06 Apr 2017

8 Mistakes that Often Undermine Sponsorship Opportunities

8 Mistakes that Often Undermine Sponsorship Opportunities

Failing to fully capitalize and turn event attendees into leads is perhaps one of the most challenging undertaking for those who sponsor event. Learning what causes such problems would mean a great advantage for all parties involved in event organization as well as in turning those attendees into leads or sales.

While most sponsorship plans may not necessarily be perfect at all times, sometimes it’s not the big mistakes that cause the sponsorship portfolio to suffer but more than, it is the small issues often overlooked and repeated that can undermine the success of one’s event.

To avoid such mistakes from recurring, let’s take a look at the eight common mistakes effective event organizers and marketers should refrain from:

1. The lack of team effort

No matter how genius a sponsorship manager may be, an event will continue to fail at achieving great results if decision making relies solely in one person’s hand. Having a team that works together in achieving a common goal is likely to succeed than having just one person making all the key decisions.

The two key advantages of sponsorship are (1) flexibility to get into a wide range of objectives and  (2) the ability to communicate passion and meaning to marketing activities. However, those advantages will be made possible if sponsorship decisions are done unilaterally.

2. Mediocre planning

Since sponsorship is a great marketing catalyst that aims to provide meaning and passion to mostly every marketing activities, those that have access to “sponsorship support” and not fully leverage such opportunity can actually lead sponsorship to a marketing afterthought, business expense and worse, can be considered purely repetitive exercise.

While sponsorship might bring in enormous opportunities, such power shouldn’t be taken lightly either. Instead, event organizers and marketers should constantly find ways to fully leverage of the opportunity whether it be in the form of multi-channel engagement with the attendees, post-event surveys, among others. Otherwise, it will turn out to be a disaster for both parties involved.

3. Repurposing the same plan all the time

The key to successful event is not just securing sponsorship. Instead, having fresh ideas and innovative ways to better engage the attendees and sustain such great relationship post-event. By using the same old game plan over and over again, it will not turn-off existing attendees but could also alienate potential ones.

Remember those concerts where the singers allow their fans to sing their heart on the microphone? They’re fun, until you see the same trick done at every concert. The audience would always go for new and innovative ideas activities. Nobody is paying for the same activities again and again. So, throw away those recycled plans and get some inspiration, reinvent the wheel and get all stakeholders involved in creating interactive and fun event.

4. Failing to engage with remote audience

Engage with the in-event audience is very important part of success of the event since most sponsors are looking at how many people will be attending the event. Their actual presence at the event means they could interact with the brand in real-time and provide insights that could not be made available in other outlets and channels. However, one of the things that many event organizers and sponsors often failed to recognize is the presence of remote audience or the fans out on various other channels.

Take the NBA fans for example who never attended any live game, food lovers who never got into a food expo or those industry professionals who want career development but weren’t able to make it to a conference. These are remote audience that taken into consideration and regarded in the same important as the the physical ones could bring enormous marketing opportunities for both the brands and its event organizers.

5. Too much leniency towards senior executives

Giving free rein to senior executives often pose as a risk as sponsorships are prone to personal agenda of those who commit funds with impunity. Taking seniors accountable for missed results can be a challenge because juniors cannot be expected to reprimand their seniors. Having strong sponsorship policy in place will help alleviate such issue should be ratified by a board or an executive committee to prevent sponsorship from suffering.

6. Delegating crucial responsibilities to juniors

Sponsorship requires real-world expertise and respect to make the sponsorship portfolio perform and achieve the sponsorship goal. In that case, putting juniors may jeopardize the performance of the sponsorship because newbies do not command the same respect as those in senior roles. Allowing junior executives to take on responsibilities and roles they’re not usually accustomed to may lead to poor results and may strain long term partnerships that took several years to establish.

So, don’t make the mistake of putting juniors at the helm of your sponsorship activities. While it is important to have collaboration within the organization, the higher-ups who have extensive experience about the project should be the ones making the crucial decisions and key strategies while those in the lower ranks could be delegated with the execution.

7. Not taking the lead time into consideration

Sponsorships are not one-time hit wonders or overnight successes. Careful planning, buy-in, planning and implementation all require considerable amount of time to materialize and produce desired results for the company. Sponsorships that are doomed to fail are those that disregard the lead time required to do careful planning and coordination with all key parties involved.

8. Not taking key metrics into consideration

Metrics are important in gauging the success of sponsorship. After all, one can only improve what is measured. However, it is not only important to have those data on hand but what’s more is what you do with those data.

If those insights are not measured and not given to stakeholders who have the benchmarks, it will end up a waste of great marketing opportunities. Dismissing key performance indicators outlined by the data could not only lead to skewed marketing performance, but could also undermine the performance of other initiatives.

While it is understandable that there may be several issues that could arise from finding, securing and closing sponsorships for your events, outlining a plan and sticking to such would help alleviate such problems. Planning ahead and thinking of contingency plans may not only mitigate the problems but also help improve the results of sponsorship opportunities.