, incentives or similar help close the deal.

Jeff will help participants find ways to craft the perfect pitch, wielding the tools of engagement and retention they need to not only secure new relationships and revenue but also ensure that existing support flows seamlessly with the influx of new opportunities.

Here, Jeff shares a preview of how participants will benefit from the information presented at Hook, Line and Sinker: Courting New Sponsors and Exhibitors for Your Show.

In this session, attendees will learn to better identify new potential sponsors and exhibitors both from usual suspects and not-so-usual suspects. What makes your differentiation technique so advantageous?

Jeff: Cultivating new sponsors and exhibitors requires a bit of creativity in mindset, but many simply defer to the traditional low-hanging fruit. What I intend to do is challenge that mindset and have you focus less on your event and more on ‘who’ your audience and attendees represent to those in the business world, those whose products and services match up with either the industry represented by your event and/or its attendees. Be prepared as some of those possibilities may surprise you.

You will also explore what makes for a more compelling case when prospecting new sponsors and exhibitors not familiar with participants or their event. How will attendees benefit from this process?

Jeff: What was the last major purchase you made personally? What thoughts went through your mind, pre- and post-purchase? Marketing directors at companies are no different when spending their companies’ dollars – they have questions, concerns, and possibly even objections. If you understand what the three most common objections will or might be, you are better prepared in overcoming them or at least negotiating a favorable outcome for both parties involved.

Finally, you will teach incentives and strategies that can be used to lure new first-time sponsors and exhibitors. What results can attendees expect from these strategies?

Jeff: The goal is obvious – more new sponsors and exhibitors! But again, this is less about “selling” and more about “negotiating” when it comes to such new relationships, and that is what you are after, a new relationship with the vendor or exhibitor. If they are happy with the first experience, what was rewarded will be repeated as a future sponsor and exhibitor for events to come.

What fuels your passion for this subject, and why is this information so relevant in today’s business environment?

Jeff: First of all, these are strategies I utilize myself when soliciting sponsors and exhibitors for events I have either coordinated or helped coordinate on various sponsorship committees over the years. Secondly, 35+ years of speaking at countless events myself has shown me the good, the bad, and the “what were they thinking?!” Point being, I’ve seen what has worked, and most definitely what has not. The same thought processes here will apply to so many other areas of business development as it all comes down to courting “relationships.”

Expo! Expo! is THE PLACE TO BE to learn about the latest industry trends and technology, as well as network with professional peers. Find more information here including how to take advantage of the BE SMART registration rate through 20 October as well as special promos for IAEE members.

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