Here are some opinions offered by sponsorship sales people on a recent LinkedIn discussion:

"The ultimate goal in sponsoring an event," according to one discussant, "is to gain maximum exposure for your product, gain goodwill for your product, and sell enough of your product to make the sponsorship worth the investment."

"Exposure isn't a great thing anymore," he continued.

"Signage," another opined, "won't drive sales nor should you expect it to. You need to understand what the sponsor is about, how it can connect to your event, and then activate a program."

Sponsorship has to help the company meet its objectives. Figure out how your association can help it do that.