Dear Event Doctor:  We are often approached for value-in-kind services in place of paid sponsorship. Sometimes the choice to accept these is obvious, but sometimes it’s more difficult. Are there any particular measures we can take to determine when it makes sense to accept in-kind services and how to put a value on them?  —Value Proposition

Dear Value: The provision of value-in-kind products and services can help to stretch an organizer’s budget while opening opportunities for partnerships with companies less willing or able to part with cash, in exchange for the marketing opportunities that events provide.

The first question for the organizer is whether the products or services actually reduce expenses anticipated in the event budget. For instance, if your budget anticipates renting an office and the landlord provides it for free, that’s a win. The value to you is the amount by which the sponsor’s participation reduces your financial exposure. Although savvy companies value in-kind products and services “at retail” to drive the best sponsorship deal, they derive benefit from an in-kind exchange because the actual costs they bear to provide them are, of course, far less. So, an in-kind sponsorship is often a win for both the organizer and the partner.

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The Event Doctor is sports-event veteran Frank Supovitz, president and chief experience officer of Fast Traffic Events & Entertainment, an event management and consulting firm. From 1992 to 2014, Supovitz served as the senior event executive for the National Football League and National Hockey League. He is also the author of “The Sports Event Management and Marketing Playbook.” Questions for The Event Doctor can be emailed to Frank Supovitz at