Our Sponsorship Director, Lauren Klumpp, has worked with race sponsors for over 5 years and she shares some best practices that her most successful clients are doing to get the most ROI out of their event sponsorship experience. Putting these simple systems and processes into place will drastically increase your business as a result of event sponsorships.
Let people know in advance that you will be there.
Don’t wait until the event to start marketing. Be sure to be a part of the event promotion several weeks in advance. Giving a preview of what will be offered at your booth helps event attendees to remember your company amongst the other attractions. Event organizers appreciate the extra publicity and will likely go out of their way to accommodate your requests and needs as a result.
Image really is everything when it comes to event marketing.
Signage draws the eye first and event attendees make decisions from 20+ feet away about which booths they will visit and which they will pass up. Simplicity and professionalism always wins out. Avoid wordy signs that people will not take the time to read in entirety and make sure all signage is above table height. Your staff attire and posture complete the picture. Anyone working your booth should be given strict instructions in both areas. Even in the casual world of running events, you can look sharp.
Interaction is key. Not trinkets or literature.
Providing a take away can be a great way to market your business but only if it goes into the hand of someone who truly wants the information. Most handouts meet the trash can before event attendees have even left the venue. Trinkets like Frisbees and water bottles eventually meet the same end. As a result, marketing dollars go to waste. Consider an interactive experience like a photo backdrop for a social media contest, a prize wheel, or a quick quiz to win a prize that is packed with fun education about your organization. All of these ideas help you get instant feedback and insights about prospective customers. Through these interactions, you can identify folks who are good leads and send them home with information.
Information capture is a MUST.
All of these interactive experiences that were just mentioned should include a way to capture contact information. Email addresses and social media handles should be the main focus. You can also offer a sign-up for a premium raffle or a free download of something of interest to your target market. An email sign-up sheet on a clipboard will not make the cut. Get creative and offer something of value to encourage people to share their contact information.
Ask engaging open-ended questions.
Questions like, “How are you today?” or “Can I help you?” will almost always be met with a one-word response. Consider asking questions like, “What prompted you to stop by our booth?” or “How did your race go today?” Then you can move into more specific questions, like “Are you looking for a dentist in the area? (if you happen to be a dentist office).
Follow up within 48 hours. No excuses.
Follow up time should be scheduled with the same prioritization as scheduling the event. After 48 hours have passed, the level of responsiveness from leads significantly decreases and you are less likely to get the business results you are looking for. I also highly recommend that the same person working the event initiate the follow up, it helps bridge the gap. You can always pass the ball to other colleagues handling execution after the initial follow up connection has been made.