Why take on all the cost burden of an event when it can be shared with a sponsor? In fact, done right, you might not need to spend a penny of your own funds to get the said event up and running.
Like most good things, though, this is easier said than done.
That is why we have put up this piece to detail some of the sure-fire methods to get that event sponsorship on your side.
You are trying to secure benefits in form of sponsorship, so it is a little twisted that we are asking you to offer benefits too, right? Wrong!
In the corporate world, nothing is really free – even if it looks so. In other words, sponsors are also interested in what you can do for them.
Depending on their niche and industry, you can offer them data and predictive insight from your event. You could also offer their members a VIP package at the event, a free booth, or try other forms of cross-promotion.
In any way, try to link your benefits to their brand image and/ or campaign strategy.
Sponsors want their involvement to have the maximum impact, and that will not happen if your company is relatively small or unknown. That does not mean you have to wait years till you get known before pitching sponsors, though.
Simply reaching out to other known brands and companies with the intention of organizing the event together suddenly gives you a bigger standing.
Sponsors now see you as a more important entity that they want to associate with – and that’s getting a foot in the door.
… and for more reasons than one.
On the one-part, effective timing on your part means you start early enough to ensure you can work your way up to the decision maker in the institution you are seeking sponsorship from. On the other hand, know that certain companies have a budget/ window for sponsorships. You want to get in before that window closes.
If the brand you are proposing for sponsorship has been doing that before, chances are they have a sponsorship manager – or a related position – on ground. We would advise that you not focus all your energy on them.
Thinking about it, such sponsorship managers have a ton of similar requests to look at. Adding yours to the pile might not make a serious difference. Thus, consider going through an alternative channel: the branding team of such a company, their accounts department, or someone you know within the system.
Of course, your request still gets to the sponsorship department. The only difference is, it’s now coming internally.
It is probably no surprise to you that companies make a lot of their decisions based on data. Data informs on past events and sets a precedence of future events. Thus, they can make guarded decisions on how your event could turn out, and if they should be investing or not.
If you have been collecting data from previous events – as you should have – present this. Let the sponsors know who was in attendance, the demographics and the rate of audience engagement. This will put them at ease, knowing that their own brand also gets a solid recognition at your event.
Beyond data, sponsors are also looking forward to the future.
While they are interested in what makes the coming event special, they also want to know that they are not lending their name and resources to something that could blow back on them.
At this stage, break out your event planning app/ software, if available, with details of how the next event is supposed to run. This gives the sponsors a clear view into what to expect, and even helps them prepare their branding materials to fit into the context of your programme where applicable.
We might have been around the game for long, but we surely don’t know it all.
What tips and tricks do you have for nabbing interesting sponsorship deals before running an event? The comments are open, and we would love a discourse with you.
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