When organizing an event, planners must always answer one major question: How are we going to pay for this? While larger, established companies may have a generous marketing budget to dip into, smaller companies typically need some help. One of the best financing options is to get sponsorship for the event.
But finding sponsors can be akin to roller skating backwards up a rusty ladder – not exactly the easiest thing to do in the world. Sometimes proposals are outright rejected, sometimes you may not get a response at all.
Fear not, we’re going to tell you exactly how to get sponsorship for your event by sharing a few simple but effective strategies.
Show Me the Money: How to Get Event Sponsors
The Benefits of Event Sponsorship
Event sponsorship is great because it offers benefits to both the event planners and the sponsors.
Here are some of the benefits of an event having sponsors:
- Financing – As we just mentioned, you can get cash injection by asking one or more businesses/organizations to sponsor your event.
- Greater reach – If your sponsor has a large audience, you have an opportunity to promote your event to that audience. Locking in a well-known sponsor can definitely help you sell more event tickets.
- Brand lift – When you are connected to a reputable or “cool” brand it can give your own brand a major lift. This is why it’s so important to choose a sponsor that is a good fit for your event and audience.
How do brands benefit from sponsoring an event?
Event sponsorship is often part of a major company’s integrated marketing plan because these events are another way to get their brand messaging in front of a relevant audience. Sponsors not only are invited to display their branding at the event, they are also welcome to hand out marketing collateral. If these marketers can match their brand to the right event, they know they can gain visibility and access a large swath of potential customers.
How to Get Sponsorship for Your Event
Choose the Right Sponsor
Your very first task is to pick a sponsor that makes sense for your event. This should absolutely be a priority. Are they a good fit? Do you share the same target audience? Do they represent the same values?
Take some time to analyze the demographic of your attendees and consider your own objectives and values before identifying potential sponsors. Don’t rush this step. If you find the right fit, it may lead to a long-term mutually beneficial relationship.
In order to get sponsors for your event, you’ll need to create a proposal that gets attention. This doesn’t mean you write a proposal with a lot of fluff you hope impresses. On the contrary, you want to keep the proposal short and sweet, but make sure it provides pertinent information your potential sponsor will want to know. Include:
- Who you are
- What your event is about
- Where your event will be held
- Who will be attending (demographics)
- How many people will be attending
Think of this step the same way you would when preparing to go on a job interview. When approaching a prospective employer, you want to make it clear what you bring to the table. You also want your prospective employer to know you have taken the time to research their company and understand their business. The same care and research applies when reaching out to prospective sponsors.
The most important part of the proposal is the “cost of investment” for your sponsor. To come up with an accurate figure, you’ve got to evaluate what it is you have to offer. To think about how much your event is worth from the sponsors point of view, consider the following:
Clearly identify all of the places the sponsor will be able to display their brand. Typical places for branding include:
- banners over entrances and exits
- banners on stage
- logos on presentation screens
- refreshment zones
- event programs
- information points
- backstage area with sample products
- goody bags
- exhibiting opportunities
- speaking opportunities
- social media mentions or mentions on your website
These are just some of the branding possibilities available.
You’ve calculated the value your event offers, now it’s time to discuss potential reach. How many people will be attending your event? How many will receive goody bags? How many will hear a speaker’s presentation? Think about how many times your sponsors branding assets will be seen by each person at your event.
You now know the inventory of all marketing assets and the potential impressions each asset could get. Now it’s time to put a price on the overall sponsorship.
You may have a sponsor who you feel could cough up big bucks. Then again, you might be trying to attract startups and lower the cost of each asset.
There is no concrete equation to get an exact figure, but here are a few things to base your prices on:
- How many people will be coming to the event
- Demographics of your audience
- How easy are these people to reach via other marketing channels
- The size of the business you are approaching for sponsorship
These bullets will help you price each asset fairly.
Managing the Sponsorship
Congratulations! You did the math, made sure all your i’s were dotted and t’s crossed, and you landed an awesome sponsor for your event. Now what?
It’s important to carefully manage the relationship. You’ll first want to have an agreement or contract signed. This will have all of the specific details as well as any terms and agreements.
Once all of the “business” has been settled, it’s now time to treat your sponsor like gold. Choose one specific point person on your team to act as the liaison between you and the sponsor to make sure questions and concerns are always answered in a timely manner.
Hopefully, these tips will help you land the perfect sponsor for your next event. Remember, if your event is a success and your sponsor is happy, they’ll gladly work with you again in the future!
If you need help building sponsorship packages and/or managing sponsors for your next event, click here to start a conversation with us!
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