It's also the million-dollar question because as we all know, it's far easier to keep sponsors on board than to attract new ones. The answer lies in knowing how to service the sponsor you have so they keep coming back for more.
Here's a few tips on what you can do to generate ongoing enthusiasm with your sponsors, not just in the lead up to your event but year-round:
1. Keep communicating
It's little use communicating when your event is over or when you are seeking renewal. The key is consistent communication to ensure the sponsor is meeting their sponsorship objectives year-round. By this I mean, the flow of communication needs to be centred on delivering real strategic value to the sponsor throughout the year. If the sponsor is seeking to increase their brand awareness then communicate the opportunities that are available to increase the exposure of the sponsor's brand.
2. Focus on the objectives
While it's important to keep building on your relationship with the sponsored organisation, the greater long-term benefit will come from focusing on ensuring the sponsoring party meets their business objectives. While many claim the average sponsorship last three years, if the benefits aren't there in the first year, it will be especially difficult to retain the sponsor for the second or third year. It's critical the sponsor sees the benefits of the partnership.
3. Make it easy
Marketing managers generally have a very busy schedule of projects to deliver. For this reason, it's important you do what you can to help them get the results they want – easily and efficiently. While it's the sponsors' job to activate and leverage from the partnership, the more you can do to generate creative ideas and opportunities the easier it will be for the sponsor to say yes to another term.
4. Make it about the sponsor
While it's good to be passionate about your organisation, group, club or charity, it's key to remember that not everyone shares your same passion. You've got to know that while certain CEOs or marketing managers genuinely care about your organisation, a great proportion are on the journey because of the business benefits that come with the association.
Keep the focus on the sponsorship rather than your organisation when communicating with your sponsors. Provide them with regular updates on your activities that will benefit the sponsor and look for value-adds throughout the partnership (regardless of what's been negotiated). It's often the unexpected value-adds that surprise and excite a sponsor and is what they'll be talking about long after the event is over.
5. Ensure your sponsors are doing the measurement
Everyone knows that in order to manage anything you have to measure it. The same goes with sponsorship. It's about measuring the investment in the sponsorship against the desired benefits and business objectives. This is the work of the sponsor. While the onus is often put on the event-holder or sponsored group to provide the measurable outcomes, it is up to the sponsor to know why they are on-board and to leverage from the association.
When you communicate consistently; keep the focus on objectives; make it easy; make it about the sponsor and ensure your sponsors are doing the measurement, you are increasing the likelihood of a renewal and at the same time, are creating advocates that will spread the word and attract new potential sponsors.
Looking for a keynote presentation or to conduct a workshop with your team on best practise sponsorship? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0408 734 709 to discuss.