Do you remember that episode on Seinfeld? When George was explaining what happens when "worlds collide?"
CLICK HERE to see the video clip and where I am going with this...
So, we have Senior Sales Executive Susie, and Director of Sponsorship at MPI Susie...And my worlds are always colliding! Unlike our buddy George here, I embrace the collision, and here is why: They compliment each other!
For the purposes of this post and an example of a "collision," let's consider sponsors and event sponsorships. Most events need sponsors, MPI included, and I have found that my experience in both roles helps me identify, negotiate, and nurture sponsorships. The event has a purpose and goals to achieve, and so do the sponsors...So how do you work the balance of both agendas?
Bottom line, sponsors care about their brand, brand exposure, brand recognition, product placement, etc. And it is up to you, in the Sponsorship role to help them grasp the vision for the event, how their brand fits in to the grand scheme, and how it will be represented. With today's events becoming more and more interactive and technology driven, sponsors will be looking to engage attendees from the start- and keep them engaged!
That said, I have put together a quick list of tips to keep you firmly planted in the middle ground of what the sponsors wants and what they want to achieve at the event, and what the event wants to achieve. After all, we all know the importance of creating lasting partnerships.
1. Start out slow – don't overwhelm yourself. If this is your first venture into acquiring sponsors for your particular event, try to find a few key avenues that will grab attention – food & beverage, entertainment, decor, etc.
2. Take a stab at compiling a sponsorship / partnership template that includes what opportunities might be available and what you feel comfortable giving them in return...A menu of sorts.
3. Be sure to ask questions and LISTEN – if you think you might have an interested participant; collaborate on ways to enhance their marketing efforts and exposure to your attendees. The adage, "Business is business" still holds true and while some sponsors may be willing to take part out of the goodness of their hearts, the majority want to be dazzled by the ROI.
4. Find a way to tie-in your sponsor so their product or service is aptly reflected and enhanced. For example, don't make Coca-Cola merely your beverage sponsor – tap into your creative core to develop the Coca-Cola Community where attendees can experience dynamic & interactive food & beverage stations, perhaps a "giving back to the community" initiative, or an area that dedicates itself to detailing the partnership between your event and Coca-Cola. Make attendees aware of their brand presence and how they align themselves with your event mission.
Visitors of the "Shuang Experience Center" were immersed in several interactive experiences, including the Coca-Cola's 80-year Olympic heritage, environment initiatives made by The Coca-Cola Company, live telecasts of the Olympic Games athletic events, exhibits of Chinese folk and human size Coca-Cola's bottles decorated by local folk artists coming from all regions of mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.
5. Don't forget to generate sponsorship buzz into your social media platform – create hashtags (#) & online forums that incorporate your sponsor brand, product, or service before the event even begins!
I hope this information was helpful. Do you have something to add? Remember, you can always give me a call with any questions or to start a conversation. I am here to help!