If you want your event to be a raging success, then you must have event sponsors. There is no way around it. Event sponsorships are crucial for bringing in revenue and improving the overall quality of an event. But, it can feel overwhelming and intimidating to approach strangers or companies that sponsor events when you have never done it before.
Have no fear! Securing event sponsors is a reality of the business, and we are here today to guide you through the process. Let’s break it down in a way that can be done with great success.
1. Start with Building the Basis for Event Sponsorship Proposals
It may sound like I am starting at the end, but I’m not. Before you even begin thinking about approaching companies interested in sponsoring events, you need to clearly define your KVP (the fancy acronym marketers use for Killer Value Proposition). This means you can describe your event and why someone should sponsor it in just a few paragraphs.
Ultimately, the KVP is the basis for what will eventually become an event sponsorship proposal. Discovering your KVP will help you know what benefits you will be able to offer potential sponsors, as well as the types of sponsors that will be ideal.
2. Do Your Homework
Before you can begin approaching companies that are interested in sponsoring events, you must know which companies actually are willing and able. This means you need to do your homework. Start by asking those in your network about potential sponsors and following their leads.
From there, move on to doing your own Google research. Look for other events in your niche and see who is sponsoring these events. Then, find a point of contact. Now, this may not sound like much work, but be prepared to wade through your fair share of search ranking results to find the most relevant sponsors.
3. Pitch Like the Pros
Now that you have identified the most desirable sponsors, you need to start preparing your pitches. We recommend email pitching rather than cold calls. Email gives the company a chance to investigate your event before speaking to you.
When it comes to cold email pitching, do not use any sort of copy/paste pitch. Instead, each pitch should be a highly personalized email. The email should be concise and to the point, but you must briefly explain the relevance of your event and this potential sponsor. Provide key event details and the potential benefits for the sponsor, as well as clearly identifying what you seek with this email.
4. What to Do After You Make the Initial Pitch
Get ready to handle “no’s” graciously. You will receive some “no” answers right away. However, you will probably receive far more non-answers. In other words, expect to receive few responses to your initial email pitch. When this is the case, you must follow-up. The potential sponsor contact may simply be busy. A “no” is a “no;” but a non-answer gives you space to talk.
Once you have their interest, this is when you should be prepared to discuss event sponsorship proposals and secure the sponsor. But, your work does not end when they sign their name. Instead, you should already start working towards securing their renewal.