Whether you work for a sponsor or a marketing agency, controlling the risks associated with managing your sports sponsorship events is important to your business—and your career. Here are ten event management and execution risks that are important to identify and control:
Short-cutting the planning process. Given rising event costs and increasing guest expectations, planning matters more than ever. Use event planning tools that help you set up and manage single and multi-day events, multiple event activities and activity types, guest groups, attendee lists and master and individualized run-of-shows.
Failing to track and maximize ticket use. If you don’t allocate your tickets effectively and know how they are actually being used, you are wasting your investment. Use tools that allow online ticket requests and approvals, highlight unused tickets, enable on-site iPad check-ins, document guest substitutions and report compliance with company policies on use.
Failing to request and track tasks and approvals. It’s easy to lose track of task assignments and creative, budget and other approvals. Use a system that lets you assign tasks and request approvals by category for every event—and that tracks status and lists and flags overdue items.
Missing the opportunity to communicate with your guests. Today’s guests want more than outstanding events. They expect personalized experiences. Communicating with your guests before, during and after the event is a great way to make them feel special. Tell them what to expect. Email them their own custom itinerary. Let them know about schedule changes during the event. Thank them for coming and ask them for their feedback.
Not knowing where you stand. For most sponsors, event activation drives return on investment. Be sure you and your team can quickly see the status of your activation plan for every event.
Failing to tie venue-specific assets to events. Knowing what assets you have at each venue and event is essential to managing activation and delivering a return on those investments. Tag all your assets by venue, showing every game and special event where they will be used. Be able to display assets and asset details in map view when needed.
Being unable to answer questions. Whether the query is important or arcane, be sure you can quickly and correctly answer questions posed by your boss or another senior executive. Being unable to do this wastes time, frustrates everyone and can hurt your career. Worse, unanswered questions can mask issues that need to be corrected or pursued.
Failing to follow up. With the increasing cost and importance of sponsorship events, post-event analysis is critical. Assessing single events is not enough. Use a system that allows comparisons across multiple events based on guest survey data and other custom measurement factors important to your business, with drill-down capabilities by platform, property and event type. Apply event ratings in analyzing your portfolio mix and preparing for renewal negotiations.
Overlooking the importance of securing personally-identifiable information (PII). In today’s world of data breaches, securing your sponsorship data is important, whether it’s stored on Excel or in the cloud. With events, protecting PII is essential. At a minimum, be sure access to guest data is password protected, different users can be given different access privileges if necessary, and all data is encrypted in transit and at rest. Do not allow users to store PII on laptops, tablets or other mobile devices unless the data or (preferably) the drives are encrypted.
Managing your events with spreadsheets, emails and one-off apps. Using spreadsheets, emails and one-off apps requires redundant data entry and manipulation, reduces collaboration, increases security and execution risks and makes monitoring and analysis difficult. If you are going to enter data someplace, put it in an integrated system where you can enter the information once and re-use it for multiple purposes, 24-7.
At Playoff Technologies, we’re reducing all of these event management risks with Sponsor Locker, a cloud-based management platform that enables brands and their marketing agencies to optimize the value of their sports and entertainment sponsorships. By integrating everything into a single database—while still allowing individual applications and features to be implemented and used separately if desired—Sponsor Locker helps sponsors manage their events, contracts and assets, improving collaboration, decision-making, activation and guest experiences across their entire sponsorship portfolio. Every week, leading sponsors and marketing agencies use Sponsor Locker to manage thousands of sponsorship assets, events and guests across a wide range of platforms and properties from motorsports to golf to college and professional sports. Check it out at www.sponsorlocker.com.