Handshake 2

New Year, New Sponsors: How to Successfully Onboard New Sponsors

It’s a new year filled with new goals, and I’m sure that one of those goals is landing new sponsors for your event! I thought this month’s blog should be about a topic that I don’t see or hear much about, and that’s onboarding your new sponsors and returning sponsors.

Most events spend all their time and effort on trying to secure sponsors. Then when they actually do book them, the details of onboarding and maintenance fall by the wasteside. Now what do I mean by “onboarding” a sponsor? I’m referring to how you introduce them to working with your event, and what they can expect. It’s the beginning of the hand holding process so that they don’t feel like you took their money and ran– or even worse they don’t hear from you until 2 days before their artwork or banners are due. Nothing ignites frustration more than when a sponsor feels like they missed an opportunity because they weren’t well informed. Here are my suggested steps to onboarding your new or returning sponsors:

1) After signing on your sponsor, send them a Due Date List that has all the dates that their assets are due, and any file types or instructions.

2) Set up a call or meeting to go over any activations that might need more attention. This way the sponsor knows exactly what their responsibility is to the event, and the event understands what is expected of them from the sponsor.

3) Check in with the sponsor periodically, make sure they know what due dates are coming up, and if they will need any help getting their assets in on time.

4) Make sure they get their invoice and a copy of their contract in plenty of time, so that they are able to pay you in a timely manner. It’s usually not a simple process to get checks cut especially with large companies or corporations. So be sure to give your sponsor as much time as possible.

5) If your sponsor is doing an activation during the event, make sure to send them all of the details on how to access the event on site. You will also want to let them know when and how they will receive their tickets and other sponsorship perks.

By making sure your sponsor is getting all their information up front, you will help eliminate unnecessary frustration from your sponsor. You want them to feel like they are a part of your event, and that they are important–which they are! By giving them the details upfront, and by checking in with them, you are making sure they have all the tools to succeed at your event.

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