It might come as some surprise to people that the subject of sponsorships still eludes event organizers or conference planners. It is, after all, not an easy task to find a company or corporation that’s willing to sponsor anything that costs money at your event these days, especially in today’s challenging economic situation.
While there may be some truth to this, event organizers can easily overcome these challenges by understanding the value of sponsorship programs for both sponsors and conference planners and maximizing relationships with sponsors. Read more on how to get sponsors for your event.
1. Prepare a sponsorship proposal
Before your initial approach to a potential sponsor, it’s important to at least have a sponsorship proposal written out which highlights the anticipated impressions that their sponsorship would yield. It should also cover the marketing opportunities available at the event, potential sponsorship opportunities and who your event audiences will be. Especially with large corporations, they are far more interested in seeing the value in their monetary support, more than how their money will help you with your event. While you’re at it, be sure to tailor your proposal according to the type of sponsorship package you’re offering to your potential sponsor.
2. Conduct research on your prospects
It’s certainly worth the effort to speculate what you can provide for your sponsors as a way of helping them discern what’s in it for them. As an event organizer, you’ll want to take a time to learn as much as you can about the organizations and companies you intend to pitch to. Knowing who your prospects’ target audiences and key values are, understanding their corporate identities and figuring out their goals in advance, puts you in a much better position for pitching a sponsorship opportunity that will surely interest them.
3. Set different sponsorship types
Among the many steps to selling sponsorships for your event, defining each sponsorship level and the benefits included, are the most important factors. Having a wide range of sponsorship levels gives interested corporations, companies, and organizations more options to consider a sponsorship program that suits their marketing needs and budget. They also allow you as an event organizer to monitor the various sponsors and their entitlements, depending on their choice of sponsorship buy-ins.
- Publicity in your online marketing or event website
- Featured advertisements in newsletters and event materials
- Visibility in your event banner and décor
- Title sponsorship
- Tickets to any VIP receptions at the event
- Reserved tables for sponsors
Need some ideas for sponsorships? Check out 10 sponsorship ideas to use for your next event.
4. Follow up with your prospects
Acquiring sponsors is very much like sales. While it’s not always easy and quick with your prospects, it’s important to remember to always remain consistent and maintain close contact, especially when you don’t hear from your leads right away. Follow up with calls, emails and even voice messages. Do these in moderation, bearing in mind to always keep your options open as you continue with your constant search of other potential leads.
5. Nourish your relationships
The way to cultivate your relationships with your sponsors is not by giving them the impression that you only care about their money. The first thing to do after receiving their checks is to send out thank you letters to your contributors. Be sure to remind them of their sponsorship benefits in accordance with the sponsorship level they bought into. It’s also likely that your sponsors will attend your event as they would want to make the most of their sponsorship benefits, so make sure they’re well taken care of.
Photos were taken and videos shot during the event should be shared with your sponsors once the event wraps up. Any other information that evidently reflects the success of the event and impressions you estimated in your proposal should also be included.
In summary, with new emerging platforms available that can help expand sponsorship opportunities and produce credible marketing results, you as an event organizer are better equipped to put together a truly cohesive event that not just aligns with the goals you set out to achieve, but also allows your sponsors to get their money’s worth. Gone are the days when event sponsorships seem like an unattainable goal for many.
Optimize your event planning budget with the Event Sponsorship Guide that walks you through what sponsorship is all about – and how you can get the funding you need.