Event How Tos

Easy and Best Ways To Get Event Sponsorships in 5 Simple Steps

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Because event sponsorships play such a significant role in event revenues – one recent study shows that 63% of event managers rely on sponsorships as a significant source of income  – it’s vital that you give yourself and your events the best chance to attract the right sponsors. And it’s also critical that you have the right systems in place to deliver the value your sponsors are looking for.

So here are 5 easy-to-implement steps for how to find sponsors, how to ask for sponsorships and how to create long-lasting relationships with your sponsors.

1. Craft a Unique Selling Proposition

You should think of selling event sponsorships like selling a product or service because the concept is the same. In the business world, the fastest way to demonstrate the value of what you can offer potential sponsors is through a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which is a concise statement that outlines:

  • Your event’s mission or cause
  • What you offer that is of value to sponsors
  • What differentiates your event from others
  • What defines your event’s audience (size and key characteristics)
  • How the sponsor will benefit from the relationship

Ideally, this Unique Selling Proposition should be no longer than a few sentences, and it should be written so you can include it in your initial communications to potential sponsors.

 

2. Build a professional brand image for your event

Event Sponsorships

Think about how you evaluate a company or brand you want to hire or do business with. Often the first thing you do is go to their website or request/download their brochure to learn more about them and see if they are legitimate. The same goes for how sponsors first evaluate you. They are going to look you up online, visit your site and browse the Web for mentions to see if you are legit.

 

3. Identify audiences and offerings that interest potential sponsors

At this point, you can start to define the specific things you can offer sponsors, like:

  • Speaking opportunities and/or special audience access
  • On-stage announcements
  • Logo placements (on signage, mailings, programs, etc.)
  • Website marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing/mentions
  • In-kind sponsorship opportunities (this could be a long list but can include food, beverage, printing, a/v, entertainment, transportation, decor/floral, PR, etc.)
  • Complimentary or VIP passes

 

4. Reach out to your personal network first

The lowest hanging fruit regarding potential sponsors are the people you already know plus their friends and colleagues. So your first outward action should be to reach out to them to see if they would be interested in sponsoring and, if not, if they can refer anyone to you who might be interested.

 

5. Make first contact via email and social media (not phone calls)

You would think calling potential sponsors would be a more personal and effective method of introducing yourself to them, but in fact many sponsors prefer the first contact be online so they can vet you before talking to you.

In addition, many event organizers also first reach out to potential sponsors via social media, again because it is a more casual, less intrusive approach that allows the organisation to do some initial due diligence on you.

 

In the end, the secret to how to get event sponsors is to understand their needs and be flexible enough to meet them, and the key to keeping event sponsors is to deliver on your promises and foster an ongoing relationship with them that lasts long after the event is over.

 

Source: PlanningPod