Keeping your sponsors satisfied is the key to securing future sponsorship (and more sponsor dollars). In this article, we discuss how to accomplish that.
Table of Contents
Designate a Sponsor Lead
Delegate someone on your event team as the point of contact for all sponsorship tasks. This person will deal with the sponsors directly while you oversee the bigger picture.
The Sponsor Lead is responsible for ensuring the sponsor understands their role, the services they are supposed to supply, and all other related sponsor information. Above all, the point person will ensure that the sponsor receives all they have paid for.
Create a deliverable timeline and clear expectations
Having a clear timeline will make it easier for your sponsors to provide you with what you need. Make a list of everything you require, when, and where you need it to be. Be sure they have this information early on.
Be clear about timelines and expectations and what can happen if they’re not met. For example, if you need all their digital signage by a certain date so your AV crew can hang put it in their ad rotation, then clearly state the when (x date), the why (for inclusion in the digital ad rotation), and what happens if they don’t meet this date (signage may not be shown).
Show the actual ROI
Sponsors spend money to advertise through your event because they hope it will draw more clients to their business, all with the goal of greater profits down the road. They should at least recoup the cost of their sponsorship but, ideally, generate far more.
Be transparent with your sponsors about how much they gained from the sponsorship. Unless you have visibility into their internal business numbers, you probably won’t be able to tell them exactly how much they made. However, you should let them know the following key metrics to help them calculate the ROI:
- Impressions: How often their ad was shown on your website throughout the entire event.
- Clicks: How often their ad was clicked on from your website.
- Attendance: How many people attended your competition in-person
- Discount codes: How often their sponsorship offer discount code was used
- Retail sales: How many sales were made during registration of their product offer
- Social metrics: Like the number of impressions and engagement your social posts have received
RX Tip: The more data you can give, the better. Strongest’s Sponsorship Kit makes setting up sponsor ads, ad carousels and reporting a breeze on your competition website. Your sponsors – and profit margin – will thank you!
Create organic experiences
Sponsors want to become an extension of your event – not just another brand in a wall of logos.
Find ways to integrate your sponsors into your competition seamlessly. For example, instead of just showing a logo for a meal-prep company, ask them to sponsor a special food dish to sample throughout the competition. Or ask a local business to provide a phone-charging station, or a local masseuse to be the official recovery sponsor.
There’s plenty of opportunity to create experiences for your sponsors throughout your competition – you just need a bit of creativity and willingness to try new things!
Build a stronger relationship after the event
Post-event is a critical time for sponsor relationships. The important work is done in this stage to grow and strengthen your relationship.
First, make sure to express your gratitude and keep the line of communication open. Reach out with a letter or email to express your appreciation and let them know you look forward to future sponsorship opportunities.
This is also the time to send over any data you collected or materials they might use for marketing (for example, photos from the event). If you don’t have those things yet, let them know when they can expect them.
Take care of any last-minute issues, such as returning their equipment and materials.
On your end, it’s important to continue interacting with their brand after the event (even if they didn’t pay for that service). For example, you might mention them in your newsletter or tag them in your social media posts. These actions make your sponsors feel like more than just customers. Partnering with you makes them feel like you want to be their partner, which can go a long way in persuading them to sponsor your next venture.
After your event, send a post-competition survey to your sponsors to find out about their experience, what you did well, and what you can do better next time. Learn more here in our [FREE TEMPLATE] The Power of Post-Competition Surveys.
Keeping your sponsors happy means creating a great experience they value. Do this, and they will likely sponsor your next competition and pay more. Now that’s a great deal!