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7in7 Interview Series: How to Successfully Juggle Your Event & Sponsorship

Jen Puente is a true sponsorship maven. Over an 18-year career span at Wisconsin State Fair, she drove her way through the ranks and now stars the show as Chief Marketing Officer. Jen oversees annual advertising campaigns, sponsorships, social media, content creation, media buying and brand development.

Jen was instrumental in developing a thriving sponsorship program at the Wisconsin State Fair. Jen’s experience and enthusiasm helped her successfully navigate sponsorship efforts in 2020 when the pandemic forced the fair’s cancellation.

We were thrilled to welcome Jen to the 7in7 virtual stage for a recent interview. Here are a seven insights from her lively and informative conversation with Paula:

  1. Think outside the box… literally! When their event was canceled, Wisconsin State Fair pivoted their efforts and developed a new, innovative experience for its fans, vendors and sponsors. Tune in to the interview to hear about their “Fair Necessities” experience.
  2. Monetization should be at the forefront of everything you do. Every program, event and experience that you develop should be a sponsorship opportunity.
  3.  If you don’t ask, you don’t get it! Don’t be afraid to invite sponsors to jump on board as you shift your plans.
  4. How you prospect may look different. Of course, keep your finger on the pulse of who is spending in the marketplace, but also look at competitors. By identifying competitor spending, then making the connection, you give them a chance to step in and stand out.
  5. Cultivation takes time. Find sponsors that believe in your event and are willing to partner in small ways now, so when the bigger opportunity arises, they are already comfortable with your commitment to the partnership.
  6. Trust and transparency are essential. Building trust and staying transparent will give you the advantage of bringing new opportunities forward even when times are tough.
  7. Digital sponsor integrations are premier opportunities… when it’s the right fit. Ensure how you are talking about sponsors and telling their story fits with what your audience wants and how you are telling your story.

 

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