• Heather Dankert

Sponsor a hole?! …what kind? (Part 3)

It’s golf, festival, and race season, which means it’s prime branding time. Put aside technology and talk face to face with prospects that come to you.

Two types of holes to think about.

  1. Emotional Holes: Charities exist because people feel there is a societal hole somewhere that is important to address. It can be anything from the loss of a loved one to a lack of funds for education programs.

  2. Marketing Black Holes: Lost opportunities and clients unknowingly getting sucked in, never to be seen again.

Is there any better way to make a connection with your potential customer community then aligning your brand with things that are important to them? …not really.


Spring and summer are only weeks away, so lets make sure you have all your tools.

Your goal: Get face time with potential customers, give them a positive experience, and connect with them after the event.

Here is a short “customer engagement” event checklist to get you thinking.

1. How do you stand out?

2. How are you making yourself approachable?

3. Do you have robust sales materials to rely on at your fingertips?

4. How are you going above and beyond in the guest experience department?

5. How are you going to get their contact information?

6. Do they have a way to contact you?

7. How are you going to say “thank you for visiting” and invite them to visit again?

Are you “squirrel” material? What does your look communicate to the guests?

How your booth and team look at events is important. It will determine if you get noticed and if the guests will engage with you.

  • Make sure your booth is eye-catching and not visually or physically crowded. Can people tell who you are from 50 feet away?

  • Are you able to have visual media playing? Nothing says “SQUIRREL” like flashing lights out of the corner of an eye. This is especially true if you are not in a prime location.

  • Your team needs to be branded and approachable. Continuity counts here. (See the branding section below)

  • You’ll need takeaways (print & swag), so they can remember and find you after the event. (See the branding section below)

Make them feel wanted and welcome. Evoke the social rule of reciprocity.

Think about ways you can relieve guests' potential event pain points. Have a multi-purpose booth that can be used indoors and outdoors for all your current and future events. Wind, rain, or a blazing sun can drive potential customers into the welcome relief of your sheltered sales pitch. They will be grateful, and talking about the weather is a great way to start a conversation. Here are some other tips and suggestions to keep prospects happy. It’s all about the little things.

  • Smile, say hi, thank them for visiting and invite them to visit again.

  • Have small snacks on hand or mini bottled water. Keep it halfway inside your booth so you avoid event ninjas.

  • What type of branded items would make the event guests' life easier? Think outside the box.

  • Rent or bring an appropriate heater for cold weather or spaces. Maybe a fan in warmer places.

  • Provide a few spaces for guests to sit (not too comfortable) so they can take a load off their feet.

  • Have a basic first aid kit handy.

  • Make sure you have garbage and recycling bins available.

  • Stay off your phone. Being on your phone suggests you don’t want to talk to anyone and that you are probably bored. If you must, bring a laptop and put it on a table so at least you are looking up. Create a “hotspot” with your phone, so you can share your data access with your computer if the venue doesn’t have WiFi.

Develop a unique brand for the event.

Your logo is important, but creating swag that doubles as event memorabilia can extend the life of your brand recognition and return on investment. It may not be relevant for all trade shows, but for races, golf tournaments, or festivals, it’s perfect.

  • Create a unique campaign around the event with specific visual branding and messaging.

  • Integrate your brand into the event art but don’t make it the main focus. Think Petro-Canada glasses from the ‘88 Winter Olympics. They were in everyone's cupboards until the last one broke 20 years later.

  • Put your website on swag instead of your logo. Consider creating a landing page for people to connect with before and after the event.

  • Make sure your event staff is looking identifiable and stylishly relevant to the event. People are less intimidated by someone wearing a logo and look like they are trained in the subject matter.

  • Have two sets of swag. The first one is your cost-effective bulk handouts. The second is for potential leads. It should be useful and have a higher perceived value so that they will hang on to it.

There are numerous ways and budget ranges to make you stand out with your customer community. Planning sales goals and budgeting need to be established before you do any marketing spend. Together we can make sure your return on investment is robust. The two most important things to remember about doing an event are to leave a good impression, and have a way for people to find you after it’s over.

Let's connect and chat about making you "squirrel" worthy.

Pro Tip: a sales pain point is a persistent or recurring problem (as with a product or service) that frequently inconveniences or annoys customers.