Behind the Curtain

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The Tony award winning show "Hamilton" is opening in San Francisco soon and it’s the talk of the town.  The show is completely sold out.  For the lucky theater patrons who have tickets, the anticipation builds until the curtain rises...

Have you ever considered what shows like "Hamilton" and major sponsorships have in common?  Both require years detailed planning, careful management of tickets and cast and crew of hundreds.  Most of the crew are absolutely critical and yet invisible to the audience.  These people frantically run behind the scenes to ensure the show runs seamlessly. 

The goal of both is to leave a lasting impression on the audience.  If you succeed, you are a smash and you have the most coveted tickets around - like Hamilton.  Yet unlike Broadway, major sponsorship events run only ONCE. Then, the entire planning cycle begins again….   

As sponsorship executives, what can you do to improve this endless cycle?   Use the skill that makes your events a smash - apply your hospitality mindset to the people behind the curtain during the planning process.  Here are three tips:

  1. Ask is who your internal audience?  As a successful sponsorship executive, you put the guest at the center of everything - planning, housing, registration, tickets, transportation, ancillary activities, etc.  Use that same approach to your internal staff.  Just like your guests, you need to know who they are and what they do.  Most importantly, you need to know what they will need and want throughout the planning process.  This insight will enable you to deliver to their needs and create a positive staff experience.  
  2. Create an internal event timeline.  Just like a show or an event timeline, think how you engage with your internal stakeholders during the entire planning process.  Determine who should to be involved at each stage and the best way to engage them given their needs and locations.  
  3. Communicate, communicate, communicate.  Communication is the key to internal experience.  Create a plan to keep all of your internal stakeholders informed throughout the whole planning process and during the event.  This manages expectations and improves team performance.

Your staff makes your sponsorship production a success. By creating strong relationships with your team and building engagement throughout the entire planning process, the team works seamlessly together, anticipates needs and focuses on the guest throughout the sponsorship event.  The result: a fantastic experience for all involved - in the seats, on the stage and behind the curtain.