Planning a corporate event involves countless decisions. What venue should be booked? What theme should be established? What are the A/V needs? But none of these matter unless you can answer: How is your corporate event going to be funded?
That’s where event sponsorships come into play. Event sponsors pay to support an event in exchange for exposure and branding opportunities.
So how do you go about finding, contacting and securing valuable sponsors?
There is a lot to be gained from recruiting sponsors. It can help you build brand awareness, increase ticket sales and boost your brand’s image. But not every event needs sponsors to be successful.
Here are a few telltale signs that your event may stand to benefit from strategic sponsors:
The ideal sponsor will be as excited to work with you as you are to work with them. Creativity and elbow grease are required, but finding the right fit can be done – just follow these tips!
To find sponsors that fit your audience, learn about your attendees — their interests, key behaviors, and spending habits.
Your event ticketing platform will be a good place to start with this. Depending on the information attendees provide when registering, you may already have a built-in database of demographics. This will also help you create a highly specific pitch for sponsors.
Make a long list of the types of companies that align with your fans’ expressed interests. For example, if your attendees like art, local galleries and supply stores should be on your list.
There is a wealth of online resources designed to take some of the hassle out of finding sponsors.
Once you have an exhaustive list of all the possibilities in the art world, start to get granular. Scroll through their social media platforms and check their websites. What topics do they promote? Have they sponsored events before? Are they a company you would love to work with? Add a check to potential leads.
Then, look up events like yours and find out who sponsored them. Is there any overlap with the companies and your list? There’s a good chance your event will also interest those companies.
Event sponsor pitches and meetings are time-consuming, which is why it’s important to limit the number of brands that you’ll be reaching out to. Make sure you are only pursuing companies that truly represent the key goals of your upcoming event.
Once you have your shortlist of potential sponsors, it’s time to make the asks!
A strong proposal is what secures sponsors. It should be short, sweet and memorable while being supportive of your broader goals.
Your proposal letter (which can also be an email) should:
Use packages to give partners a clear idea of how much to offer and what they can expect in return. Tiers help show how the benefits increase with the cost of sponsorship. They can also be a valuable way for you to secure various levels of sponsorship.
Once you have the necessary sponsors locked in, make sure they feel valued! It’s a simple way to promote positive word-of-mouth around your event and create lasting relationships.
If that all seems time consuming, it’s because it is! But finding, contacting and securing sponsors will bring a much needed financial and promotion boost to your next corporate event.
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