Putting on an event creates excellent opportunities to bring in funds while raising awareness for your company. However, setting up an event and everything that comes with it costs a lot of money. It takes time to produce a stellar event and work out all of the details. Even though there are many ways to cut back on expenses, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s still going to be expensive. The costs alone are why securing sponsors can make all the difference for a fundraising event.
Sponsors make events possible and provide not only finances, but a platform to raise more awareness about your brand. However, to get event sponsorships, you need to know where to look and how to win them over. There is no such thing as the perfect formula to guarantee event sponsors, but having a targeted outreach team will increase your chances of having a successful event. To develop this strategy here are some tips on how to set up ideal event sponsorships.
Reach out to people via social media as opposed to calling them
It’s normal to think that calling someone and asking them to be a sponsor would be an effective way for them to learn more about you, but that’s not true. Many event sponsors would rather get in touch with you online before speaking to you on the phone or in person. Email is useful because it gives a company time to research more about your event and consider event sponsorship proposals before talking to you.
Event organizers should also reach out to companies interested in sponsoring events via social media because it’s another way to casually reach out and give them time to learn more about you. To get in contact with potential sponsors via social media, however, you should make sure all social media profiles are up to date, or at least the main ones such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Staying up to date on the latest social media and technology trends on sites like Event Tech Brief is also helpful.
Furthermore, it’s also important to post useful content on social media that supports your vision. In addition to posting compelling content, you should be regularly interacting on social media sites because it’s likely companies will learn about you through the information you push out online. Event Marketer and ADWEEK have a plethora of ideas on how you can improve your marketing and social media strategy.
Do plenty of research
The more research you do not only on sponsors but also how to put together a great event, the better. There are many different types of sponsors such as media sponsors, promotional partners, in-kind sponsors, and financial sponsors. Make sure you know what the difference is between each one and what the best way is to reach out to them.
You can also research companies who are sponsoring specific events. Learning which companies sponsor events and have sponsored events in the past will give you a starting point as to which companies you should reach out to first. Also make a list of websites and ideas where you can find more sponsors, such as on Event. Trade Show News Network is another excellent website to check out as you continue to research sponsors and learn how to come up with an extraordinary event.
Network with people you already know
The most natural sponsors to find should be the people you see regularly such as colleagues, family members, and friends. Tell them all about your event, what your goals are, and how they can lend a hand. If the event isn’t a good fit for them at this time, ask them if they can refer you to anyone who might want to learn more. Many times you’ll be surprised to find out the connections friends and family members already have. The more people you can get in touch with, the better. Pretty soon you’ll have a great support team who can help you reach your goals and assist with the event costs.
Develop a professional brand image
Think about when you apply for a job or are considering hiring someone. You ask for a link to the company’s website or request more information from them. It’s important to learn more about them and also confirm whether they’re legitimate. Well, it’s the same way with sponsors. They’re going to check out your website and browse the web to learn all that they can about you.
The likelihood that a company will want to learn more about you is why it’s vital to have an up to date website. Make sure there are no broken links and that your website looks nice, even if it’s relatively new. It’s also important to make sure your logo, design and marketing materials are ready to go. Consider taking online classes on Corbin Ball & Co., for example, so you can continue to learn tips and tools of the trade. Reflecting a clean and professional image makes all the difference when you’re trying to get event sponsors. Companies that sponsor events want to invest their money in a brand that’s polished online.
Follow up with sponsors
Life gets crazy busy, and sometimes those lovely introductory sponsorship request emails get pushed to the bottom of an inbox. It’s the same way with social media messages. A company may be interested but it’s normal for them to get distracted with life and a busy career.
That’s why it’s critical to reach back out to companies who you feel may be interested in sponsoring events because even if you didn’t hear back right away doesn’t mean they’re not interested. It’s likely they just got busy. Don’t be afraid to follow up with them at least once, if not twice. Who knows – you may hear back from them right away!
Focus on the decision makers
After reaching out to companies keep in mind that it will only be a few key people who will decide whether or not they want to sponsor your event. That’s why it’s important to promptly follow up and make sure you’re speaking with the key decision makers.
Use sites such as Hunter.io and LinkedIn to determine how to get in touch with key people in the company. Often you can also find out their contact email and learn more about them that way. After all, the more you know about the decision makers, the better. After you discover all that you can about a stakeholder and locate their contact info, send them event sponsorship packages that align with their visions and hopefully, you’ll pique their interest.
Customize event sponsorship agreements
Not only is it important to customize a pitch, but later when you’re negotiating with a brand it’s vital to also customize event sponsorship packages based on a brand’s specific needs. Don’t give each company the same program to consider and remember you are forming a relationship with them. Make it your mission to discover what a company’s plans entail and how you can support an event sponsor’s vision.
Keep in mind that usually an event that is a good fit for a sponsor is one that’s related to their line of business. For example, if your event is to bring more awareness to a significant health issue, reach out to like-minded health businesses such as vitamin companies.
Specify your sponsorship criteria
As an event organizer, it’s essential to communicate your event’s mission to potential sponsors. Similarly, event sponsors should communicate their brand values to see if it aligns with your objectives. Spelling out specific criteria is vital if you want any sponsorship to go smoothly. When meeting with interested sponsors think of a few questions to ask them to determine whether they would be a good fit for your event vision.
Put together an incredible event
It’s normal to feel pressure to have enough sponsors for your event but don’t let that keep you from your primary objective. Overall it’s important to put together an incredible event. Corporate Event News is a site that can help you take an event to the next level. Bizbash and Smart Meetings have ideas for different event venues and can connect you with meeting planners who can help you assemble a successful event. Plus, an AV event production company such as Hello Endless can offer the perfect technology setup to engage people.
Having event sponsors should add to your mission and goals, not replace them. You should actively pursue sponsors, but many of them will likely come to you. If an event goes off without a hitch, then well-known companies will approach you with compelling sponsorship ideas. By having a successful event, you’ll show potential sponsors how incredible the product is and it should sell itself.
Build relationships with sponsors
After you have secured sponsors for events, make sure you satisfy their needs so that they continue to come back and help you with future events. You can keep track of their needs by making a list of what they’d like to see now and in the future. Leading up to an event, it’s also essential to effectively communicate with your sponsors and take the time to listen to their concerns. When the event does take place, be an excellent host. Be thoughtful and communicate well with everyone and you’ll have sponsors who will continue to support you for future events to come.