I was recently a motivational keynote speaker for a teachers conference. The conference, run by a volunteer board, had neglected to inform its conference sponsors and exhibitors of key deadlines and important information. During the motivational speeches, the vendors were still setting up their booths, which was very distracting. The booths were lining the auditorium where all the keynote speakers presented for the teachers.
Below are some considerations for managing and communicating with conference sponsors:
- Verify and communicate early on the resource commitments conference sponsors can anticipate. For example to host a trade show booth, identify what resources are needed for staffing, funding, equipment, travel, training, and any other expenses.
- Communicate how best to set up a trade show booth, how to get the most out of a trade show space, how to engage conference delegates, how to collect and follow up with conference leads and more.
- Any sponsorship will probably fail or have weak results if a sponsor fails to support it adequately. Discuss responsibilities and timelines before, during and after the event and get commitment for ongoing support from your conference sponsors.
- Set timelines for shipping materials, equipment and communicate consequences of any delays.
- Prepare sponsorship proposals and manage ongoing relationships with vendors
- Follow up, get feedback, thank and most importantly get commitment from your conference sponsors to participate in future years.