Thanks to The Onion, here's an easy way to decide if your event or festival is oversaturated with sponsors. Enjoy!
Thanks to The Onion, here's an easy way to decide if your event or festival is oversaturated with sponsors. Enjoy!
Yesterday morning I "hungout" with Emily Guerrero, Communications Director at the Prince Williams Chamber of Commerce, in Prince William County, Virginia, and Mike Hoover, President of TML a Xerox Company and a Chamber member, via Google Hangout, as a sneak preview for their June 14 event where I'll be the keynote speaker.
Take a look and find out what Mike and his team value about partnering with nonprofit organizations. For event details and to register, visit the Chamber's event calendar for the June 14 event.
Just like our bodies' biological rhythms, sponsorship development has a rhythm, too. Are you in the optimum rhythm? Or do you feel a little off? Here are few signs to help you recognize that you're off-beat.
How do you fix it? Make a pledge to begin sponsorship development for the next year of your existing events as soon as you complete this year's.
Your sponsors' abilities to achieve success, as defined by their metrics and the business results they seek, are contingent on having adequate time to implement. Usually sponsors have numerous internal steps they need to take to align internal departments to execute. Similarly, you need adequate time to sell, develop, and fulfill all aspects of your offerings.
A handy guide
Time needed to:
The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics kicks off today, and let's hope the spirit of the Olympics kicks in. As you may recall from your world history lessons, the original intention of the games is for the world's nations to set aside strife, come together in peace, and celebrate human achievement. From what I've read, these games have seen lots of strife, sometimes from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the London organizers themselves.
A few highlights:
This list could go on and on. Here's the deal. These companies make the Olympics possible. We need their not insubstantial investments, and they deserve to see a return on those investments. (P&G has already projected theirs.)
These Games show us the impact of an ever-more socially networked society – greater scrutiny, more critique, and a need for greater accountability.
We also see the need for balance and good judgement. We can't spurn audiences, send wrong messages, nor become so overly controlling that we take the joy out of the event.
As I head off, I leave you with one of a wonderful summation of the Olympics and why we're drawn them, from the Wall Street Journal. Sports columnist Jason Gay writes:
The Urgency of the Moment
I think the Olympics begin when the Games first surprise you. Maybe it's when you're initially tuning in, looking for an event you thought would be on, only to get drawn into something else. Maybe it's a sport you've never seen, with rules you barely understand, and athletes you don't know. Maybe it's a game you haven't played since high school.
Either way, you are a virgin to the contest—you have no prior knowledge, you know no backstory, you have no favorite. This Olympic moment exists only in the present for you. But after 20 minutes or so, you're fully transfixed. You are consumed and invested. Twenty minutes ago, you had no thoughts about this competition. Now you are on your feet.
It thrills you. It breaks your heart. It moves you like nothing else, because these Games, which come only once every four years, are, if nothing else, urgent and consequential and definitive. The Olympics don't just determine the best in the world—they offer history. The smallest moment has a powerful meaning, the chance of being remembered forever.
That's when you know. That's when the Olympics really start.
Let the Games begin.
More good sponsorship news today. (See my earlier post.) Are these signs that we might like sponsors more now, since the days of TARP and bailouts?
The New York State Senate issued a resolution today, proclaiming June "Jazz Month" in honor of the 35th Anniversary of Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival, produced for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center by my dear friend and colleague Dan Melnick, president of Absolutely Live Entertainment, and their teams.
The festival –– founded by George Wein of legendary Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival fame, among a whole host of important music events –– has presented "legends, superstars, and rising stars" since its founding in 1978 to nearly a half million fans, according to SPAC president and executive director, Marcia White. This year's line up is no different: check it out.
What makes the announcement even more significant is acknowlegment of title sponsor, Freihofer's Baking Company, since 1998, for its "partnership and support, which has enabled SPAC to consistently book and present the greatest jazz artists and ensembles in the world." (I hear the company's baked goods are a big hit among the NY State Senators, too.)
It's important that we educate the public, government officials, our constituents, and even staff members why sponsors are so critical to our events. Sponsorship revenue is really the fuel that allows all types of events to exist. From jazz festivals to the Olympics, nonprofit fundraisers to major conferences, sponsorship dollars allow these events to take place, for the benefit of consumer, professional, and/or geographic communities.
How are you educating the public and your government officials on the value your sponsors bring to their communities?
In my last post, I promised to report back on what I discovered at the Philadelphia International Flower Show, the theme for which was Hawaii. Apparently the show made changes to the layout since 2011, a year I did not attend. I, for one, found the new layout a little frustrating and chaotic, but the changes I want to address here have to do with sponsorship.
Subaru seems to have stepped up its role in the sponsorship hierarchy for the Flower Show and was one of only two companies to be really woven nicely into the main event. You couldn't not get that Subaru is a good car for your surfing, gardening, and landscaping needs.
Other sponsors with consumer activation activities, which presumably had not committed commensurately, were placed along a hallway where attendees may or may not have noticed them, depending on which way they entered the show. (We would have missed the space entirely had I not been on the look out for sponsors.) I'm not saying it's good or bad. It's a leverage point for the Flower Show. If I were a sponsor, I'd want to know this. How many attendees did those hallway sponsors not interact with because they were in the hallway?
A change I liked conceptually (less so in practice) was the addition of The Mancave (and other sponsorsed spaces) created for men while their wives checked out the flowers. The name of the space is fun and presumably fills a need. It was sponsored by an audio-visual consumer product company, a sports talk radio station,a casino, a well-known pre- and post-sporting event restaurant with beloved Philly cheesesteaks and special French fries, among others.
The problem was in the execution. It felt more like a conference breakout space than a cool hang out for dudes. There were more women and strollers in the space when I was there, and I saw no sponsor activation at all, except for the passive flat screen TVs and the French fries. Here's hoping for Mancave evolution.
What did you think of this year's show?
Want to ensure that your sponsorship of an event or cause really delivers the ROI you intend? That requires one step.
Be an active sponsor.
Don't just send a check and a logo and sit back and wait for the results to tally. Instead make a deep organizational commitment and investment so that the check and logo you do send off are in service to the results you're trying to achieve.
Let me show you what I mean. Today is the first day of one of the best sponsored events in Philadelphia –– the Philadelphia International Flower Show –– and it also happens to be one of the most renowned flower shows in the country, this year celebrating Hawaii. (I'm heading there tomorrow so check back later in the week for photos and more on what I experience.) Here's a sneak peek.
I decided to check out what a handful of the sponsors are doing to activate their sponsorship investments outside of the event. Prognosis: inactive sponsors not fully taking advantage of an enormous opportunity.
Of the five sponsor web sites I surfed (yes, that's a tribute to the Hawaii theme), only one, SugarHouse Casino, mentions the sponsorship on its home page, linking to a page describing transportation services the casino is offering. Park at its giant lot and ride for free, which is a great service. Driving, much less parking, is tough around the event site.
While I did not expect to see the event on Subaru's national site, since this is a regional event, I was surprised it wasn't listed on any of the regional dealers' sites, especially since Subaru is celebrating spring in a promotion.
Visit our store at the @PhilaFlowerShow March 4-11 to sample wines & spirits from around the world (21+). For more info ow.ly/9qRKf
PA's first to have new @Bethenny @SkinnygirlCKTL #wines, #spirits. Try them at free on-site tastings (21+) next week @PhilaFlowerShow!
While I was glad to see to see this social media tie, it did seem strange to me that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which runs the retail outlets here for wine and liquor, is actively promoting liquor sampling.
Further disappointment was Acme, to which I gave "Best of Show" two years ago for their lovely display and cause marketing effort. Proceeds from an official bouquet benefited the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society, producers of the Flower Show. I couldn't wait to see what they were doing in store.
However, if you walked into this Acme, less than two miles from the show, you'd never know they were a sponsor. There are no signs, banners, end aisle displays, mentions, references –– nothing. I expected to see the official bouquets on display, signs or banners when I entered –– something that would reference and honor the partnership.
When I headed to the check out line, I expected to see promotion at the cash register. They have Acme TV, but again, nothing about the sponsorship or the fact that you could purchase tickets at the store. I asked the cashier about the tickets, and he wasn't too sure, but thought I could buy them at the customer service counter, which I did.
The in-store fun they could have had! And an opportunity missed. Don't waste your dollars sponsoring an event if you're not going to take full advantage of it. No wonder some corporations question the value of sponsorship or say "it doesn't work" (yes, I've actually been told this). You have to sieze the opportunity. And be active.
I'll be presenting a seminar on Thursday, February 2, 2012, 7:30-10 a.m., for the Boston Business Journal, called Creating More Powerful Partnerships & Sponsorships, and I hope to see you there.
Whether you buy or sell sponsorship, in a nonprofit or for profit setting, you'll leave with lots of ideas on how to improve your sponsorship results.
The networking opportunities will be tremendous – how often do you have the opportunity to get together with other sponsorship specialists, on both sides of the table? – and definitely worth getting up early for.
If that's not enough for you, check this out. Everyone who registers will not only learn a lot and meet new people, but you'll also
To learn more and to register, visit the Boston Business Journal's event page. Please pass the word to your friends and colleagues in and around Boston. Thanks.