How do you find potential event sponsors, convince them to partner with you, and create valuable sponsorship packages? Below outlines how you can find potential sponsors and create value.
Finding Event Sponsors
Finding event sponsors isn’t as challenging as it seems. To secure event sponsorships, you first must find the right companies to partner with. We have three tips for you in this regard:
1. Know Your Event
First, you must know and understand the particulars of your event. What is your overall vision for your gathering and what goals are you hoping to achieve? Also, what sets your event apart from other events on similar topics?
These are the kinds of questions that potential event sponsors will ask you. If you know the answers to them before you start contacting brands about sponsorships, you'll put yourself in a position to not only answer with ease and clarity but also only contact the kinds of companies that align with your event values.
2. Identify the Right Partners
We just touched on it briefly but knowing which companies would make for excellent event partners is key. Rather than spamming every business you find and presenting them with event sponsorship proposals, we recommend that you first identify the kinds of companies that would be a good fit. Then reach out and interact with only those brands.
This will save you time — contacting organizations that don't align with your event brand, or don't have a history of sponsoring events isn't productive — and increase your success rate.
3. Use Online Resources
Knowing your event and the kind of companies you hope to partner with is great. But you still need to go out and find organizations that fit your criteria. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use online resources like SponsorMyEvent, SponsorPitch, and SponsorPark. These tools make it easy to connect with potential event sponsors and even send them an event sponsorship agreement if they seem like a good fit.
Pitching Event Sponsors
Have you created a list of potential event sponsors? Great, now it's time to pitch them. Whether you’re emailing potential event sponsors or calling them on phone doesn’t matter. You still need to follow these three tips if you want to see success:
1. Research Your Target Audience
At this point (hopefully!) you've already done a bit of research on your target audience. You know that the companies on your list align with your event's topic and vision and each has a history of sponsoring events in the past. Now it's time to dig deeper.
Before reaching out to a company, you should attempt to discover:
2. Communicate Value
In the last tip, we mentioned that you should know how sponsoring your event will benefit the company you're contacting. Knowing this will help you communicate value, which you must do to secure partnerships.
No organization will support your event out of the goodness in its heart. There needs to be an equal exchange of value and you need to communicate this value in your pitch. To do this, make your pitch about the company you're contacting, not about your event.
Also, convey crucial information like how many attendees you expect to have and their demographics, brands that have sponsored your event in the past, the ROI previous sponsors received, and any other bits of pertinent information.
The kind of details you share will likely vary depending on your industry, how long your event has been running, and the actual person you're contacting. But in general, do your best to communicate value.
3. Include Social Proof
Social proof in the form of testimonials from previous partners can go a long way towards convincing a brand to sponsor your event. Just like we all read product reviews before making online purchases, potential sponsors will want to know if previous partners had a good experience with your brand and found sponsorship to be a worthwhile investment.
If you have the ability, consider going the extra mile and creating full case studies with your top sponsors. That's what TED did. Their case study with long-time event partner, Rolex, is a great example. It has helped the annual conference secure other sponsors by showcasing the positive ROI that Rolex has received from the partnership.