Wow, did that summer go fast! Yesterday was Labour Day and now we are all heading back to the grind of meeting expectations leading up to the end of the calendar year.
But a lot happened over the summer. One of our clients, Youth Emergency Shelter Society (YESS) based in Edmonton, had a royal experience. Yes, they met the Royals, Kate and William.
When the second in line to the throne married Kate Middleton back in the spring, the couple requested that no gifts be given, but instead that cash donations go to charities of choice. The Government of Alberta chose to give a total of $25,000 to a series of organizations supporting struggling youth in Alberta. YESS was one of those selected. To add to the great opportunity of being selected and the $7,500 cash gift, YESS had an even greater experience. In July, on the royal couple’s last day in Calgary (before heading to a polo match sponsored by Tiffany and Company in Santa Barbara, California), YESS Executive Director Deb Cautley and five youth clients (all once homeless) had the experience of meeting and chatting with William and Kate at a formal reception.
This was truly a royal experience! When I look at our clients and others, I see them giving royal service. But unfortunately, I also often see less than stellar experiences for sponsors. When it comes to meeting expectations, it is critical for properties to over- deliver.
This summer, I attended two festivals where sponsors’ banners were in disarray (one ripped and the other folded over). The properties did nothing to correct these situations. In another example, a major event sponsor was told that to get two extra seats to an event (which was not sold out), it would have to pay full price. And in a very recent discussion, I learned about a property that would not work with a sponsor on an activation program “because it was not spending that money with us… it was going to a radio station” (which, by the way, was also a sponsor of the event). I cringe at these examples because I know we can do way better if we just “follow the rules.”
The Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study released in June showed that sponsors feel they are getting even worse service from organizations than they have in the past. I can only hope that the clients with whom we work learn from all this and give their sponsors the “royal treatment” at all times. Fulfilment and over-delivery of expectations is critical to any relationship and it is key to a successful long-term partnership.
So, as we enter the fall, ask yourself as a sponsor:
- How was I treated in the past year by those I sponsor?
- Did you get a fulfillment report?
- Did the properties over-deliver or under-deliver?
- Were they helpful to work?
- Or were they arrogant or disorganized?
And properties, review all your clients and try to determine if you over-delivered and gave them royal treatment of just a “supplier agreement” delivery?
To learn how to master the above skills, attend the Western Sponsorship Congress, in Calgary on October 25th and 26th.