Research continues to show that consumers are looking for experiences that are special and personal and when they have those experiences, they are excited about sharing them on social media. When it comes to leveraging these trends at sports sponsorship events, one of the best ways to make your guests feel special is to personalize your communication with them before, during and after the event.
Simple as it sounds, doing this well takes more than the spreadsheets and one-off apps historically used to manage sports sponsorship events. Faced with this reality, leading sponsors and agencies are turning to cloud-based management platforms like Sponsor Locker that enable access to personalized, real-time agendas and allow for sending customized messages and updates to guests across the entire life-cycle of the event.
These platforms not only capture information about every guest, they also know which guests are attending which activities. In addition, they know the status and credentials of every guest, including which guests are in the suite and which are in the grandstands, which guests have checked in, which guests have been substituted for invited guests and which guests showed up uninvited. This information can be used to quickly and easily tailor each message to specific guests or groups of guests. Send one message to suite guests and another to grandstand guests. Only notify guests invited to dinner that dinner has been delayed. Send surveys only to guests who checked in. And so on.
Whether planned or unplanned, every communication needs to be easy to configure “on the fly”. One of our “tests” (only somewhat tongue-in-cheek) is whether an event staffer can send out a rain delay update with one hand while sitting in (and hopefully not driving) a golf cart at the event.
Consider the following excerpts from a message stream for a recent golf event:
Welcome messages in advance of the event, including a link to a welcome video from a sponsored player.
Event itinerary or “run-of-show” customized to the guest’s specific activities, automatically updated throughout the event
RSVP request asking whether the guest intends to attend the pre-event dinner
Customized messages at check-in
Rain-delay update adjusting operating hours for hospitality options
Reminder about sponsored players who will be attending cocktail party at suite
Schedule update extending hours for lunch
Post-event thank-you messages with links to event photos
Post-event product offer
Because Sponsor Locker is specifically focused on managing sports and entertainment sponsorships, it uses industry best practices and workflows to optimize the guest experience at those events. And because guest information is entered once into an integrated database, it’s quick and easy to design and send planned and unplanned messaging across the entire life-cycle of the event.
Guests attending events are expecting a personalized experience. The more brands can create a unique experience for each and every guest, the greater the brand affinity. When you are evaluating cloud-based event resources, be sure to inquire about the personalized nature of the communication tools. They are critical to the success of the event and your customer’s perception of your brand. You wouldn’t use Sponsor Locker to plan a small dinner party at your home. But you shouldn’t use the app you’d use for that dinner party to manage the guest experience at your sponsorship events.