Welcome to our new three-part series on successfully gaining sponsorship. If you’re a horse business, horse rider or horse event looking to launch or expand your sponsorship opportunities, stay with us throughout this series.
In Part 1, we discussed how your horse business can attract sponsored riders. In Part 2, we shared some helpful tips to assist horse riders looking for sponsorship. In this final Part 3, we outline the three key steps to gain sponsorship success for your upcoming horse event.
Running a horse event can be stressful, time-consuming and costly, especially if you are working with limited resources. True sponsorship success comes not only in gaining event sponsors, but building mutually beneficial partnerships that continue for the long-term.
However, the challenge most often encountered in event sponsorship is providing sponsors with a valuable return on investment (ROI). While not every horse event can be large-scale, there are a multitude of ways that you can bring benefits to your sponsors with these three key steps.
Step 1: Before the event
First impressions are paramount in any business relationship and, before you approach any potential event sponsors, you should have professional sponsorship materials in place which outline the event, its audience, the sponsorship options available and the potential ROI.
Your sponsorship pitch should be concise and value-driven – allowing time to answer questions and alleviate any objections. You’re beginning to set up expectations that you must be prepared to deliver on and how you communicate with your event sponsors is crucial to your success.
Step 2: During the event
Prior to the event, it’s recommended you engage a sponsorship coordinator who can maintain relationships with your event sponsors and ensure everything runs smoothly. You should have a clear timeline which outlines the steps that need to be taken both before and during the event.
However, it’s not enough to simply dot all i’s and cross all t’s. Put yourself in the shoes of your event sponsors. What can you do to make them feel truly valued? Customer service is absolutely paramount to building lasting relationships and shouldn’t be discounted when things get busy.
Step 3: After the event
This where most relationships may break down. In the days and weeks following your event, you must thank your event sponsors to continue building the relationship. You should also demonstrate how you met your promised ROI and encourage them to share their honest feedback.
A return on investment is not only quantitative, but also qualitative. In business, numbers and metrics aren’t the only important deliverable, but how did the experience make your event sponsors feel? And, what will you do next to sustain this partnership long into the future?
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