By Carol Garza
When it comes to a successful sponsorship, execution of the agreement and recapping success are essential to sponsorship renewal. Here are the key elements to consider.
Begin as soon as the deal is signed.
Ensuring success begins the moment a sponsor has signed the agreement. It’s crucial to schedule a meeting to go over the activation plan with all parties who play a role in the success of the partnership. This meeting includes an activation plan to ensure all parties understand what each action item implies. This level of understanding helps address any areas that are unclear so they can be resolved with plenty of time to address and correct, making sure the client feels confident that the vision discussed will come to life.
Determine how success will be measured.
Ideally, the metrics used to determine the success of a sponsorship are discussed early in the process and reviewed during activation planning to ensure the right metrics are captured. These metrics are also the building blocks for creating your recap. They minimize unnecessary time spent collecting information that is not important and clarify where to spend the time and energy gathering the right information. Understanding expectations upfront will provide the best recap.
Provide the gold glove treatment.
Provide the highest level of customer service to the sponsor and the onsite event team. An inconvenient issue with tickets, parking, load-in or load-out can have a lasting impact. Sponsors remember their experience at the event. Did the team feel taken care of leading up to the event as well as onsite? Was someone available to help address any questions they had in a timely manner? Does everything look like what was communicated to the sponsor?
Determine deadlines upfront and address problems immediately.
Plans change so managing the activation timeline shows the sponsor you are on top of every detail. If a problem does present itself, be ready with a solution. Take note of the issue, find a resolution and then communicate the update to the sponsor by phone, email and even text. Being the first person to share issues with sponsors and provide solutions builds a trusting relationship and reinforces that you are on top of the details. Be sure to follow up the communication by recapping what was agreed upon in an email, ensuring everyone is on the same page regarding the resolution.
Schedule a recap meeting.
A recap meeting serves many purposes. It gives the sponsor an opportunity to express their thoughts about the event while you share the event highlights. Reviewing the recap together gives you an opportunity to share specific success metrics and brainstorm ideas for the future partnership. The information gathered will be helpful to develop a renewal proposal that addresses any concerns and builds upon the ideas exchanged.
Engage the team.
Sponsorship is a team sport and requires everyone on the team to support the sponsorship through each phase of the journey. Building out a framework sets the expectation as to how and when each person will play a role in the success.
About the author: Carol Garza is the partnership manager for Caravel Marketing. She brings a wealth of partnership and event marketing experience and expertise to the table, most recently in consumer engagement for a national advertising agency. She previously worked as an events and promotions manager for the Downtown Seattle Association and received two regional Emmy Awards for her creative contributions at KOMO 4 TV in Seattle.