I don’t often write “how-to” articles but this is something that has come up again and again during coaching calls so I figured it was time to put it out there.

The question I am getting is around event sponsorship. What do you need to do when you have a table, or are exhibiting your business, at an event?

The good news is that you don’t need much, but you absolutely must have (or do) the following six things.

1. You need yourself. You must welcome your guests. Stand next to, or in front and to the side, of your table. Do not stand behind anything or sit unless it’s a medical necessity.

This is like being in your home when the doorbell rings. Which is more welcoming to your guest, if you stay in a chair & yell “come in, it’s open” or walking to the door, opening it up, smiling and saying “Come in”.

Same with your booth or table, welcome people like a guest into your home.

2. Less is more. Imagine your desk covered with papers and to-dos. Do you want to sit down? And if you did, would you know what you needed to do?

Now imagine your desk with just one thing on it. Is it more inviting? Do you know what you need to do when you sit down?

It’s the same thing with your table or booth… less is more. In a crowded exhibit hall you are lucky if you have five seconds to get someone’s attention. You must have a single message and it must be easy for someone to take that message in at a glance. What do you want them to know?

3. Chocolate. It seems crazy, but it’s true. Have chocolate there. Think of this as offering your guest something to eat or drink when they come to your home. People are attracted to it and will stop by for a piece of chocolate. And here’s really good news…it doesn’t have to be good chocolate. Just something quick that people will grab.

4. Remember your goal. Of course every event is different but for the most part your goal is to get new leads. It’d be nice if you sold something or set up a time to reconnect after the event but the most important thing is to actually collect leads. Without the leads you will not sell anything later. Offer a raffle. Make it easy for someone to give you his or her contact information.

5. It’s NOT about you! Nobody cares about you. You must pay attention to your visitors. Find out why they are at the event. Find out what attracted them to you. Find out what they need and don’t spew every detail about yourself at your visitors.

Here’s a simple example that explains why this is so important. Let’s say you fix elbows for a living. Someone comes to your table and you start telling them what you do. A few minutes later the person you are talking to (or maybe at) says I have a problem with my ankle. Because you didn’t find out anything about that person you have wasted their time and, equally as important, you just spent several minutes of your time speaking with someone who has absolutely no interest in what you do and have not been speaking with someone who does need you.

6. It’s all in the follow up. Remember number 4 above? Sponsorship is about getting leads not closing deals. Make sure you have a follow up plan in place before you walk in the door. What will do after the event to gain the trust and ultimately the business from the people you met?

Sponsorship can be a very effective way to generate new leads and can lead to a lot of new business.

What types of events have you sponsored or exhibited at?

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Greene is a speaker, author & business coach. She is a business strategist & who helps entrepreneurs get clear on what they want and creating simple plans to get there. She is the author of "Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm & Procrastination So You Can Create Ultimate Profit!" Resources at http://www.carriegreenecoaching.com