An event sponsor is a company or organization that supports an event, mainly by helping in funding, but can be via other means. Event sponsorship is a two-way relationship, meaning an event sponsor is looking for something valuable from the event organizer: exposure for the sponsor’s products/services, discounted event tickets/freebies, access to attendee data, and more.
With that being said, getting sponsors for an event remains one of, if not the most popular way to fund an event, especially for smaller companies or event organizers that can wholly fund their own events.
However, securing sponsorships has always been a challenge for event planners and organizers, and in today’s reality where many events are shifting to virtual events, it’s now even more challenging to show proof of value to sponsors and secure sponsorships.
Thinking of getting sponsors for your event but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place. Whether you are just starting to plan and host your first event or an experienced event planner looking for new tactics to attract and retain sponsors, here we will share some actionable tips you can use.
Without further ado, let us begin:
Understand your event inside out
This one might seem obvious, but the better you know your event, the more effective you’ll be able to explain its value to potential sponsors.
You should know what type of event and its details inside out. What’s the purpose of hosting this event? What are the objectives you are hoping to achieve? What’s the realistic/optimistic/pessimistic expectation for this event? What’s unique about our event and what sets it apart from competing events?
Anticipate the questions your potential sponsors are going to ask, and prepare the answers thoroughly. By doing so you can also gain more insights into which potential sponsors are the right fit for sponsoring your event, which we will discuss on the next tip.
Target the right potential sponsors
An important aspect of getting event sponsorships is targeting the right companies/individuals in the first place so we can be sure we are putting our efforts in the right direction.
So, the first thing you should do is to first identify the kinds of companies that would be a good fit for our event. Here are a few pointers:
- Companies with a similar audience profile to your event, both in terms of behaviors and demographics. Finding companies that are 100% perfect fit is difficult, but you should try to find companies with relatively similar audience profiles.
- Target companies that are going to align well with your event and brand values. For example, if your event has a go-green theme, then it would only make sense to partner with companies that also believe in being environmentally friendly
- Consider targeting companies who have sponsored an event at least once before. Typically these companies would better understand the value of sponsorships, which may result in a higher success rate.
- Check the brands your target audience love (i.e. brands they frequently interact with on social media). Thorough market research can help with this.
Research potential sponsors thoroughly
Before reaching out to potential sponsors, gather as much information as you can about them. You should especially learn about their target audience and whether it will align well with your event’s, but you should also research what they are up to, including:
- How are their business currently performing
- How recent events and trends affect their business
- Whether they’ve recently sponsored an event
- Whether there have been changes in leadership, management, or any other major changes
The idea is to use this information to personalize your offer and your proposal, which we will discuss further below.
Decide how you can provide value
As we’ve mentioned, sponsorship should be a two-way mutual relationship: you’ll secure funding and other benefits from your sponsors, but at the same time we should offer something valuable to them.
Decide how you are going to offer value to different sponsors. This can vary depending on your target sponsors, but here are some examples:
- Logo/brand name placements on your promotional materials
- Social media mentions, as well as mentions on blog posts, email newsletters, and other content
- Free both (if your event is an exhibition or trade show)
- Ticket discounts and freebies for those who purchased the sponsor’s product/service
And so on. Think about how you can provide value to a specific target sponsor before making your offer.
Create a data-driven proposal
Your event proposal can literally make or break your success in securing sponsors.
Remember that your target sponsors will likely get a lot of event proposals just like yours every day. So, it’s very important to capture their attention as soon as possible, or else they might not read your proposal at all.
It’s crucial to maintain the right balance between attractive and informative, and your event proposal should include:
- Your company: who you are. Brands will only sponsor events organized by a trustworthy company.
- Your event: pretty self-explanatory, thoroughly explain what your event is.
- Past accolades: showcase your previous events (if any) in your proposal
- Audience demographics: describe your target audience and communicate how the event’s attendees are going to align with the sponsor’s audience
- Funding: be concise about the amount of funding you need, and provide details of what you’re going to need the money for
Also, if you’ve hosted any past event, you can share some data to help prove your value:
- Attendance rate (percentage of registrants who actually show up)
- Social media engagement metrics
- The number of active community members from past events
- Demographics of your attendees
- Visit-to-purchase conversion rate
- Gross revenue from promotions
Getting More Sponsors With Eventtia
As discussed, the key to securing sponsorships is communicating the value of your event to potential sponsors, and ensuring your event runs according to plan is one of the best ways of showcasing its value. This is where virtual conference software can help you in planning, managing, and hosting your event. Eventtia also comes with a built-in sponsor registration feature, so you can integrate this feature into your website to eliminate the need of registering sponsors manually.