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Good communication vital in sponsorship
Bring your sponsors together for added value
Good communication is vital in planning for a sponsored event or activity. Sponsorship receivers/rights holders/ property holders can add value by bringing all the sponsors of an event together.
These meetings are often called 'Sponsor Summits,' which I think is a terrible name. It leads to perceptions of large, expensive, extravagant, formal sales events. I think other names could simply be based on sponsor or partner 'conference,' 'meeting,' 'briefing' preceded by the name of the event or activity being sponsored, 'Pleasntville Fair Sponsor Conference' etc. For the sake of simplicity, I will call these events 'briefings.' help to maximize the benefits from the relationships between sponsorship receivers ('property holders') and sponsors. The briefings provide a forum for communication, information sharing and relationship-building.
These briefings are valuable for informing sponsors about the marketing plans for the event or activity, and to identify mutually beneficial cross-promotion opportunities among sponsors. This can be a great benefit to the participating sponsors, as well as the property holder through the synergies created.
Such briefings give executives the opportunity to learn what other sponsors are doing, and to gain ideas on how to get more out of their sponsorships. It helps them justify the sponsorship commitment to their own senior management.
Also, if a sponsor is concerned or unhappy about some aspect of the forthcoming event, the sponsor briefing provides an informal opportunity for them to address their concerns to the organizers.
In summary, these events can be used to:
Disappointingly, industry feedback indicates that less than half of property holders conduct these briefing activities for stakeholders, despite the great value they provide to all those involved. It is common sense to hold these events.
In your planning, make sure the package offered to each sponsor at each level is perceived as fair and transparent by the other sponsors. It invites trouble to hold a briefing in which sponsors look jealously at each other to try and see if anyone else has received a better deal.
Aim to provide a worthwhile experience
Experienced operators find that the meetings need to strike the right balance between information and relationship-building. and that the forum promotes various levels of communication (property holder to sponsor, and sponsor to sponsor) so that worthwhile information is exchanged.
The opening presentation is typically followed by sponsor introductions and updates on their marketing objectives. That is usually followed by networking sessions to allow sponsors to discuss potentially working together on cross-promotions and other activation efforts. The briefing typically ends with relationship-building activities. These obviously vary from event to event, but often include meeting with athletes, musicians or other significant personalities associated with the event, behind-the-scenes tours and other unique experiences.
Sample Sponsor Briefing Agenda
Be prepared for excuses that property holders make against holding a sponsor briefing:
Overall, if you have been considering whether a sponsor briefing or summit is worthwhile, don?t hesitate. They definitely are!