By: Jodi Buresh
So the other day in the office, we had a current client ask us if we know of any good ideas on how to report back to their sponsors after their event. This client was looking for presentation ideas and what to include to show a little more value in that sponsorship. That got us thinking about how all of our friends in the event, venue and destination industries have more than likely solicited sponsorship at some point, so we thought we would put out a post!
The standard basic recap report usually shows the typical statistics of the event, the demographics and how many visitors viewed their website or social media page. But this client was looking for something ‘different’, something unique that will set them apart from the other events that are trying so desperately to secure the dwindling sponsorship dollars.
For those of you that don’t know, before Saffire, I was the Assistant General Manager at the Red River Valley Fair Association in West Fargo, North Dakota. While at the fair, I helped generate thousands in sponsorships and without those dollars, our events would not have been successful. Below are my top four suggestions to go above and beyond the event recap:
- Video – If you have a Day Sponsor or Event Sponsor, take a video on the day of the event. For example, we had the Electric Company as a day sponsor for Kids day at the Fair. On their day, I videotaped myself in front of kids on a carnival ride. The script read: “Hey Electric Company. This is Jodi Buresh and we are SO HAPPY that you are our sponsor for today at the Red River Valley Fair. As you can see, the kids are enjoying the great weather and are having a blast. We truly appreciate your support!!!” Throughout the day I took a few more short videos of people or photos of them. Later that evening, I combined those into a quick video using a video editor. I used Animoto.com to create the video. It was easy and took less than 15 minutes. I would then email it off to the sponsor before I would leave that night! Cost: $0
- Photos – I am a visual person which means I like to show our sponsors what they are getting for their dollars. One year we had a major sponsor for one of our grandstand entertainers. To show them how much we appreciated their sponsorship, I made a sign with their logo on it. I got pre-approval from the Stage Management, and asked the entertainer to take a photo with the sign. That sponsor was so grateful for that photo that they have it framed and hanging in their entryway of their office. Cost: $10 for the frame.
- Gifts – Sponsors appreciate small tokens of appreciation, but they do not want their sponsorship dollars to be spent on gifts back to them. If you are planning to give your sponsors an appreciation gift, be cognizant of the cost. One year we ordered small individual bags of cotton candy. Printed a label for the front of it using the Fair’s Marketing scheme for that year. When I went for the Recap Report appointment, I took along the cotton candy bag. Cost: $2 each bag.
- National Sponsors – Sometimes National Sponsors expect more information from their sponsorship to justify the cost they are spending to be a part of the organization. The Farm Show that we hosted had free admission, so it was difficult to give an accurate count on how many people attended the 3-day event. We utilized aerial photos showing the parking lots and the grounds packed with people to help secure the sponsor for future years. We also had additional photos of people near their booth interacting with their sales people. Cost: $0
There are so many more ideas out there on how to engage more with your sponsors and being creative with the recap reports. We welcome your suggestions and ideas and will plan to share those in some upcoming issues of The Dirt. Please send those to us at firstname.lastname@example.org