The New truth about Sponsorships & Sponsorship Programs
There was a time when the word sponsor and philanthropic giving were almost synonymous. You ran an event and went out prior asking local businesses to give some money to help you run your event. The only expectations were how much can we get (from the event side) to getting some free tickets, a sign or two and some recognition in any of the pre event advertising for the event.
Although the times have changed dramatically over the past twenty years the approach and implementation of Partnerships (Sponsorships) for events is having a difficult time making that transition from asking for donations to actually targeting, selling and following up with businesses. Today’s business partnership environment is expecting a return on that investment made in your event.
The first thing to remember is:
There is NO MAGIC answer as to how to get a Partner (Sponsor). I think the best way to approach that subject starts with defining your event. The better you define your event and know the demographics, you will discover that information now dictates which businesses are a great fit for your event.
The Second thing to remember is:
The Sponsor IS your Partner and thus dictates the relationship building that has to happen for the building of a successful outcome for all involved parties. It has to be a WIN – WIN – WIN scenario. Your guests (event attendees), Your Partners (Sponsors) and Your Event all have to take away sense of satisfaction with the overall experience. This process of Building and maintaining this relationship is a full time engagement.
The Third thing to remember is:
First and lasting impressions should be our goal with our Partners. They HAVE to be our number one priority as we over deliver what they expect. There are many ways to achieve this which are simple yet take some time, energy and planning, yet are relationship building skills that will pay off for years.
The Fourth thing to remember is:
Never undervalue your event, festival or Fair. One of the biggest mistakes being made today is pricing your sponsorships (Partnerships) too low. If you believe your event is too small, too young (first or second year) or whatever other negative you put on your mind to not chase good solid Partners then you have to believe that by defining your event you may find that although your event does not have a huge attendance it does attract a particular demographic that certain businesses are also trying to reach. I have never been one to blame a bad economy, competing events or anything else except maybe weather for having a bad event with a lack of turn out and Sponsors. It all has to do with the right mindset and overall concern for your potential and current Partners.
The Fifth Thing to remember is:
There are many ways to develop Partnerships (Sponsorships) that get you much more money than you would ever think would come to your event. Follow up, Coop, Grants, foundations, etc. It takes work and a commitment to your event and your partners to grow an event to a size far above your current expectations. “What your mind believes is what comes to you”
We will be showing you how easily you can be a Partnership (Sponsorship) superstar at the Florida Festivals and Events Convention August 5-7. We hope to see you there. Together we can unmask some of the secrets of a successful Sponsorship Program.
Secrets to a Successful Sponsorship Program, John Owens, General Manager of the Volusia County Fair& Expo Center