A sponsorship – though a donation of time and resources – is a business endeavor. Whether you get a return on your investment or not is in your preparation. Dennie Hirsch gives us the insight on sponsoring events.
The first question a business owner has to ask himself is “What audience am I trying to reach?” Dennie says this is one of the most important prerequisites before deciding to sponsor an event. “Ask to see the guest list, see who is expected to be in attendance at these events. Also, request to see who else is sponsoring the event as well” he says. This allows you to answer the underlying question in every business venture, “Is it worth it?” A sponsorship is a hands-on advertisement allowing you to showcase your services in front of a select group. Since your donating your resources at virtually no cost to the event you must make certain your business receives benefits as a result of this investment. Along with guests you will also be interacting with other sponsors. Your potential customer pool is not merely limited to just guests but the overall event as a whole, use it to your advantage!
What good is sponsoring an event if nobody knows your sponsoring it? “When agreeing to a sponsorship we request it be promoted right away.” Dennie states, “We try and give ourselves a month before the event, this allows for the sponsorship to be promoted throughout and provides maximum exposure for our business.” Dennie says that it is on the business though to keep track of the promoting. He tells me “If I don’t see us on their website or social media Ill politely send them a message asking if it could be inserted, they understand completely and end up putting it up right away.” Events understand the basis of a sponsorship and the mutualism that comes with it as well, but in the end, it is your job to keep track of your promotions.
Get there early! The first thing that Denny recommends is getting to the event early and making sure you are in a good spot. He says “You’re donating your time and services, the least you can do is set yourself up to get the most out of it!” Assure that you are able to be seen and that people can interact with your booth. Dennie also talks about a big mistake that people make, not bringing their best equipment because it’s a free event. “Bring your best, show off your best,” he says. You are going to be surrounded by potential leads, bring out the big guns! The more excitement you are able to generate the more worthwhile your efforts will be.
Dennie also talks about branding the booth top to bottom. “You’re not stepping on any toes by advertising your business while working the event,” he emphasizes. Include packages of information, logos on prints and images, and wrapping your booth as well! Partnering your logo with the event’s logo only increases the exposure your business receives.
Follow. Up. With. Everybody! Dennie talks about the importance of reaffirming connections after the event. “Thank you’s should be posted across the board, on your end and the event’s end,” he points out. He asks that the event include his business in their closing remarks and always thanks the event on his end as well. This is a closing advertisement from the event, a chance to establish one more touch point before event goers go on with their daily tasks. It is also important to remember to reach out to sponsors as well. Establish a relationship with them, even if your businesses don’t have anything to partner on now, you never know what future opportunities might arise.