From the June 2004 issue of Entrepreneur

Q: My company sponsors events in our community, but I'm not sure if they're getting tangible results. How can I tell if they're paying off?

A: Gauging your ROI is of key interest to businesses today. To get the most from your sponsorship dollars:

  • Choose events that serve your target market.
  • Commit to at least one yearlong sponsorship (if not more) in order to fully maximize the association and commitment you've made. Often, measuring exact ROI can be challenging, and you may be quitting too soon if you don't commit for at least two years.

During the event/sponsorship opportunity:

  • Provide a special offer that needs to be acted upon within 36 hours of the event, and use a separate code on it to determine your response rate.
  • Collect data on attendees at these events to follow up and measure your ROI. Who attended the event? Are they potential customers?

For more help determining your ROI, try these Web sites:

  • CRM Metrix Inc. provides insight, analyzes data, and helps determine which sponsorship will be most effective.
  • MarketingProfs.com: This site contains articles on all aspects of marketing, including measuring the effectiveness of sponsorships.

is president of ImpressionImpact.com, a marketing consulting company.