I couldn’t believe it! I was at another top-of-the-line event today (put on by the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce) and once again a huge number of sponsors failed to take advantage of the amazing opportunity that was provided to them. I really don’t get it!
If you are going to support an event with money or products, doesn’t it just make sense to be there physically? Several sponsors today didn’t think so. They just sent a few brochures or their product and called it good. What a waste!
Maybe they have so much business that they don’t need more or maybe they had other more important things to do. Whatever the reason–thanks for your donation which supported a great cause, but I probably won’t go out of my way to find you or use your services. I’m sure you are nice people and your products were lovely, but I tend to spend my money with people and businesses that I know, like and trust. You, by not being there, robbed me of that chance to decide if I want get to know, like and trust you.
So, at the risk of being too obvious, here are a few key ways to make sure your sponsorship pays:
1) Show up for the event.
2) Have a professional presentation for your products or services.
3) Find a way to tie your display to the event with a game or an interactive experience.
4) Make sure that you talk to as many people as possible. Not just about your business, but also about theirs.
5) Give everyone you meet a “take-away” item or gift.
6) Follow up after the event.
Bonus Tip: If the attendee mailing list isn’t part of the sponsorship package, ask for it! Most event planners are willing to play “let’s make a deal” right now because good sponsors are at a premium.
My frustration level is so high around all these phenomenal “missed” opportunities that I am going to offer a Sponsor Boot Camp. The first organization that can get 15 businesses lined up for a 2-hour sponsorship workshop can have my services for free.
If you are planning an event and you KNOW that some of your sponsors need help, this is an amazing opportunity for you to help your sponsors figure out their ROSI (Return On Sponsorship Investment). After all, happy sponsors return to events that make them money! And that’s a win-win for all of us!