But It’s not just the big events that draw the sponsors in.. Small, local events also have peaked the interest of corporate sponsors for a more direct market approach.
Why is event sponsorship so important? Well, Quite simply, it brings in the money and thus allowing you the freedom to build the optimum event for your audience. Done correctly, a corporate sponsor can bring in a lot of money and build important relationships. Done poorly, it can cost money and waste many people’s time.
We’ve done a search and gathered the top 6 tips on soliciting, acquiring and retaining event sponsorship. It’s not a definitive “guide” per se, but a good starting point to get you on your way.
1. Utilise your network: Talk to employees, partners, members on your board, etc. to find out what connections they have in the local community. Perhaps they can introduce you to people who handle corporate sponsorships for large businesses.
2. Be clear about your demographic and your platform: (Entrepreneur.com) Your platform is your message and your fan base–people who know you or who align themselves with people you know. Your demographic is the market you’re after, and you want to have statistics about that market at your fingertips. Know the characteristics of those demographics so that you can demonstrate the value to the event sponsor.- Find out the spending power and purchasing habits of your target market.
- Research the median income and educational level.
- Consider the publications your demographic reads. Then ask for media kits from those publications. According to Linda Hollander, media kits will reveal amazing things about your demographic.. plus it’s all free!
- Don’t forget cause-related marketing! People want to purchase from companies that give back to the community. If you change lives in a positive way, Sponsors will be eager to come aboard, Hollander says.
3. Highlight the benefits: Make a list of the benefits companies will receive from sponsoring your event such as exposure to potential customers and media through: expected event attendance, promotional efforts, lead generation, event signage, advertising inclusion, viral marketing efforts, on-site sampling, VIP passes, etc. You need to connect personally with your contact in the company you’re targeting. Find the right person to approach in the company. Try to avoid filling out an online form or emailing in order to avid the screening devices and spam filters.
4. Know your partner, Customise your proposal: Our CEO Maayan highlights that the key here is to see the opportunity your event provides to that sponsor. Let them know how they can benefit from this event, not what you need from them. Rather than having one sponsorship template, create a custom package that addresses each unique prospect. Tweak and modify the format of your proposal to suit the event sponsor you’re targeting to show them you did the research and created a package that compliments the their brand and business goals.
5. Manage your relationship with the event sponsor: Once you secure your event sponsor, be sure to treat them well if you want them to come back for future events. A great way to ensure that happens is dedicating someone on your team to manage sponsor relations. THere are some important aspects that must be managed such as: obtaining sponsor logos, gaining approvals, customising offerings based on what is more important to sponsors, managing communications, etc.
6. FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP: (marcatofestival) After the event, be prepared to supply each of your sponsors with evidence that you fulfilled your commitments to them. This can be done by taking photos or videos of the event, monitoring media coverage, and putting together a scrapbook of the event and any evidence that it was successful and generated the impressions you estimated in your proposal. Meet with the sponsors to review the event fulfilment. This is the first step towards renewing the sponsorship for next year. And be sure to send them formal thank-you letters.
At EverThere we strive to make the sponsorship process a little easier by helping you deliver valuable sponsor content to your delegates without the hassle or unnecessary waste.