Track 302: Third Party Event Sponsorship

Much like hosting a Learning Event (Track 301), exploring sponsorship opportunities at a third-party event is a great way to get exposure to a larger audience in a very short period of time. Thousands of potential customers attend these events. 

There are numerous industry events in your region every year. These events are rich opportunities to drive awareness, generate leads, and grow your Salesforce Reseller practice. Track 302 will walk you through the steps you’ll take before, during, and after of a third-party event sponsorship; from researching possible events to following-up and tracking metrics.

What To Do Before the Event

Choose the right event 

You can align the strengths of your business with events that are specific to industries, job titles, /s/ResellerTrack301_Image1.png?v=1
customer types, regions and more. Do your research before committing to a specific sponsorship.
Consider questions such as...  

• When and where is the event taking place? 
• What is the conference theme?
• What topics are being covered and do they align with our business objectives?
• How many sponsors will be there? Are any of your competitors sponsoring?
• Beyond booths, what other engagement opportunities exist?
• Is a 5x ROI feasible based on total estimated cost, number of attendees, and your average deal size?
• How many attendees? What are the audience demographics? Are attendees pre-qualified? 
• What is the breakdown of business-to-business and consumer companies?

Set clear objectives and metrics 

Clear objectives: We recommend focusing on two simple objectives: Building awareness for your
Reseller practice and lead generation. 

Clear metrics: Set up your tracking tools before the event. Here are some specific ways you can
plan to measure success:

• Number of booth / breakout session / etc. scans
• Number of cold / warm / hot leads generated
• Number of meetings booked
• Number of opportunities created
• Number of closed deals
• Total return on investment (ROI)

Assemble your team

Operating a booth, running a breakout session, or leading a hosted lunch/happy hour at a third-party event is a big undertaking, and you can’t do it alone. Assemble a dedicated team to help plan, execute, and follow up. Your staffing requirements consist of the following: 

• Booth/demo staff (Product Marketers, Sales Reps, Technical Staff)
• Speakers for any breakout sessions, lunch/dinner sponsorships, etc.
• Creative support (internal or external designers)
• Event coordinator 

Motivation is key: Make sure that everybody on your team is committed to your objectives, properly trained, and well motivated. Set clear roles and responsibilities to help drive your company message and value pre- and post-event. 

Create a robust schedule: Include staff names, room numbers, shift times, dress requirements, etc. Also include contact information directly for your event coordinator to accommodate any last minute changes and manage easily on the fly. Download the How to Rally and Train your Booth Staff Flyer here.


Event sponsorship can be an expensive endeavor. Establish a budget early on in your planning /s/ResellerTrack301_Image2.png?v=1
process. Plan funds for the following: 

• Travel, food, and beverage
• Lodging
• Sponsorship and associated costs (audio visual, electricity, booth furniture, etc.)
• Printed materials
• Gifts and giveaways
• Shipping expenses
• Miscellaneous items: staff uniforms, customer gifts/meals, etc. 

You can deploy a mix of internal marketing funds and Salesforce MDF money to pay for event marketing. Ask your CAM if you have questions on submission guidelines or timelines.

Logistics and planning

Without organization and a solid plan, an event can be an expensive mistake. You’ll want to start the planning process three to six months in advance. 

Food, lodging, and other travel expenses: Book your flights and hotel rooms far in advance. Especially for the larger conferences, flights and rooms will get expensive and hard to find as the event approaches. TIP: Treat your team to nice dinners and experiences to add extra motivation, but be sure to book these in advance as well. 

Supplies: Successful sponsorship requires a lot of packing and supplies. From audio/visual support to badges to gifts, there are so many items to remember. Download this Event Packing Checklist to be sure you have everything in order. 

Booth Planning: Your booth is your home base at the event. You’ll want to optimize for attendee experience. Great design and layout are key. While working within event design guidelines, look for interesting and exciting ways to make your booth stand out from the other sponsors. Give deep thought to messaging. Brevity is key: Less text is better. But make sure that your messaging makes two things abundantly clear: 1) What you do, and 2) Why you’re the best. Download the 15 Ways to Have a Killer Custom Booth Flyer and Create Impactful Booth Graphics Flyer for more information on how to nail your booth design. 

Schedule: Having a schedule in place for the planning process, as well as the event itself, keeps the team organized and provides clear direction on how to meet objectives. For the days of the event, you want to be sure to have everything planned out from arrival and set-up to break-down and departure. Make it easy as possible for for staff to get in touch with the event coordinator on site. TIP: Start a group text chain and send reminders every night and morning before shifts, scheduled dinners, breakout events, etc. Download this Event Timeline and Checklist to be sure that you stay on top of everything in the months running up to your event, and what comes after. 

Publicize your sponsorship: Email blasts and social media posts are a great way to let your network know that you’ll be sponsoring a third-party event. Drumming up enthusiasm beforehand—especially for breakout events or speaking engagements—is a great way to lay the groundwork for quality networking success.

What to Do During The Event

The days of the event will be hectic, action packed, and a lot of fun. Executing your plan will require constant diligence and attention. 

Every morning of the event
Be sure everything is in its right place. Get your materials organized. Test the A/V equipment. Hold a daily team meeting at your booth before the floor opens to make sure the team is focused,
ready, and knows what to do. /s/ResellerTrack301_Image3.png?v=1

Deliver your pitch 
Arguably the most important thing of all is to make certain your team is prepared to deliver your pitch and stay on message. This is your opportunity to explain, to as many attendees as possible, what you can do for them with Salesforce as a Reseller. Be certain that your staff is well-trained and familiar with the following:

• Your story
• Your positioning
• Key qualifying questions
• Competitive landscape
• Common goals
• Customer success stories

Download the Deliver An Awesome Booth Demo Flyer here.

Here are demo videos about each of the clouds:

Breakout events and theater sessions
A breakout or theater session is a presentation of greater depth and detail than your booth pitch. They are a great opportunity to to go deeper on your Salesforce offerings and great way to grow awareness about your practice.

Practice, practice, practice: Be sure your speaker knows the content front to back. 

Be friendly: Be personable and informative. Your attendees should be excited to be there, having a good time, and learning something. 

Deliver a compelling story via a well-designed deck:
Consider a presentation that follows this storyline: 
• Quick evolution of your business
• Opportunity for sales organizations
• What is Salesforce and CRM?
• How your Reseller practice adds value
• Sales Cloud overview
• Customer success stories 

Here is a Salesforce First Call Deck that you can use as a guide in creating your Event Presentation Deck. 

Tell an interesting story! This deck is only a guideline. Most important: tell a great story. You need to differentiate yourself from all the other Resellers out there. What makes you unique? Use the framework of a story: An intriguing reat title, a key thesis, main characters, logical flow of points, supporting details, and a memorable call to action. Build drama to keep attention. 

Show your solution offering: Screenshots and demos allow attendees to experience Salesforce Sales Cloud—or other clouds—at a high level. This should make them want to learn more about how Salesforce can address their particular pain points. At the end of your presentation, your attendees should have a clear idea of the power of Salesforce Sales Cloud—or other clouds—and how you can help them leverage that power.

Capture contact information and prepare for follow up
There will likely be software available that will allow you to scan badges through the event using a personal device or scanner. Use it. Gauge interest by assign qualification categories that can be attached to each lead once scanned. An example: Breakout or theater session attendance is usually a choice the attendee makes on their own. You can assume anyone who attends your session is a warm or hot lead. 

Format your lead capturing system with questions whenever possible so you can gather relevant details in real time: 

• Are they interested in learning about a particular cloud?
• Did you scan their badge at the booth, a breakout session, or somewhere else?
• Cold? Warm? Hot? /s/ResellerTrack301_Image4.png?v=1

Create a lead capture plan and train your booth team accordingly.
• Are you going to for quantity or quality of leads?
• Are you targeting specific roles, industries, verticals, geographies?
• How will your team define cold, warm, and hot to maintain consistency?

Take-home materials and gifts

Gifts: Pens! T-shirts! Coffee mugs! Stickers! Candy! All of it! People love gifts. And there’s a lot of of them at these events. 

Be creative and try to come up with something unique and exclusive to pair with your Salesforce
classics. Encourage attendees to earn swag to help you pre-qualify their level of interest. This will
save your sales team time during follow-up—as well as save you money in overhead. 

A few ideas to earn gifts: Completing a survey, sending a tweet with a unique hashtag, watching
your demo, doing an assessment. Cold leads will usually walk away immediately. Warm leads 
usually comply or entertain a short conversation. Hot leads will ask questions and make it clear
that gifts are secondary. You can purchase these items at Salesforcestore.com using MDF money. 

Take-home materials: We recommend a simple stack of printed materials promoting your
Salesforce Reseller practice and a few case studies. You can also email digital copies to
attendees immediately and start the follow-up process right away.
Download an example of a Learning Event One Sheet Template here.

What To Do After Your Event

Remember, the Event Timeline and Checklist also features guidelines for what to do after your event as well. It spells out the follow up in detail. 

Documentation and proper follow-up are the key to making the most of lead generation from the event. 

Create a post-event marketing plan and set expectations: You should have documented all your leads in real time, but clean up the list where necessary. Compile all contact information and qualify all leads. Create and distribute a phone and email follow-up script to your sales teams. Tailor your follow-ups to individual attendees. Remember, personalization is important! You will be one of numerous sponsors following up after an event like this. Your outreach must stand out. 

Timing is key: Quick follow-up is a must. Remember to be persistent, but not annoying. Reach out multiple times with messaging that is relevant to your contact. A few follow-up points to remember:

• As always, seek to add new value with every touch.
• Call and email in tandem offer the best chance of success.
• Call and email leads within 48 hours of the event ending.
• Make it personal. Include details that show you understand the customer, their CRM environment, pain points, or any detail that references your conversation to show you were listening. 

Log activity to measure success: You’ll want to create a dashboard to track results: 

• Net new pipeline generated
• Matured pipeline
• Closed business
• Dead opportunities
• Rep activity—calls made per day, calls made per week, etc. 

Run a contest to see who can connect with the most leads or who can generate the most pipeline—or both! Share these results as often as necessary with important colleagues. 

Host a post-mortem meeting with your executives and staff: It’s just as important to talk about areas for improvement as it is to review successes. Use this meeting as an opportunity to close the loop on your results and how they stood up to your goals. Share any insights from event (including anything you learned from answers to your qualifying questions during contact acquisition), deliver an opportunity update, and explore areas for possible improvement at the events of the future. 

Download the How to Nail Post-Event Follow-Up Flyer here.