Having a sponsor at your event can yield numerous benefits. First and foremost, one of the biggest questions you’ll ask yourself as you plan an event is how you’ll fund it. Sponsors make events possibly by providing funding in exchange for brand visibility and awareness.
If you don’t have a huge budget for marketing—and most businesses don’t—sponsorships are a great way to make something impossible, possible. Here’s how you can get a sponsor for your event:
Make a List of Assets
One of the biggest questions you should be able to answer is, how can the sponsor benefit from this event? As such, it’s important that you identify each of your assets early on.
Walk through your venue and create a list of places where the sponsor logo and brand would be easily recognized. Look for potential areas where a sponsor could place their custom flags, banners, booths, and more. Keep in mind that you may want to reserve special places for the sponsor, like an area large enough to hand out samples, set up big tents, or create a backstage/VIP area.
Design Your Event With Sponsors In Mind
The sooner you start thinking of your ideal sponsors, the better you’ll be able to plan your event. For example, if you want your sponsor to be a wine company, create a space with furniture and motifs that would be most attractive to them.
To help you understand more about what they’re looking for, it helps to take a look at previous events the company has sponsored and search for similarities.
Build a Sponsorship List
Once you have clearly identified the key areas you can sell, it’s time to start building the initial list of potential sponsors. To manage your list effectively, it’s best to use a collaborative document like Google Sheets. Organize all your potential sponsors in a sheet with columns that include the decision maker (it may take you some time to locate the best point of contact for sponsorships at a company), dates for when contact was made and when you received a reply, appointments, website, and any other details that are important to you.
Draft a Proposal
Once you have identified your assets and impressions, you can start to draft an early proposal to your potential sponsors. You proposal email should not be too lengthy; all the information the company needs should be clearly stated, and the company will have the option to arrange a meeting to discuss further details if needed.
Describe the various marketing opportunities that they’ll have, as well as the theme and overall target market. Your potential sponsor will especially care about the type of people that will be at the event, so it’s important that you focus on providing an accurate, data-driven synopsis. It’s also important that your proposal stand out. If you send the same letter to every company, they’ll notice the generic undertones and won’t want to work with you.
Offer a Minimum Risk Solution
If you’re a relatively new company, then a brand may not want to go “all in” on a sponsorship. This is because there isn’t enough market validation to make them confident that they won’t waste thousands of dollars on an event that yields no results for them. However, you can sweeten the deal by offering a minimum risk solution, where sponsors can pay a smaller amount to test the waters with your brand. Once they understand the full value and are happy with their turnout and results, you can work with them on a bigger scale in the future.
Do Your Homework
You should conduct careful research on every company you reach out to. What’s the current news with that particular company? Are they releasing new products soon? Have they just announced a merger? Are they getting bad publicity? No matter what the news is, you should do your homework. This shows that you’ve invested in the company and can create strategic solutions with those recent events in mind.
Build a Long Term Relationship
Once you’ve scored a meeting and sponsor has committed to working with you, it’s crucial that you prove yourself a worthy brand to partner with. Even if your event date is a year down the line, consistent updates and communication help cultivate a long-term relationship before the campaign even begins.
You can do this by creating a checklist for yourself once a deal has been made. Your checklist helps you ensure that throughout the planning stages, you’re able to keep all the promises that have been made. You also want to be as generous as possible; if you can go beyond the call of duty, why not upgrade their amenities? And lastly, every company loves data, so it’s important that you share the data from the event with your sponsors, which provides them with valuable insight they’ll appreciate.