Let’s face it. You need event sponsorships for revenue. On average 40% of the events revenues are derived from sponsorships and 60% from registration (i.e., selling tickets). There is no way around it. But, the process of finding not only companies interested in sponsoring events but that are also excited to sponsor your event is time-consuming and challenging. Plus, companies that sponsor events get approached constantly, so you have to find a way to stand out from the rest.
However, it can be done! You can go from preparing event sponsorship proposals to developing long-lasting partnerships with companies that are mutually beneficial even after the event has ended. If you follow the steps outlined below, you will be well on your way to securing the sponsors you need and developing a healthy working relationship.
1. Sell Your Event
First things first, if you do not look at your event or venue as something you can sell like a product, you need to start thinking differently. You must think like a salesman. Salesmen know how to approach potential buyers by showcasing the unique features their product offers the consumer. Like a product, what will sponsoring your event offer potential sponsors?
2. Have a Solid Online Brand
In today’s tech-savvy world, you absolutely must make sure your online presence is well-branded. The first thing any potential sponsor is going to do when you approach them is look you up online. Therefore, if your event does not have a strong web presence, the outlook is not good. All those SEO efforts will pay off!
3. Key into Audiences and Benefits
Be prepared to find your ideal sponsors by already having key information. For instance, the more you know ahead of time about your audience, the better. Additionally, the more ideas you have for event sponsorship packages, the better. This will help you key into the type of sponsor you want and need. Plus, sponsors will want these details from the start.
4. Approach Your Inner Circle First and Then Move Outward
As you are just getting started, look for sponsors within your inner circle (such as friends and family). Then, expand your network by asking your inner circle for suggestions. This circle will steadily expand.
5. Set Your Eyes on Potential Event Sponsors
Now that you have an idea about who your ideal sponsors are, and you have reached out to your inner circle, begin to compile a list of potential event sponsors. Build a list of the sponsors you would most like to work with for your event and then do your homework.
6. Go After Your Desired Sponsors This Way
First, contact potential sponsors via social media when possible. This is a casual way to approach them that allows them to research you before they speak to you. It takes some of the pressure off. Next, make it personal. Explain why you chose them in particular. Then, be direct and concise. Tell them what you seek.
7. Share What Matters Most
Sponsors care far more about your audience than they do about you. So, present them with as much data about the audience and the potential influence. Provide them with information about your event email marketing plan.
8. Customize, Customize, Customize
From start to finish, you want to customize as much as possible. Customize your pitch, and then customize the event sponsorship package.
9. Take It a Step Further
Next, go beyond what is on the paper proposal. You not only should do what you have promised, but you should also go over and beyond. For instance, start thinking ahead for future events and renewals. What can you do to keep them on board long-term?
10. Develop a Long-Lasting Relationship
The key to great relationships always comes down to communication. Communicate with the sponsor before, during, and after the event. Use a software program to provide the sponsor with clear analytics at the conclusion of the event. Then, discuss how you plan to reach event attendees in the off-season and how they can have a part.