Extending the Impact of a Sponsorship: Access and CTSM


Recently I wrote a post describing the process by which Access made the decision to sponsor the activities unique to the Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM) program at ExhibitorLive.

The process involved:

  • Studying the show audit to determine what percentage of attendees were from our target market: corporate exhibitors.
  • Discovering that those in our target market comprised approximately twenty percent of all attendees at ExhibitorLive.
  • Noticing that what characterized this segment of the audience was not only visiting the show floor but also enrolling in the learning tracks.
  • Realizing those most committed to education enrolled in Exhibitor’s university-affiliated certification program, the Certified Trade Show Marketer program, or CTSM.

Because of the commitment to education and the seriousness of purpose with which our targets pursued the CTSM, we aligned our brand with all the CTSM activities at ExhibitorLive. These included, among other things, a celebratory “graduation” banquet; food and amenities in the CTSM office; and signage announcing our support of education and life-long learning.

But wait…there’s more!

While at ExhibitorLive, we were presented with the opportunity to sponsor one of the regional educational offerings, EXHIBITORFastTrak. A number of things made this sponsorship attractive to us:

  • The FastTrak on offer was in Providence, R.I., right in our back yard.
  • We would be able to interact with our target market in a very personal way.
  • There was an opportunity for us to sponsor a fun, networking event.
  • Our account managers, many who are now studying for the CTSM as I did, would be able to attend the classes if they hadn’t sold out.
  • We would be able to award an All-Access Pass to one of the people who enrolled in the Providence FastTrak classes.

Evaluating resource allocation

The possibility of sponsoring Providence FastTrak also prompted us to re-evaluate how we were allocating funds to other client-facing initiatives, asking ourselves where we would get the best return. Based on data we had collected, we found that it was time to shift emphasis to those activities that would lead to new relationships and new business, and to lessen our commitments in areas where we did not see a good return on investment.

Accelerating our learning curve

Like any exhibitor, we are learning to use data intelligently to direct our budget dollars to high-performing activities. And like all exhibitors, we need to continue to question why we are exhibiting and/or sponsoring. In a very real way, we are walking in our clients’ shoes.

As I mentioned in my first post about our CTSM alignment, Access had been going to Exhibitor because the company had always been going to Exhibitor—and then stopped. It wasn’t until we decided to come back that we approached the opportunity armed with data and a strategy.

Sign up now for EXHIBITORFastTrak-Providence–then click the button below to enter our drawing to win an All-Access Pass worth approximately $2,000.

enter to win exhibitor fasttrak raffle