The RMEF event sponsor program has performed extremely well for the chapters that utilize its full potential. Here are what lead volunteers and staff recommend to help other chapters better use the program.
The RMEF event sponsor program has performed extremely well for the chapters that utilize its full potential. We asked lead volunteers and staff what was being done in the areas where it has performed so well, and if there were any suggestions on how to help other chapters better use the program. The suggestions they provided are summarized below.
Event Sponsor Chair
Naming a volunteer to the lead role of event sponsor chair helps ensure someone is always focused on driving event sponsor sale efforts. This person leads pre-event sponsor sales and can also help lead sales during an event. This person follows up with previous and potential event sponsors and presents them options for sponsoring your upcoming event.
Identify Target Customers
Knowing who to present the event sponsor program will help your committee (or event sponsor chair) target individuals who are most likely to buy an event sponsorship. Below are some of the characteristics of typical event sponsor buyers.
RMEF Collectors: Do you know an RMEF member that often buys special RMEF edition firearms when featured in events and auctions? Do you have banquet attendees that like the exclusivity of RMEF-branded banquet firearms? One of the best-selling features for the upper levels in the event sponsor program is that firearms offered are limited-run, special edition firearms, customized for RMEF. A
banquet rifle may be one of only 500 in existence, some of the upper levels may only have 150, 50, 25 or only 10 that exist!
Life Members: RMEF life members were willing and able to give an average of $1,500 to the organization when they bought their lifetime membership. Historically, the life membership was the only higher valued item that RMEF offered for our members to buy, outside of a banquet live auction. The event sponsor program now offers these members the ability to support the mission even more and receive an item that highlights their passion for RMEF.
Business Owners: A successful business owner who cares about RMEF’s mission is another great potential customer for this program. Businesses often have marketing budgets they can tap into for these types of expenses and the purchase is mutually beneficial since they receive sponsorship recognition.
Corporations: Are there corporations with headquarters in your area? These companies often have generous budgets to support their communities and organizations. The event sponsor program may offer an opportunity to ask for more than you have in the past. When purchasing event sponsorships, these companies don’t always have a use for the incentive firearm. If that’s the case, one solution is for them to buy an event sponsorship AND donate the firearm to the upcoming event. Doing so allows them to receive double recognition and they are represented well within the community.
Once a target list of potential buyers has been generated, it’s up to the committee to decide who is best suited to contact each person. Even when there is an event sponsor chair, another volunteer may be a better option to approach specific members.
In regions where event sponsorships are sold the most, the top sales tactic is including sponsorships in the event’s table package program. For some table packages, there may be one level-one event sponsorship included or there may be five level-one event sponsorships included. Others may include a higher-level event sponsor option, so a firearm is included with the table purchase. Consult your regional director on how table package costs and prices are determined, and which options are best for you.
Event Sponsor Recognition
Recognizing your event sponsors is an important piece in making the sale. That acknowledgment and recognition may lead to additional sales for those businesses or individuals by those at your event who see the recognition. Below are a few ways other chapters are recognizing their event sponsors:
· In your event program list the sponsor levels in which there were sales, and under each level list the individuals or business that bought them. Do this in the first few pages of the program so it’s one of the first things your attendees and event sponsors see.
· If your event has audio and video capabilities, create a PowerPoint that runs continuously throughout your social hour. Make a slide for each level to recognize the individual or business that bought them. If it is a business display its logo rather than just adding text to the slide.
· If there are level-two or above sponsors, it is possible to have their items ordered and displayed at your banquet if they were presold far enough in advance. You can present those event sponsors with their firearm on stage and thank them for their support.
· Your emcee can announce and thank each level and buyer of the event sponsor program.
· If you included an event sponsorship in your table packages (i.e. a table was sold to a business owner), adding their logo to their table sign is a simple touch that they will appreciate.