Sponsorships in Events: The Power of Collaboration

Blue, green and yellow bubbles with the text Sponsorships in Events: The Power of Collaboration
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Episode description

Sponsorships can be a great way to collaborate with another company to create a great experience at your next event. When you connect with a sponsor, not only do both parties get the chance to step in front of a new audience, but it also opens an opportunity for your guests to get more out of your experience.

In this episode, Nick Kopach, Director of National Event Sales & Programs at Topgolf, joins the show and shares how to create a great partnership with a sponsor. By looking through the lens of Cvent’s relationship with Topgolf, you’ll begin to learn what can make a sponsorship successful. Discover the importance behind planning a sponsorship so that everyone involved takes something away from it. You’ll also hear some examples of how Topgolf has helped to elevate Cvent’s events in the past, and learn how to measure the impact of a sponsorship.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The story of how Cvent’s partnership with Topgolf began
  • How to create an engaging sponsorship experience
  • The metrics of success that make for a great sponsorship

Things to listen for:

[01:55] Getting to know Nick

[06:18] The start of Cvent’s partnership with Topgolf

[17:41] Measuring sponsorship success

[20:38] Creating a partnership that benefits both parties

[25:56] How Topgolf creates great sponsor experiences

Meet your host

Rachel Andrews, Senior Director of Global Meetings & Events at Cvent
Paulina Giusti, Senior Manager of Meetings and Events, at Cvent

Meet your guest speakers

Nick Kopach, Director of National Event Sales & Programs at Topgolf

Episode Transcript

Nick Kopach: My favorite conversations when, um, I do have, you know, sometimes a female see golf in our title and they are just like, no way. I'm not like, Hey, we're not a match.

And like that. I love those conversations cuz it's like, well wait a minute, have you experienced it? Have you been to Topgolf? And look, we're not saying it's, it's everyone's cup of tea. It's for everyone. But kind of

Intro: Great events create great brands, and it takes a village to put on an event that engages, excites and connects audiences to your brand. And we're that village. I'm Alyssa. I'm Paulina. And I'm Rachel. And you're listening to great  events, the podcast for all people interested in events and marketing.

Rachel: Hi everyone. What is going on in the wide, wide world of events? My name is Rachel and welcome to another great episode of great events. I'm joined with my co host, Paulina Giusti. Today we have a fun one. We are discussing sponsorship success at events, but more specifically a sponsor success story we have seen recently with our amazing partners at Topgolf.

Um, I'd like to introduce our good friend, Nick. Oh my God. I just realized, I want to make sure I'm saying your last name

Nick Kopach: Kopach. H is silent.

Paulina: Kopach.

Nick Kopach: Yep. H is silent. You're good. Yeah Kopach is the most common, but yeah, the H is silent. Yep.

Paulina: And we're going to put the Kopach on that.

Nick Kopach: There we go.

Paulina: We have a fun one. Take it from there.

Rachel: Yeah, I didn't do that today. We have a fun one. We are discussing sponsorship success at events, but more specifically a success story we have seen recently with our amazing partners at Topgolf. I'd like to introduce our good friend Nick Kopach, who is, , the Director of National Events Sales and Programs at Topgolf.

Nick, welcome to the podcast.

Nick Kopach: Man, awesome to be here with you guys. Yeah. Thanks for having me, you guys, I remember when I found out about your podcast, I think I was nudging you at some point, like, how can I get on it? I'm super passionate about the relationship we have with you guys and see Vince So excited to chat today.

Rachel: Well, before we get started on the topic of sponsorship success, Nick, why don't you give our listeners just a little bit of background on you and Topgolf. Why do you love events? I know you go to like a crap load of events a year, so you're, you're the event guy. So tell us all of the things about you.

Nick Kopach: Yeah, I'm a Pittsburgh guy, born and raised, so I got a lot of northeast in my blood. I've been, I think I'm a converted Texan at this point, cuz I've been here for over 10 years. I think that's what they say here. So, um, I'm in Dallas. I reside here with my family, my wife and kids. And, um, my background's all sports and entertainment.

So, um, started out, um, doing ticket sales in arena football, minor league baseball. Dallas Cowboys had a stint with Dave and Busters for about four years, um, and then went back and forth with Topgolf in the Dallas Cowboys and Legends hospitality. So, um, now been with Topgolf though for collectively nine years, and so I've seen Topgolf when it was 15 locations here in the US and now we're over 80 in the US and our international.

Yeah, international growth is also expanding rapidly. So exciting times at Topgolf. Feel very fortunate. Um, To be a part of, you know, Topgolf and really, I, I, you know, started up our national sales division, if you will, um, back in 2016. So I'm super proud of what we've accomplished. Um, pre covid, post covid, all of that.

I know we don't even like saying that word, so I'm going to move on. , but I think for me, Um, yeah, I see over a national events team and also a national inside sales team. So all of our national programs, um, that we have at Topgolf, we work directly with all 80 plus properties and our onsite teams. Um, one team.

The national events team really helps streamline the booking process to make it super turnkey for meeting and event planners when they're activating programs and events in multi-city, um, in one swoop at the same time. Um, and then a national inside sales team that also helps pre-sale our new venues.

They do a lot of blocking and tackling. Um, you guys can imagine we're, we're drinking from the fire hose a lot when we open venues and locations, so they're there as extra support. Um, we can plug and play them. Um, when we have promotions. We have a lot of internal growth at Topgolf or, um, any leave of absence or anything like that that team's able to help assist at any of our properties.

So, um, really awesome opportunity that I have here at Topgolf.

Nick Kopach: You asked me why I love events, so hold on. I gotta answer that one. So. Man, fun is in our core values, guys. I mean, fun. I mean, Topgolf does it right? I, I feel like, um, know, we're passionate about creating moments that matter. We like to say internally, but I, I think we've done so many unique events now we're, we're dabbling in so many different things.

Um, you know, working with you guys, we did a pretty special event with you guys last year around Cvent Connect. I know we'll probably get into that a little bit. Um, but ultimately, no, I, I think we love. We love making life easier. Um, I think Topgolf we're very turnkey. I keep saying that. Um, we streamline a lot.

We make it easy to activate events. Um, you know, our, our, the models of our Topgolf venues relatively look the same. You're getting the same experience everywhere. But I think for me it's, um, it's, it's the ability to be innovative and creative and, and do things. And I think planners enjoy it. Topgolf is a unique event.

Venue and, um, so we like to get creative with you and, and accomplish your goals, um, at Topgolf. So, um, and yeah, I'm just, I'm a pretty fun guy to hang out with. And these two.

Rachel: vouch for that.

Paulina: We both can.

Rachel: We both can. Yeah. Well that's a great segue into, you know, being creative and, um, transitioning that into your event design and, and having a successful, , sponsorship. So I'm going to, I'm going to transition to Paulina. Paulina is really instrumental in helping this relationship kind of blossom into.

Being a successful sponsorship and, um, designing this into our overall events program, especially at Connect. Um, and beyond that, we partner with Topgolf on a bunch of different things, but this isn't a full Cvent commercial here. We, we do want to talk about some of the, the success we've seen just in general with sponsorships and, and how you can take that back to your own, um, sponsorships and programs.

But, um, Paulina kicked us off with. Um, kind of our journey along the way, and let's just chat about sponsorships at events.

Paulina: Yeah, I love that. I mean, you, you hit the nail right on the head. We love to have fun and as we look at designing. You know, unique experiences for our customers, for prospects, for partners. At the center of it all it should be an equal balance of, you know, enrichment, whether it's content or networking.

But it should also equally be fun. And, you know, as we think about designing Cvent Connect or other programs, you know, even like Rachel was saying, our, our total event program, there's always gotta be that piece of fun and, you know, Sometimes attached to fun is a, a pretty pi price tag. So it pays well to have really great relationships, partnerships, and, and sponsors that are a part of your total event program.

So back in, um, 2019. Um, you know, we were thinking about how do we engage the unique venue space to be a part of the conversation at Cvent Connect, right? We've got all of these amazing event professionals joining us on site for content networking, um, what have you, and we have all of these destinations and traditional hotel venues, bbs, if you will.

But we really wanted to kind of bring that added layer of uniqueness. And so queue our outreach to Nick and team, um, at the time we were, um, , aligned with a company called Capal and they had a great working relationship with these sort of turnkey custom experiences, if you will. Um, and we had this amazing activation on site when we were at the MGM Grand.

Um, Nick, it. Tell us a little bit about it so people can get a visual, but it was the swing suite, right?

Nick Kopach: Yeah. Yep. Yeah, so that was a, yeah, that was the first time we, you know, we joined you guys for Cvent Connect as Topgolf. And, um, that was, yeah, that was an awesome activation. I remember, um, you know, how it was positioned at the, a newly updated, amazing MGM Conference Center. I'll add. Um, but no, I think for us, you know, We love the fact that we went in as a partner, we got hosted by our appointments on trade show floor day, but it was like, Hey, what else can we do?

Um, you know, to reach, reach out and, and touch more meeting and event planners through this massive conference. Um, and in that was a great way. So for us, um, as Topgolf continues to grow and evolve, You can experience Topgolf in a lot of different ways. That's one of them. So, um, our swing suite business, that's a big pillar of our business.

Whether it's a permanent install, um, like many of you might have seen, um, inside a restaurant, casino, hotel resort. Are the main, you know, popular ones where we put those in at, um, I think golf simulators. Um, but this one we now have swing suites that travel that are mobile. We've even seen planners bring them into their ballrooms, um, during a convention and they're constantly thinking of different ways. How do I engage my guests and or engage my internal associates through this three, four day conference?

Um, so that's definitely a piece to what we do and we activated on your trade show floor. And it was an awesome way to, you know, again, continue to educate, um, meeting and event planners on Topgolf, um, but let them experience us a little bit differently. Um, so that was a huge partnership for us. And yeah, transition into a lot more with you guys after.

Paulina: Yeah. And I think one of the cool things that Topgolf kind of affords the industry and, and this is golf in general too, right? Golf is kind of sexy now. It's kind of hot. It's, you know, there's a lot to be, um, you know, Admiring about it. Right. It's kind of the new hot sport I think out there. And, you know, historically I feel like women have not been big fans of golf.

Right. Or not necessarily felt like it's been something that someone's, you know, a female would want to do. And being a predominantly female industry, you know, we were thinking this is going to be a wow factor. Like you can still swing a club in heels. Like you can still have a great time while playing golf.

Like it doesn't have to be reserved. For a unique audience subset. So I think that was another layer of that fun that I was talking about, that Topgolf Al also brought to call it our show floor. But in addition to it, you know, we're always looking to find unique ways for people to engage, to network and um, you know, as we think about it, From an a singular event perspective, um, you know, we saw the success that the partnership had in 2019 and we knew going into future years that there was going to definitely be something between us, um, , together in the future.

Obviously, fast forward from 2020 to 2021, um, In 2022, I should say, actually we kind of reconvened, right? We got the gang back together in 2022, and we were like, how do we get you guys involved? Because what worked in 2019, we can definitely expand upon that in a greater scale where we can maximize the mutual benefits for each other.

And you know, you all, like you said, have been growing so quickly and wanting to promote all of the new, um, locations that you have from a national reach perspective and. Cvent Connect is a national conference, right? Like we bring people from all across the country. And so we wanted to tell a pretty similar story and um, I'm just going to kind of get into it.

Feel free to interrupt me, but we talked about, um, you know, what can we do together and, you know, we were looking for an evening event experience. And Rach, I feel like we were like,

Rachel: So you're saying there's a chance?

Paulina: It's like, is Topgolf going to be our evening event experience? Are we not going to be in a ballroom? Are we not going to be in a club?

Like are we really kind of pushing the boundaries? And we loved it. We were so excited to do something. Call it out of the box, like you said, a unique venue that has all of the checkboxes that we would need to, to check for an evening event. Great music. Got it. Indoor outdoor environment. Got it. Amazing food and beverage.

Obviously and then select unique VIP experiences. Like you guys really have all the bell bells and whistles.

Nick Kopach: Don't forget, I mean, the jams were pumping. DJ was going, Rachel was busting out her dance moves. It was a, it was a night.

Rachel: It's scary when that happens, but it sometimes does. I think the best part about, well, unique venues in general, but Topgolf specifically for the, the event we hosted a few years back and what we're doing at Connect this year is we can, like Paulina was saying, customize it. So like I, I remember we had some people by the pool that were just chilling at Topgolf that maybe didn't want to play, and then we had a

Paulina: Because Topgolf, Las Vegas has a pool. Can we just mic

Nick Kopach: Two of them. Two.

Rachel: two of them. Yeah. And they were hanging out just having more in depth conversations cuz they didn't want to be by louder music. So there was that, there was like a lounge area that people could hang out in more of the air conditioning and eat food. Like there's just like areas that you can do unique things in.

And then the v i p things, I think the coolest thing was reserving the bays for the different accounts and having that like more intimate. , those intimate conversations, but then not being like, cuz I feel like you go to some, some of these events and you're assigned this table and this ballroom and that is the only people that you talk to all night.

And it's like, you either have a really awesome table or you're like, God damn. Woo! This is a great event. Um, no, I'm just kidding. But it, the, you either go and, but with Topgolf you could go and you can interact with your set, you know, bay of people or you can network with the rest of the group. And I thought that was really nice cuz you got that like, shared experience time with people and then you got the extra networking if you will.

Nick Kopach: Yeah, definitely. Um, you know, I'll just get piggyback off of both of you. I, I feel like. You know, Paulina, you mentioned, um, you know, those are my favorite conversations when, um, I do have, you know, sometimes a female sees golf in our title and they are just like, no way. I'm not like, Hey, we're not a match.

And like that. I love those conversations cuz it's like, well wait a minute, have you experienced it? Have you been to Topgolf? And look, we're not saying it's, it's everyone's cup of tea. It's for everyone. But kind of, we, we kinda do and we do feel like we're, everyone's game and all age ranges, all skill levels.

Um, you can have fun at Topgolf and. You know, usually changes after we get someone out to see it and experience it. But we're proud to say 60% of our demographics, non-golfers, um, 50% female. I mean, that's, that's huge. And you mentioned it. Golf is growing. We're we love, you know, being Callaway, Topgolf, Callaway brands, now we get an opportunity to grow this amazing game with them and be that gateway.

Um, we're seeing people pick up golf clubs, um, you know, at Topgolf, and then they're going to green grass and they're playing 18 holes on a, on a Saturday. So, um, it's been an amazing partnership with Callaway. But going back to the event, the coolest thing about your audience at Cvent Connect was, It was so special cuz I remember we had levels three and level four complete buyouts rented out, you know, specifically for the event showcase.

And you know, it was an awesome showcase for us. But everyone was playing every, like, sometimes you'll see, you know, people sitting behind the bay having a cocktail, eating our delicious food. But everyone was engaged. And I remember a couple times at a couple groups of people say, Hey Nick, like can you help us find a bay?

I'm like, oh yeah, no problem. Come on down to level three. And. I was like, oh shit, everyone, every bay is occupied. And I think, if I recall correctly, we had it for three hours. We extended a fourth hour. That's how much fun everyone was having and for us, um, that translated to some amazing post event connect conversations.

And, um, I had A really nice amount of ROI that was tracked on the backend from that event reception. But, um, just we knew that specific partnership and event. Coming out of 2020 and 21, like you said, um, we threw some extra dollars more than we normally would invest in something like that. But, um, shout out to our marketing team and leadership was like all in and it made sense.

We showed them who attends and we know the reputation you guys have. So for us, um, the payoff and trade off was so, um, so amazing and so in so many amazing ways.

Rachel: blank, like roi. How are you calculating that, Nick? Is it people walking up to you and saying, oh my God, this event is amazing here is, here are all my RFPs for the next year? Like, is it that, is it straight up those conversations being had? Is it the, because you mentioned you have 80 locations is what you said there.

Nick Kopach: Yeah.

Rachel: I imagine the national partnership level of like, cuz we, you know, we do, we call 'em factory programs where we have just hundreds and hundreds of these programs where we need to put them somewhere. And a lot of times it's easier to, to do one multi city or multi, um, venue, R f P, where we just get 'em all in one, one location.

Are you getting a lot of that? Like, take us through that 

Nick Kopach: Yeah. I mean, there's a couple different ways. Um, it's a great question, Rach. I, I feel like. We, you know, every supplier struggles with tracking. ROI, we all talk to each other. You know, a, as a national sales team, we're going out to these shows and, you know, the IMEX is, and WEC, NPIs and Connects and you guys, and, um, you know, they might talk to me or someone on the national team, but then they're going directly to, um, you know, our Philly location or our Pittsburgh location or DC.

And sometimes that's not tracked on the backend, but we ran a promo. Um, so it was, you know, an incentive off their Topgolf play if you book in the next three months. And it was tracked in Salesforce on the backend and that was easy to show leadership. Um, so that was a great tactic. But yet, like in terms of quality conversations in the reach that it gave us, I think Rach, that and Paulina, the biggest win, and I'm going to yell out of company cuz um, fidelity, you have a special place in our hearts.

Um, man, so they are in, based in Boston obviously. Um, we are not there, we're about to open, um, this year, but Boston people have not been happy with me. When they see me at trade shows, they're like, when are you coming? Like, when is Topgolf opening? And um, I, I think for us, like we ended up, I guess they came to the evening event.

It is, you know, the C Vent Connect opening reception at Topal Vegas. We didn't have a hosted buyer appointment with them the next day, but they came and they stalked us on the trade show floor and grabbed me and ed our top, our um, director of sales in Las Vegas and grabbed us in between a meeting and said, oh my God, like, we're in Boston.

We're Fidelity. We've never been. Never experienced it. We had a freaking blast last night. We have an idea. So they immediately, they had a need for a venue, , for a lot of employee appreciation events in the fall last year. And I'm sure enough they committed to 35 cities for an employee appreciation day for Fidelity Associates at Topgolf Nation nationwide.

So that was. Obviously a big hit, we like to say. Um, definitely a home run. Fidelity. They've been a great partner. They're actually doing the same thing this year, so they came back to us again, and that happened because of, you know, that showcase and getting them out. Remember I talked about the biggest challenge sometimes is if you don't experience Topgolf, you still think golf?

Oh, it looks like a driving range with food like, But sometimes you go play it and you know, you're out there, you know, hitting balls in a target and you're scoring points, you're beating a golfer next to you and you have bragging rights. It, it kind of, you know, segues into holy shit. I love golf. Like I'm, I'm loving Topgolf.

And, um, they felt that that night and they've been awesome, that's been an awesome relationship for us that we did not have. Um, prior to that, that partnership with you guys last year.

Paulina: Can I get a little into the event design piece of this, because. We're talking a lot about the, um, opening evening event, but I think I want to give a little insight to some of the event professionals listening in as to the conversations we had that were crafting, you know, what this sponsorship looked like.

We didn't want it to be a turnkey. Okay, you're sponsoring this, you're sponsoring this, this is what you get. Boom, boom. Done. Right? We wanted it, like I was saying before, maximum value for a mutual benefit. And what's important for me is, you know, we're, we're storytellers and so I want to make sure that your brand is both telling the best story you can to our attendees.

But I want to make sure it's woven throughout the conference and it makes sense, right? Like sometimes you don't. Sometimes sponsors are a square peg, ground hole for the story that you're telling, and they can only appease one part of it. But I think for you guys, there was this larger story that we wanted to tell and so I wanted to figure out a way to.

Give you guys essentially a footprint each day. Um, and that's kind of what we've been thinking about this year and how to maximize, you know, your story across all days of the conference. And so, um, you know, we were thinking about there's this huge 90 degree l e d wall when you first enter the conference space.

And we were like, Do you guys have a great sizzle reel? We'd love to highlight great visuals as people are walking in, but tell the story of like, Topgolf, right? Like that's like one piece of the puzzle that we thought about, you know, visual representation on the show floor without you all necessarily feeling responsible for activating it, right?

Like this is something that people see every morning when they walk down. Um, Pass registration to, you know, grab their breakfast, a really great sizzle reel on the wall. Um, you know, other elements that we thought about for you all were obviously, you know, activating you guys on the trade show floor. We started small last year, but obviously you guys are getting, you know, more prominent with your space and there's so much value in those pre-scheduled appointments.

But making sure that you guys are feeling. You know, supported in those appointments. I'm sure I had appointments launched last week. I'm not going to grill you on how many appointments you've accepted yet, but

Nick Kopach: Yeah.

Paulina: It's telling that story where, you know, day one, you see this, you know, see the sponsor in this capacity, day two, you see them as the evening event host, right.

Day three, they're activated on the trade show floor. And so I think it's, you know, planners who are thinking about developing their sponsorship book or their prospectus, you know, For these larger partnerships where you see a ton of brand alignment or value alignment, you know, think about how you can drip out that promotion every day of the event, and it's not just one sort of consolidated effort, because I think that also is a game changer in terms of how you engaged with people, right?

You said, oh, did you see our, you know, video when you first got in? Or, how was the party for you last night? Right? Like, it allows this sort of threaded conversation all day throughout or every day throughout the conference.

Nick Kopach: yeah. You guys certainly, um, you know, Yeah, we had a really, let me pause cuz I feel like we did, like the Topgolf was in front, front and center. Um, throughout, like leading up to pre, you know, pre-event connect. We were all over the website. Um, we were book, we were actually able to. Have site tours, like sign ups and on on your website, which drove us additional traffic.

There was that, right? We forgot about that. And then, yeah, there was all kinds of assets from a marketing standpoint, who doesn't love some branding and signage and the sizzle reel, real running, um, all over that, that, that video wall was super cool by registration. That was an awesome way to make a splash on day one.

And, um, then I felt like, yeah, I mean, obviously. Like the reception was the night before appointments. So that was like perfect. Right? So people got to experience us the night before and then we had, you know, 30 some appointments the next day, um, with planners and then people just grabbing us on the trade show floor.

Like I talked about fidelity, that happened with more, more than a handful of different planners out there. So yeah, I think it was awesome. You know, the whole thing. I think, you know, figuring out a way to, you know, , promote Topgolf. Topgolf events and educate the marketplace on our full event capabilities and what we do is that was super powerful.

Rachel: Well, good thing we're doing more, more things this year at

Nick Kopach: This year. Right. A couple different things. Yeah. We're excited about that too.

Rachel: Awesome.

Paulina: go ahead. Rach.

Rachel: No, you go.

Paulina: I was just going to say, so, you know, as we think about, you know, we've, we've shared a lot about what we've partnered with together from more of like a b2b, you know, we're a tech annual user conference, but I know you all have been super involved in, um, some major B2C transient market, um, experiences and events.

Can you just share, you know, some of the cool things that you've seen done that could be inspiring for other attendee or other planners listening in, they're like, oh my gosh, I didn't even think about utilizing Topgolf's venue in that capacity, um, that they could use for their own events. So,

Nick Kopach: Yeah, totally. I, I think like, just naturally, sometimes planners will look at a Topgolf and we have all our standard Topgolf models, three levels, a hundred, two hitting bays, and they'll like, they'll relate it to like, A sports arena or stadium where they're like, oh yeah, you have your individual suite and it's great for small events and whatnot, but they don't know you can buy out a whole level or even the full venue.

Um, for up to 1500 guests in our normal prototype venue. Vegas obviously holds more, it's four levels with those rooftop pools that you talked about. So that's 3,500 we can get in there. So I think we've seen, we've seen companies just take over, whether they're in town for a convention in Vegas, they buy out our Vegas venue.

We actually have one on Monday. Exciting stuff. But I think you can transform a Topgolf venue into, you know, just like any buyout, you know? Yes. The game's there. Yes. The hybrid spaces are there. Um, it's built in fun, awesome food and beverage and music. But we've seen clients really go all out from a branding, um, standpoint.

We've seen concerts on the green, like that one comes to mind for you. Country music fans, the ACMs were here, um, in Dallas, which was awesome that the star, my old stomping grounds with the Cowboys. Um, they got that deal done to host the ACMs at the Star here in Frisco, Texas. And, um, two nights before, or actually the night before the show, Um, the Lifting Lives Foundation, , the A C m Lifting Lives Foundation hosted their charity golf tournament, an event, um, with us at Topgolf, the Colony here in Dallas, north Dallas.

And you know, when we say concert on the green, think about as you're hitting off your. Outta your bay into the outfield. We actually had staging set up and turned around facing the bays. So think about as you're in your bay, or like a suite in this case you're watching, you know, Jason Aldean and Laney Wilson perform right in front of you in a small, intimate atmosphere.

Right? Um, so that was.

Rachel: aiming for them in the middle. Is that

Nick Kopach: Well, no, no, no, no thanks. Should preface, the golf tournament happens and then the amazing, um, Topgolf operations team wheels out a stage onto the field, and then we start to set up the concert element. And yet, rich, the balls are shut down at that point. We don't want to, safety's also a core value for us.

Um, but no, really, really cool, um, that that specific type event is definitely growing at Topgolf. Um, you know, we hosted Snoop Dogg in Oklahoma City. Um, Jordan Spieth, professional golfer, he hosts his, his annual charity, um, golf tournament with us at Topgolf as well, and does a concert on the green rotating country music artists usually, um, for his, the, and that's a private event and some can be public and, um, we're open like to having those type of conversations.


Rachel: What's the coolest one you've seen?

Nick Kopach: that one, the ACM one

Rachel: or b2c?

Nick Kopach: Oh, that ACM one was pretty cool. It was pretty juiced up. There was a lot of bells and whistles that went into that one. Um, you know, you girls love that. Kendra, Kendra Scott. We had a Kendra Scott activation. Like the girls were pretty happy, you know,

Paulina: she was our keynote speaker previously.

Nick Kopach: Was she really?

That's so cool. Yeah. I have enough of her stuff. And my h my wife has a ton of her stuff at the house

Paulina: Well, she's a Dallas native too, right?

Nick Kopach: Austin, I think, I know she's Texas, but yeah, her stores are everywhere. But no, that one was just super cool. Like we had, um, gosh, we had like, you know, a whiskey tasting. We had like Kendra Scott popup booth.

We had, um, so many, a lot of celebrities, you know, we're in the building that night. You can imagine what comes with that. Um, And yeah, it was just an amazing atmosphere, but like it wasn't a normal just pop-up stage. I mean, this thing was massive, so, Just the whole setup that went into it was really unique.

Um, we also just opened, hosted, um, we called it the Topgolf Open. If you saw any media coverage out at Topgolf El Segundo in la that venue has been on fire for us. Um, the LA market, we finally got to them too. They were unhappy with me for a long time as well. I'd get a lot of flack for not. When I'm out at trade shows, they're like, when are you coming to la?

And we finally opened up two there. And um, right before the US opened, we did a Topgolf open. We turned it into a carnival, literally had a Ferris wheel on site and there was a skate park out there. There were so many different things. And that's another thing, clients are using us for parking lot activations.

Hence that one. But even like a b2b, right? You mentioned that guys. We're seeing clients come in and use our parking lot for a road show or product launch. They're demoing a new product, they're bringing in prospective clients, and then they're schmoozing inside Topgolf with food, drinks and music and just having a great time.

Paulina: The versatility is just amazing.

Nick Kopach: I have to plug the planning element. The planning element on that is easy at Topgolf, where you can work with one point of contact to activate a roadshow or product launch and book your whole series. One contract, one payment, 1.1, one salesperson you're working with.

Rachel: Love that.

Nick Kopach: Yeah.

Rachel: Well, Nick, I appreciate you joining us today. I want to ask one more question though. What else do you want to share with our listeners? What else does Topgolf have on tap this year? What else do you want to tell our event prof and hospitality professional listeners that you're on today?

Nick Kopach: Yeah, no, thank you guys for having me. I think a couple final thoughts. I have one, um, one internal thought about Topgolf that I'll talk about, and one is just for other suppliers that fall in the unique venue space too. Um, internal thought. We're growing by 10 to 12 locations a year. We're popping up in, um, gosh, Raleigh, Durham's coming soon.

King of Prussia and Philly just opened South Boston and Canton Boston's about to open. Um, Mobile. Alabama's about to open Pompano Beach, St. Pete outside of Tampa. I'm going around the horn here, just trying to see if I'm, I know I'm going to miss one. Um, I told you we just got two in la We're in Seattle now.

Um, about to open two in San Diego next year. More West Coast love. So, um, yeah, we're not going to stop growing, but I, I think like, you know, for events. You know, we feel like we're super versatile to be able to host, um, is that one stop shop. We can host companies for team building. We have dedicated theme team building challenges now with a relay challenge, a trivia challenge, a scramble format, um, with in-house train facilitators that put on the team builder.

We're great for summer picnics, holiday parties, great for full venue buyouts, all of that. We talk about parking lot activations. One big segment too is charity golf tournaments. , we we're seeing a lot more clients teaming up with a charity and hosting an amazing event. We now have a new product where it's multi-city, so if you guys are in dc, Denver, Dallas, Phoenix, We can all play simultaneous competition.

Topgolf at the same time. Our new multi venue live leaderboard. So that's a cool way. Um, we have clients utilizing us. They're passing around like a Stanley Cup trophy, if you will. We have clients use us quarterly and its internal bragging rights, which we think was a product that our tech team worked on.

During Covid, we kept hearing. Hey Nick, we can't travel. Hey, our budgets have been slashed, but how do you still engage associates and employees? And we felt like this is a great way to do it. I don't know of a lot of, um, team building products that are satellite, if you will, and we can do satellite meetings and then transition in your satellite team building.

Nick Kopach: So the last thing I'll say, um, you know, for other suppliers that fall in the, the, the unique venue, entertainment venue space.

Um, we didn't do trade shows at Topgolf, um, you know, up until like 2017 and, you know, that was just a few 17 and 18, and then we started to grow in 19. And really, you know, post covid, we, we've done a lot more and I think, yeah, of course, it's about figuring out ways to track o r oi to where you're, you're proving out 10 times of what you're spending.

That helps with leadership, getting those approvals. Um, but I just think there's a lot to be said for meeting and event planners being open to hosting outside of the ballroom and looking for different, different activities than just a restaurant. And look, I love a good steakhouse. I love, you know, our hotel-ers refer us to a ton of business.

I think we've established top Topgolf great relationships. The Marriotts, the Hiltons, the Omnis out there. And we're, you know, we're, we're sharing clients at the end of the day, so we're not afraid to go into a Cvent CONNECT, and, you know, shout out to Barbara Bowman at Live Nation. We team up all the time together.

We all share the same clients. I mean, who has a venue where IMEX is being hosted, or Cvent is, or connect like we're teaming up together, um, in unique ways to promote unique venues. So I, I would say, It's well worth it. You know, the tracking ROI piece was the big piece for us, but, um, can't say enough great things about the Cvent team.

Um, you guys, I feel like we're just friends at this point. I feel like I'm in your locker room half the time. Um, And I feel like that's, you know, that's our industry though. I feel like the relationship piece, that's what drives me to want and never leave this industry, is the relationships we build and, um, being innovative and creative together and looking out for one another.

So, um, really enjoyed the time today guys, and an awesome opportunity to join your successful podcast. So thanks for having me.

Rachel: Oh, thanks for joining us, Nick. I think, I think you hit it spot on with, you know, with all the sourcing challenges that are going on unique event spaces and. Our challenge of always trying to reinvent experiences, um, you know, this is, this is the way to go is, you know, working with those unique event, event spaces like a Topgolf to help you in your event program.

So, um, I think it's, it's, it should be top of mind that you can source more than just hotels, um, at all times. So, Hey, major props to you and the Topgolf team. You all are crushing it. I mean, just you rattling off all the stuff that you're opening. I don't know when you sleep, but,

Nick Kopach: Yeah.

Rachel: probably just like us, we don't sleep here, so,

Nick Kopach: Yeah, no doubt. You guys are moving and grooving as well. And um, yeah, no, definitely Rach, definitely, um, excited to continue to grow with you guys.

Rachel: Perfect. All right. Well thanks. Thanks for joining us today and to our rockstar listeners, thanks for joining us. If you have any additional questions, um, we also will share some resources that Nick talked about today on our podcast website. but, if you have anything you want to share with us, drop us a note, or DM us or on LinkedIn.

Thanks for joining the Great Events Podcast. See you next time.