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7in7 Interview Series: The Art of Mastering Hospitality

In this exciting new 7in7, Paula Beadle is joined by Don Dow, events industry maverick who creates hospitality experiences with a dash of international flair. Don not only has access to the world’s most sought-after and iconic travel, sports, and entertainment lifestyle events. He also has worldwide relationships with business leaders, athletes, entertainers, chefs, curators and experiential leaders. After 20 years of taking the industry by storm, his firm DowEvents is known as a distinguished host to sports and entertainment’s pinnacle events, including two decades at the NFL’s Super Bowl, PGA Ryder Cup, numerous Olympic Games, World Cup Soccer, US Open, and many more.

Don joined Paula from Augusta, Georgia at the Masters Tournament, where he was overseeing hospitality for sponsors at the 2021 Masters event. He shared his keys to sponsorship success, including how he knocks hospitality out of the park. Read a few highlights below!

 1. It’s Going to Be Mardi Gras Every Day, Everywhere

Like many of us, sponsors have seen the evolution of event participation and hospitality over the past 16 months. From complete shutdown to a current state of slow return, Dow shared how he sees the gradual shift toward full-blown participation in 2022. Dow is predicting the hospitality and activation opportunity floodgates will be fully open for 2022.

 2. Last Man Standing

The time to grab market share is now, and you’ll likely see some of the most incredible opportunities in your career. The fallout of COVID-19 has caused business closures and layoffs across the board. The consolidation effect has left those still standing to gain resources and interest in making investment decisions that may not have been feasible or available before.

 3. Build Your Team Now

Events and properties may not have the capital to make hiring decisions now, but it is imperative for them to nevertheless prepare however they can, and work toward team development and growth. They will need all hands on deck to make sure they can manage and execute sponsor relationships.

Ready to take your team to the next level? Learn more about how we can help!

 4. Deliver, Deliver, Deliver!

Dow’s success has been rooted in making sure sponsor agreements are fully executed. Making himself accessible and accountable in sponsor relationships is critically important. Additionally, it adds to the sponsor’s overall experience, ultimately building rapport for future opportunities.

 5. Dig in to Discover What’s Important

As sponsorship has evolved over the past few decades, so have the expectations of sponsors. For example, logo placement used to be a premier benefit. Now, unique activations, including hospitality, are considered among the most valuable assets. Sponsorship sellers have to dig in and find out what is most valuable to the sponsor and then develop those unique opportunities.

 6. Antsy for Activation

Sponsors have missed the energy and excitement that activations at live events bring. They are not interested in virtual events or sitting on another zoom event – they are ready to re-emerge, and with gusto! Dow believes there will be an explosion in activation incentives. Events and properties should get prepared now.

 7. Take this Time to Build Your Relationships

With a slow return of the events industry this year, now is the perfect opportunity to work on your sponsor relationships. As events and properties experienced over the past year, sponsors were more inclined to support your efforts, despite cancellation and closures, in honor of established, long-term relationships.

 


 

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