Finding the right prices for your event sponsorships can be as hard as finding a L.A. Dodger’s shirt in Carl’s closet.

But it doesn’t have to be.

A few years ago I set out to refine my event sponsorship pricing and I lived to tell the tale. Here’s what I came up with and it helps me evaluate the value and the pricing of the different sponsorship opportunities each time I do an event now. Plus if I get any questions, I am so ready with the answers.

Here’s my quick 5 step guide to pricing sponsorship of your events:

Step #1: List out everything you might get sponsored. Everything. From sessions to hotel keycards to espresso bars (very popular with my attendees.)

Step #2: What does each item cost? We need to know what it costs – that’s important.

Step #3: Make a spreadsheet. We aren’t going to price on cost – we are going to price on value. But to find the value we need to account for things like how often something comes into contact with attendees, the quality of that contact, and will VIP attendees be more likely to see it. And we need to account for how many sponsors we will allow for each item. If it’s exclusive, it’s going to be worth more.

My initial spreadsheet looks like this:



**Value add notates something that adds to the attendee experience. I’m willing to make less money on these items since they make my attendees happy.

Now we dive deeper:

Step #4: Factors to consider for each opportunity:

  • Frequency rates the amount of time a sponsorship opportunity is in contact with conference attendees. A “5” would indicate in touches attendees every day, a “1” would indicate it touches attendees only once or twice.
  • Quality factors the, well, quality of the contact with conference attendees. A sign or ad is low, extended face time rates high.
  • Premium indicates the anticipated quality of the attendee that this opportunity reaches. A low score indicates that the opportunity reaches everyone equally. A high score indicates that it reaches more high level attendees than average.

(Look out! Here comes math…)

Index (see graph below) is the sum of Frequency, Quality and Premium minus the max number of sponsors allowed.

This gives more point preference to more exclusive sponsorship opportunities and allows us to set their value with more accuracy. It’s okay if you end up with a 0 or a negative number. The goal is to find out the value of one sponsorship relative to another. The higher the index score, the more you should be charging!

Step #5: Price it out:

Using your magazine cost per thousand and other similar events as a benchmark, start pricing out your opportunities. Remember to keep track of your fixed costs. You don’t want to lose money.

My final spreadsheet looks something like this:

For maximum impact, bundle your sponsorship plans into packages that include digital and print media. Try out my 5 steps for determining the right sponsorship pricing for your next event and watch your sponsorship sales climb!!

    More about Chris:  Christopher Ware, Vice President of Business Development, NAIOP.  Chris is an experienced association executive with expertise in generating non-dues revenue, including: corporate sponsorships, print advertising, online advertising, exhibit space and customized sponsorship plans.



Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – is launching the all new, yet same AMAZING source of NEW REVENUE for your niche magazine brand! The Super Niche event in Charlotte,  March 27-29, 2017. Check it out!

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