Posted on

3 Principles Elite Events Use to Attract & Reward Wealthy Clients

From the Cannes Film Festival to Wimbledon, all elite events share a wealthy target audience. One of my favorite culinary events Once Upon A Kitchen is a great example. It features multiple award winning celebrity chefs in an experience that will attract wealthy diners from all over the world to Miami Beach this coming December.

When marketing to Ultra High Net Worth individuals (UHNW have $30MM+ in assets) through high profile events you will always find three elements in common.

1 | Exclusivity

Typically, the goal is to get as many people into your event as possible but that’s not the case when your event is meant for a UHNW audience. Once Upon A Kitchen applies this principle by limiting access to only 300 guests, pricing tickets at a range from $1,500 to $5,000. The more rarified the location and limited the access, the more desirable an event becomes.

2 | Very High Pricing

The wealthy are no strangers to the world’s finest cuisine but to duplicate the fare they would have to travel to the restaurants all over the world including France, Italy and Brazil. Any event meant for this audience adds to its aura by being prohibitively expensive. To deliver on the promise of being a one of a kind or bucket list level event this year’s Once Upon A Kitchen event is bringing together:

  • Massimo Bottura – Owner/Executive Chef, Osteria Francescana (Italy), World’s 50 Best Restaurants (#1, 2018)
  • Mauro Colagreco  – Owner/Executive Chef at Mirazur (France), The World’s 50 Best Restaurants (#3, 2018)
  • Alex Atala – Owner/Executive Chef, D.O.M. (Brazil), 4th Best Restaurant in the World (2012)
  • Antonio Bachour – Winner of The Best Chef Awards 2018’s Best Pastry Chef award
  • Roberto Cipresso – World-renowned Winemaker & Host of Once Upon A Kitchen

3 | Partnership with Elite Brands

Not all sponsors are the right sponsors for the UHNW market. Brands that want to be a part of events that target the wealthy should be prepared to create bespoke experiences that WOW. This audience is not easily impressed. They are used to exclusive access, to being treated like royalty and have traveled and dined at the finest destinations. So to connect with them, you have to bring in bold entertainment, engaging activations and price is no object partnerships. These should include luxury vehicles, yachts, fine wines and spirits.

The lifetime value of a new client in this channel can be very significant. For brands whose survival is predicated by cultivating UHNW audiences one of the most effective ways to connect and demonstrate your brand character is through and elite event like Once Upon a Kitchen. The right event or experience can be a brand’s best pathway to connecting with luxury consumers.  By following the principles of exclusivity, very high pricing and partnering with other elite brands you ensure that your event.

Posted on

3 Benefits of Partnering With Food Driven Communities

Partner with Food Driven Communities

There are many advantages to sponsoring a food centered or food driven event because food has a way of connecting people in ways that even music and sports cannot. These partnerships present unique opportunities that lead to major results.

Benefit #1 | Food event attendees actually want to be educated.

Education - Partner with Food Driven Communities

Sponsors often spend a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to engage or entertain consumers long enough to actually educate them about the product. This problem is almost entirely negated when you partner with food communities for whom the questions “How is it made?”, “How does it work?” and “How can I use it?” are required fields. Whether you have a new ingredient, cooking device or app – if it will improve how attendees at a food event eat or enjoy food then they will want to hear about it.

Benefit #2 | The food community has a vast array of own superstar influencers.

The worlds of live events and Influencer Marketing will be further connected in 2019 and the food industry is no different. Blue Apron’s recent partnership with Chrissy Tiegen With most food influencers only reaching their audiences online from their homes or kitchens, live events create an opportunity for them to connect with their fans. Sponsoring an appearance, activation or social takeover with a key influencer at a food driven event is a great way for your brand to turn those fans into your consumers.

Benefit #3 | Food communities love to share on social.

In 2018 there were over 76, 239, 441 images of food shared on Instagram. People love posting photos and now, videos of or about food. The World Food Championships (which recently announced a move to Dallas for 2019) boasted 23.6 million Social Media impressions in 2018, doubly 230% from 2017. Sponsoring a food event all but guarantees social engagement for your brand.

There are a lot more than three benefits to sponsoring a food event and I would love to share more of them. Please share your thoughts on food event, communities and influencers and some of the best events, practices and activations.

Posted on

Professor of Rock

Professor of Rock Logo

The Audio/Visual stories behind 2000+ songs directly from the artists

500+ hours of 4K/HD content

300+ artist interviews

Access to 500 Million artist fans

Professor of Rock provides the most intimate insight into the music that has influenced every generation, presented in a mini-documentary style, in both long and short form content, video, audio, and print with new content added every day.

A sample of the artists included:
Journey, Heart, Brian Wilson/the Beach Boys, Santana, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Animals, New Order, Steve Vai, Panic! at the Disco, Train, The 1975, Van Halen, Johnny Mathis, The Byrds, The Doobie Brothers, Kansas, Toto, Three Dog Night, The Goo Goo Dolls, Melissa Etheridge, Joe Bonamassa, Jane’s Addiction, Kenny Loggins, A Flock of Seagulls, the Fifth Dimension, Social Distortion, Foreigner, Huey Lewis, 30 Seconds to Mars, the B-52s, 311, Foster the People, Lita Ford, The Guess Who, Jason Mraz, Erasure, Awolnation, Portugal. the Man and hundreds more!

It also includes commentary from the songwriters and producers who were vital in the musical DNA of icons such as The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Prince, Janet Jackson, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Roy Orbison, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, U2, and Madonna. Created and hosted by Adam Reader, “The Professor of Rock”, (as The Beach Boys dubbed him), is a passionate super fan with an encyclopedia –like knowledge of popular music. His passion and genuine curiosity is able to uncover the most interesting facets of an artist’s creative process that the world hasn’t seen since the early days of Dick Clark and Casey Kasem.

Posted on

Great Data Wins Sponsorships: Where to Find it and How to use it

Great Data Wins Sponsorships

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Have you ever completed a form that asks you for your Age, Sex, Race, and Income? Kind of feels like it is none of their business, doesn’t it? Being a 25 to 35-year-old white male is a pretty diverse group. It is hard for a prospective sponsor to draw many insights from that information. Do they like beer? Do they like sports? What if this is a religious event? What if they are an international audience? These kinds of categories are just too broad for most events and are classified ineffectively to identify alignments or add insights that sponsors value.

Every sponsor prospect wants to know about your audience. Understanding your audience creates two distinct advantages:

  • You can use the information to better identify prospects that want your audience
  • This data makes a powerful argument that they are in the right place

Why demographics don’t win sponsorships

Today, brands and businesses rely on two data points to understand their target audience: psychographics and behavioral analytics.

Psychographics is focused on collecting and analyzing the characteristics of an audience, the intangible, such as interests, habits, opinions, lifestyle, attitudes, emotions, and preferences. Psychographics are thought to help explain why people buy.

Behavioral analytics is focused on how buyers act and why. These insights are the result of tracking behavior online and includes eCommerce platforms, online gaming, web, and mobile applications and can be very effective in predicting future behaviors.

Let’s contrast and compare our imaginary 25 – 35-year-old male using all three types of information:

Demographics Psychographics Behavior
Male Loves Live Music Visits Music Venues most weekends. Subscribes to Spotify
25 to 35 years old Health and Fitness a priority Works out 3-4 x per week
White Close to family and values friendship Uses FaceTime to stay in touch
Income Enjoys online social networks Posts from Music Venues on Instagram
Single Wants to advance career Actively searching for online continuing education opportunities

While this is a very simple example it is plain to see that each step beyond traditional demographics creates a more helpful picture of our imaginary 25-35-year-old male.

Where to find psychographics and behavioral analytics

Opening a deck and finding information other than some general demographics such as age range, attendance, male to female ratio is very uncommon. However, gathering this information at the point of sale is fairly easy to do.

Here are some resources that you likely have:

  • Event ticketing and registration technology. If you’re not selling tickets or registrations online, you’re missing out on potential sales — and valuable insight about your attendees. “Your event ticketing and registration platform should do more than accept payments,” says Eventbrite Content Strategist Ronnie Higgins. “If your events are on Eventbrite, for instance, you can pinpoint the source of sale and use Google Analytics to analyze traffic to your event page,” Higgins suggests segmenting visitors who bought a ticket from those who didn’t. From there you can learn what type of device they use and their interest categories, for example, if they are Foodies or DIY enthusiasts. These categories are the same ones that brands use to target their display ads, so now you are really speaking their language
  • Facebook Audience Insights. If your property has an email list that you own, you can upload it and it will give you back a profile of the cohort. It will tell you what pages they like if they are in the market for a new car, new running shoes or like to cook. Of course, this is past attendees, but if you are in your nth year of running your event, this is great data.
  • Surveys. Utilize your email list, onsite polling, and post-event questionnaires to collect insights. Providing an incentive such as a drawing for tickets will yield lots of information. Just be sure to keep the length to no more than ten questions and per the advice above ask about interests and lifestyle rather than age and income.
  • Event Applications. If you have an event app it will collect lots of information about your attendees far beyond their name and email address. In addition to registration information, you can glean insights about the popularity of content, create surveys, question and answer engagement from speaker sessions, the popularity of content by download, social engagement, lead tracking utilization, gamification, polls, and quizzes.

Consider how much better your sponsor pitch, phone call or email would be with deeper insights:

General Specific
“Our Food and Wine Festival has over 30,000 in attendance over two days” “Our Food and Wine Festival features year around engagement of over 200,000 self-described “foodies” through our segmented mailing lists, website, social media, and our annual festival”
“The Fun Run for Charity is in its 12th Year” “Our Fun Run is popular with over 5,000 families with young children at home, who value a healthy lifestyle”
“Women are the largest buying segment in the country” “Our event is primarily composed of professional women of color, who are focused on advancement in their profession and are tech savvy”

The more you know about your audience makeup, values and behaviors the more likely you will be able to create a compelling case to your prospective sponsors. Big companies and therefore big sponsors live in the world of data. They always prefer working with properties that know their audience.

About Larry Weil:

The Sponsorship Guy Larry Weil

Sponsorship engagement strategist and customer acquisition specialist for some of the nation’s most recognized brands Larry has over $200MM in sponsorship transactions to his credit. He has a Rolodex of over 4,000 brand and industry contacts. Larry is an expert seller, negotiator, presenter, and strategist. He has successfully represented properties and sponsors in numerous categories including Conferences, Trade Shows, Convention, and Visitors Bureaus, Entertainment and Sports Properties, and Tech.

Larry’s LinkedIn Profile

Posted on

World Food Championships – 10 New Champions

World Food Championship - Main Image
See original article here.

ORANGE BEACH, Ala., — After five days of nonstop, high-paced, tournament-style cooking in Orange Beach, Alabama, more than 500 teams from 12 countries and 40+ American states were narrowed down to 10 category champions at the 7th Annual World Food Championships (WFC), which was presented by Walmart for the first time. More than 5,600 dishes were served and judged in the process of determining the 2018 champions, each of whom earned more than $10,000 in cash and prizes while earning their world titles.

The champions will now battle it out for a $100,000 “dish of a lifetime” in the Spring of 2019 at WFC’s Final Table. The winners who emerged from the main event were victorious after completing three rounds of competition in the following categories: Barbecue, Bacon, Burger, Chef, Chicken, Chili, Dessert, Sandwich, Seafood and Steak. The winners came from all types of culinary backgrounds – home cooks to trained chefs to professional cook teams – as well as 9 American states and one additional country, Germany.

“This was our most competitive and outstanding field of contestants ever,” commented Mike McCloud, President and CEO of WFC. “The point spreads were narrow and the passion was intense throughout the entire tournament. We were delighted to see how each of these Champions performed as they navigated through tough conditions all week and bested an incredible field of cooks using our E.A.T. methodology, all while thousands of food fans from around the globe watched and cheered them on.”

2018 World Food Category Champions

Bacon World Champion

Peter Radjou (Roanoke, Virginia)
World Food Championship - Bacon World Champion

Winning Recipe:

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Bacon and Fall Vegetables

World Chef Champion

Nick Rickman (Marianna, Florida)
World Food Championship - World Chef Champion

Winning Recipe:

Herb Roasted Sausage Meatball Parmesan Soup

World Dessert Champion

Greg Buerger (Peoria, Arizona)
World Food Championship - World Dessert Champion

Winning Recipe:

Sparkling Gingersnap Caramel Apple Tart

World Sandwich Champion

David Molina (Saint Louis, Missouri)
World Food Championship - World Sandwich Champion

Winning Recipe:

Cuban Reuben

World Seafood Champion

Beau Smith (La Marque, Texas)
World Food Championship - World Seafood Champion

Winning Recipe:

Oscar la Vista baby

World Barbecue Champion

Beau Smith (La Marque, Texas)
World Food Championship - World Barbecue Champion

Winning Recipe:

Lamb T-Bone with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.

World Burger Champion

Neil Daniell (Atlanta, Georgia)
World Food Championship - World Burger Champion

Winning Recipe:

Chunky Avocado Cheeseburger w/ Candied Bacon

World Open Chili Champion

Jacqueline Seavey (Long Beach, Mississippi)
World Food Championship - World Chili Champion

Winning Recipe:

Steak and Cactus Cowboy Chili

World Chicken Champion

Lidia Haddadian from (Pasadena, California)
World Food Championship - World Chicken Champion

Winning Recipe:

Sweet & Spicy Tropical Sticky Wings w/ Paradise Salsa

World Steak Champion

Robert Mansfield from (Ringwood, New Jersey)
World Food Championship - World Steak Champion

Winning Recipe:

North Meats South Ribeye

The next step for these 10 champions will be the ultimate test of skills, performance and creativity at WFC’s Final Table. Details on where and how that process works will be revealed in December. But for the first time in WFC’s history, the Final Table will be a destination challenge that requires the champions to travel to a great American city and replicate dishes from that city’s heritage to be judged by local celebrity chefs.

To review all the 2018 World Food Championship scores and results, visit or like the event’s Facebook page. For more updates from WFC, visit or follow World Food Championships on Twitter (@WorldFoodChamp), and Facebook or Instagram (@WorldFoodChampionships).


World Food Championship - Winners

World Food Championship - Winners

Posted on

Your 18-Month Event Sponsorship Timeline

18-Month Event Sponsorship Timeline
This post was originally published on the Eventbrite blog. Read the original post here

Are you connecting with sponsors at the right time of year? Because when it comes to creating sustainable relationships, timing is key.

With over two decades of experience and over 4,000 brand and industry contacts, President of The Sponsorship Guy™ Larry Weil has some tips to make sure you’re connecting with sponsors at the right time.

It’s never too early to nail down your festival sponsors — but it’s usually too late.

If you want to sell high value sponsorships, use this timeline to make sure you find the right sponsors, secure their partnership, and get them to sign on for another year.

Learn what you can be doing year-round to win over your sponsors.

12–18 months ahead of the event


Dec, Jan


Market research

Collect info about your attendees— key behaviors, interests, and spending habits. What type of activities do they like generally?
Ex: if your attendees love luxury travel, spas and resorts should
be on the table.

12–14 months ahead of the event


Dec, Jan


Identify companies and contacts

Make a list of potential sponsors and research them. Learn everything you can about those brands — look through the company’s website, press coverage, and social media accounts.

10–12 months ahead of the event


March, April, May


Design campaign

Create your outreach strategy. How many emails will you send and phone calls will you make? What’s your social media strategy? When are you sending your press kit? Create your schedule.

10–12 months ahead of the event


July, Aug, Sept


Launch campaign

Start pushing out your content. Use your CRM to track your outreach — your phone calls, email sends, and social media contacts. Get potential sponsors excited about your event.

2–12 months ahead of the event


Feb, Oct


Set up call or meeting

Don’t sell during this first meeting. Instead, discuss the prospect’s goals and establish their needs. That will allow you to design a proposal that’s unique to your potential sponsor.

2–10 months ahead of the event




Invite prospects to event or property

What better way to get your sponsors excited about your event than to actually show them? If you have the opportunity, invite them onsite to check out your event.

2–12 months ahead of the event


Feb, Oct


Present final proposal with pricing

Sign your contract. Next, you and your sponsor should begin advertising and marketing plan your partnership.

At the event


Jan, Dec


Collect testimonials and proof

During your event, take pictures of attendees interacting with your sponsor — visiting their booth, wearing or holding their swag, talking to the reps. Collect video endorsements from attendees.

2–3 weeks after the event


Jan, Dec


Send your fulfillment report

A fulfillment report will dramatically increase renewals and prevent issues. Include anything that will demonstrate the success of your event — actual attendance numbers, news coverage, social traction, and ads promoting your event. Next, you’ll start researching your next round of sponsors.

For more details, please contact me.

Posted on

How to Close Your Sponsorship Deal With Data

How to Close Your Sponsorship Deal With Data

Not all data is created, says sponsorship expert Larry Weil. Instead, he’s sharing how to close a sponsorship deal with data points that are actually meaningful to prospects, and what insights to leave OUT of your pitch deck.

You have done your homework and have used insights to identify a prospect that is likely to value your property. You have figured out your value proposition. You have captured their interest and got the call or the meeting. You have invested hours in creating an appealing presentation. You have told your story, captured their imagination. You can feel it, they are interested. It wasn’t easy to get here, but you are now way down the sales funnel.

The next step is the going to be analytics. Your prospect will ask for the data to measure the potential performance of your proposal. You send them your web, social, demographics and attendance. A few days go by. Things start to slow down. Calls aren’t getting returned. Everything grinds to a halt. What went wrong?

Big brands are sophisticated about data. They have likely invested millions and millions of dollars in collecting, analyzing and reporting the information they need to make decisions. If you want them to take your sponsorship proposal seriously, you must be able to speak the language of data and provide them with insights that validate choosing your property for partnership.

If you are a Winmo user as I am, you are already used the platform to identify the prospect, understand how they spend their marketing dollars, identify triggers, budgets, even how to appeal to individual decision makers.

Why do you do this? Because it helps you make much better decisions about who is a good prospect and who is not. But are you giving your prospect a similar quality of data that allows them to make the right decisions about working with you? My experience is that in many cases the answer is no.

So how do we fix that? Let’s start by identifying what kind of data is and is not going to help you close deals.

The Sponsorship Data That Doesn’t Matter

When I am onboarding clients one of the first things we ask about is what kind of data they have. Usually, they respond with:

  1. Event data: Attendance, traffic, run of show
  2. Social data: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  3. Website data: Views, clicks, time on site
  4. Demographics: Age, Gender, Income

I try to help my clients understand that these measurements mostly don’t get to the root of what is most valuable to brands. It won’t present your property as having more than a rudimentary level of data. I’m not suggesting you throw these insights aways; I’m suggesting that it won’t close any deals. Here is why:

  1. Event data like attendance is often exaggerated and hard to verify
  2. Social data value is about engagement and alignment in volumes that move the needle for the prospect. It is as much about the quality of the content and alignment with the prospect’s desired audience as it is about the number of followers
  3. Website data: The value of views and clicks without the context of who is viewing and clicking is almost nothing.
  4. Demographics: If you are still talking about demographics I suggest a reboot. Here is what I mean: Demographics may tell you that your audience contains a large segment of women 18 to 35 years old. But your prospect is going to want to know if these women working professionals or stay at home moms, what are their interests, what are their values, do they shop online? Basic demographics don’t tell you anything about their lifestyle, values, attitudes, and preferences, which is what determines why and how they buy.

Close Your Sponsorship Deal With Data That Matters

To get to the information that will get the deal closed, try thinking about this the way to prospect would. They need some data that proves what you say and makes your property a match and worth the investment. Here some key data points that will help close the deal:

  1. Audience Alignment: Provide human insights. What are the values, goals, and lifestyle of your audience that confirm that they are who your brand prospect wants and will pay you to access? How do you know this?
  2. Level of Engagement: Go beyond clicks and likes. How long is your audience engaged? What engages them? How do they participate? What are they saying and doing? What content or activities do they engage with and why?
  3. Volume, Frequency, and Scale: Once you have convinced the prospect that the audience is aligned and engaged, provide data that demonstrates that it is in a meaningful volume. A thousand new prospects a year isn’t going to be worth the time to a big brand.
  4. Cost per, vs. other alternatives: Your competition for this business may not be others in your same business segment. If you are an event, you need to know that your cost per new customer for your prospect compares favorably with other channels. If your CPM is $200 and your prospect can get the same quality of leads from a TV or Digital campaign for a CPM of $15 you are sunk.

If you can use data to show that your attendees or audience is the one the prospect values, that they are engaged in a meaningful way, that you have a large number and that you can provide them at a competitive cost. You will close the deal.

For more details, please contact me.

Posted on

World Food Championships

World Food Championships

America’s Most Watched Food Sport Event

The World Food Championships is the largest competition in Food Sport, where grand champions of previous events convene for a chance at winning the ultimate food crown and a share of hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money. The World Food Championships is also the springboard for many up and coming culinary stars and home cooks as they seek TV fame through many well-known food shows and acting opportunities.

Now that the dust has settled for the 6th Annual World Food Championships, the results are in! The 2017 WFC boasted the largest Food Sport tournament in history with well over 1500 contestants on 449 official teams. They came from 42 American states and 13 countries to compete, while more than 30,000 foodies watched and enjoyed the heat of the battle unfold in 10 official categories.

Since its debut in 2012, WFC has given birth to 30 TV food stars, awarded more than $1.5 million in prize money, garnered more than 5.7 billion media impressions, and connected 150+ food brands with food fans, food bloggers, and food media. In short, it has given birth to “Food Sport” by providing a level playing field, a fair judging system, a creative culinary fest, and a process that allows the culinary elite to show their chops and earn the respect they deserve.

For sponsorship information, contact Larry Weil.

Posted on



To bring rainy communities to life and create a more livable, sustainable, and shareable world.

We offer the service in major markets across the U.S. But only so many brands will be able to own their building, their area or their city center.

We work with brands or facilities, and welcome the opportunity to prove our value.

Visit for more information.

To become a sponsor or for sponsorship information, contact Larry Weil.