Investing in an event sponsorship is a big decision — it isn’t only about dollars, it is about the intrinsic need for resources from the moment the decision is made through to managing leads in the sales funnel.

I have watched partners scrutinize every detail of a flyer, develop amazing online assets, and design gorgeous booth structures that illustrate their corporate brand and event theme. Yet, they fail to consider who will represent them at the event. While it is important to put your best foot forward aesthetically, none of it matters if the people in your booth can’t (or don’t want to) make the right connections.

Writing your onsite playbook should be at the top of your to-do list. Staffing is a master plan that considers the strengths of the team and every networking opportunity.

  • Identify who you need where and why, map out the right players
  • Don’t just send sales folks to staff your booth from open to close, create shifts that make sense and allow your players to be at their best
  • Cover the needs you proactively anticipate and have MVPs that will be flexible to needs that arise

As your playbook is developed, rally your team, get them excited and ask them to contribute. Everyone should see how their contributions will move the business forward.

  • Make each individual feel lucky to be a part of the team, this will increase their commitment and create urgency that will bode well for the project
  • Create a reward system to drive momentum, provide incentives and create fun competitions based on priorities – who schedules the most meetings, who keeps the best lead notes, who delivers the most demos, etc.

Your sponsorship goals guide your playbook and how you train your team.  Training should start early – in the office before the event, in the booth before the show starts, and throughout the event as you fine tune your approach. Every player should be able to determine lead quality, understand how to pass a lead through your onsite experience, and recognize the networking opportunities that exist.

And don’t forget to cover the bare bones requirements of staffing- simple things like not eating during a demo, being polite, and understanding your offering – may seem like common sense, but it needs to be said.

Want to hear more about this topic from a Dreamforce marketing master? Join us on August 21st at 8:30am for our Sponsor Success Webinar, “Your People, Your Brand”. Narinder Singh, Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Appirio, will share great insights into how team training and rewards help maximize ROI.

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