Event sponsors are an invaluable resource for event managers, especially those who find themselves with aspirations above their budgets. But, sponsorship is a give-and-take relationship. Of course, sponsors want to ensure that their companies are reflected favorably within your events in exchange for their financial support. But, they want more than simply having their logos and branding displayed throughout the event; they want to ensure that they are working with an event manager they trust and who values the relationship. They’re looking for a partner.
To show sponsors that you value their relationship, there are things that you can do to keep them coming back event after event (assuming their product/service is in line with the theme of the event). Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re the only event manager seeking their sponsorship. As with personal relationships, sponsors can always have others vying for their support and presenting more attractive offers.
To stay in good stead with your sponsors, here are five strategies for nurturing the relationship before, during, and after your event, so they look forward to working with you when the next event rolls around.
Maintain Open Lines of Communication
Again, as with personal relationships, communication is an essential component of a healthy relationship. Show sponsors that you’re committed to their brand and value the relationship by initiating conversations. This could be as simple as providing regular updates (both positive and negative) during the event or congratulating them on business achievements you’ve learned about in industry news.
Communicating in these ways will not only have sponsors trust you, but they’ll feel a sense of community with you.
Personalize Your Communication
After you’ve secured the sponsorship, don’t rest on your laurels and neglect to continue being polite and accommodating. Keep in mind you’re dealing with another person (or group) who wants to be treated with respect and kindness. Sure, they represent an entity, but at the end of the day, they’re just people.
Your communication with your sponsorship contacts should be personalized by always using their names in any correspondence or phone conversations. When someone shows kindness, remember the Golden Rule and express your gratitude in a timely manner.
Be courteous and give your contacts time to assemble any information or materials you may need from them. Don’t wait until the last minute and make them feel rushed. Remember they have other pressing matters to attend to other than your event. Within 24 hours of the event wrap-up, send sponsors an email or, better yet, a thank you card. Personal touches like this will stand out and be remembered.
Show Them the Benefits
Although sponsorship company contacts are people, they represent a business, and that business has specific goals when they offer financial support. When you approach them with a sponsorship request, you should get a clear idea of those goals and show them the tangible benefits of partnering with your event. Be specific about how you can help them reach their goals, whether to increase web traffic, lead generation, or actual sales.
If they agree to offer support, you must deliver on everything you’ve promised and show them how successful you both were thanks to your partnership. eShow can help you provide specific data to sponsors to show how those goals were reached.
Create a “Memento” Package
You are planning to take pictures of logos, signage, and product placement to help in promotional materials for future events, right? Why not assemble those photos along with event collateral and present them to sponsors along with your data report.
This will not only prove to sponsors that you did what you promised, but it will also show that you find them worthy of special attention.
Treat Sponsors Like the VIPs They Are
Let’s face it; your grand event may not have been possible without the financial support of your sponsors. Show your appreciation by adding value to their involvement by facilitating networking opportunities. If you feel that your sponsors could benefit from connecting with one another, make an introduction. Or, if your sponsorship contact has a penchant for one of your speakers or performers, set up a meeting.
Whatever you can do to make your sponsors feel special will go a long way towards showing that you don’t take their contribution to your event for granted. If your event results in them meeting their sponsorship goals and making favorable business connections, you’ll be In a good position to reach out for future sponsorship.
Providing sponsors and exhibitors with favorable Return On Investment (ROI) data will encourage them to participate in future events. But if you really want to go the extra mile and wow sponsors, the strategies above will keep you at the forefront of their minds. Not only will they be likely to sponsor future events, but they’ll be so impressed with your attentiveness that they may even approach you about being a part of future events.
Partnering with sponsors can result in wildly successful events. If you partner with eShow, we can help you manage those partnerships to achieve maximum results. Our Lead Retrieval module is an attendance tracking service that will show sponsors/exhibitors how many event attendees participated in their sessions or presentations. But our support doesn’t stop there. Our web-based tools can help you manage your entire event from conception to execution.
Whether you’re hosting in-person, hybrid, or virtual events, we can provide the tools you need for event success all under one roof, so you don’t have to work with multiple vendors. We’ve launched a new campaign (“We Are Wherever You Need Us”) whose primary concept is “tell us what you need/are looking for, and we’ll tell you which products will work best.”
Contact us today for a no-obligation demo to learn more about this campaign and how eShow can meet all of your event management needs.