It’s day one of your event. You’ve spent the last 6 to 12 months painstakingly preparing for this day by carefully crafting your sponsor strategy, cultivating your sponsor list, and fine-tuning your sponsor communication. Now, you can just sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Wrong!
Your relationship with each and every sponsor doesn’t end when the first keynote session begins. What separates a good sponsor relationship from an excellent one is your attention to detail throughout the event. Consider these tips to boost your onsite presence among sponsors:
Offer a warm welcome. During pre-event set-up, make it a priority to stop by each booth and thank your sponsors for their commitment. Let them know you are available to help in any way. Maybe even provide a welcome packet with useful supplies.
Walk the floor. Things can change rapidly over the course of an event, and it’s important to have your pulse on the individual needs of each sponsor. To do that, get out and mingle. You might learn that graphics need to be adjusted, the Internet and/or power needs to be re-wired, or one sponsor is bumping their jams a little too aggressively for the others. Show up for your sponsors—you can only do this by hitting the show floor.
Be their concierge. Whether your sponsors need troubleshooting advice for the Wi-Fi or a mid-afternoon cup of coffee, be their go-to point of contact. For one event, Aimia’s sponsorship manager was asked to take 20 boxes of books to a sponsor’s breakout session. No request is too small!
Catch sponsors on a high. There’s a thrill in the air among sponsors at the completion of a successful event. Ride that high by having onsite conversations about renewing sponsorships for next year. Provide a Letter of Intent to Sponsor future event(s) and conduct an onsite survey. Ask for candid feedback during the show hours and let them know their input is seriously considered for future events.
Give them breathing room. The show floor is exhausting, and talking to prospective customers/partners all day is even more tiring. A relaxing “Sponsor Lounge” always goes over well. We generally provide snacks, drinks, and comfortable seating, complete with a charging station and extremely fast Wi-Fi. Use this opportunity to woo them!
Logistics, expectations, and needs change over the course of the event. Having a strong presence onsite is crucial to continue building meaningful relationships with your sponsors.