As avid blog readers, by now you should have read the blog post by Shelby Parish, IOM, CMP, manager at Institute for Organization Management, regarding the 4 Ws in Sponsorships. If not, CLICK HERE and review the beginning steps when setting up sponsorship for an event. So, now you know the “Ws” of sponsorship, what are some tips to make sure you are successful in reaching your sponsorship goals? I am going to try and take you on a trip around sponsorships. You may already know these tips, but you might have forgotten them.
Ah, sitting on the beach, drink in the hand and feet in the….wait, not the all-inclusive resort you wish you were at right now. I am talking about being all-inclusive to your entire membership. Our organizations are made up of companies both big and small. Your sponsorship levels should reflect that. When planning out an event, know your sponsorship dollar goals, but also keep in mind that having multiple layers for your members can go a long way. We all know sponsorship dollars have taken an interesting turn for our organizations over the last few years, so having different price points can bring in members of all sizes.
Oh, the smell of fresh spring air on the farm. Having married into a farming family here in northern Indiana, the term giving away the farm comes up more often. This sounds like an odd follow up to “being all-inclusive”, but really it’s not. The different levels of sponsorship play a key role in how you decide the value for each level of sponsorship. Just make sure you don’t over value the lower levels. It’s understandable that you want to make sure all levels of sponsorship receive great recognition, but a $100 sponsorship level is different than your $1000 sponsor. I know it sounds silly, but it’s something that we, in our industry, forget a lot of the times.
Ever have that event that you plan for a few months, only to have Mother Nature ruin your plans? I just did! At our chamber, we had a spring golf outing that we had planned for a few months, teams, sponsors, volunteers, gone in an instance thanks to our spring monsoon. Volunteers and teams, those are things you can handle pretty easy, in our case, we gave out vouchers to play the course at the company’s convenience. What do you do about your sponsors? The event is a non-dues revenue program for the Chamber, so it impacts the bottom line. Have a creative plan in place just in case. In our rainy day outing, we still had our lunch at the course, where our major sponsor and lunch sponsors received great visibility (and we ate the food we would have had to pay for anyways, all but one team showed up for the rainy day lunch). For the hole sponsors, that was a little trickier. We ended up doing a cover story in our weekly magazine featuring not only the hole sponsors, but the entire list of sponsors for the event as another way to help promote their business and get the sponsors the value they were looking for. Although, after that event, I wished I was at an all-inclusive resort!