Selling event sponsorships can be difficult. If you’ve ever hosted a conference, trade show, or festival, you probably know just how important a key sponsorship can be for your event success. Event sponsors generate capital for your event, help get the word out across multiple channels, and can ease the overall production of your event.
Finding and securing sponsors can take a mix of irresistible offers, creative thinking, and curated relationships. Here are just a few steps you can take to easily attract the right sponsor for your event.
Pinpoint The Ways You Provide Value
Sponsors are always looking for your event to provide some type of value to them- otherwise, they wouldn’t be interested in being a sponsor. It’s your job to identify the unique ways your organization or event provides value to the sponsor and how you stand out from other similar organizations. If you do a better job engaging attendees, have a faster turnaround time for signing up new clients, or are a leader in your industry in any way, its important to make this stand out in your sponsorship pitch.
Curate Your Ask
Once you’ve nailed down the ways you provide value, its time to custom tailor your sponsorship proposal to each potential sponsor. Knowing what each sponsor is looking to achieve can make this much easier. Before you make your pitch, you’ll want to know if your sponsor is looking for branding and awareness opportunities or something more concrete like a set increase in their sales or new sign-ups as a direct result of their sponsorship.
Talk to the Right Person
Save yourself time by making sure you’re contacting the correct person. You may find that your request is being fielded by someone who really has no say in whether a company or organization would be a good sponsor for your event.
Create Sponsor Levels
Each sponsor will have a different amount of capital they’ll be willing to invest. If you don’t have a clear framework of sponsorship levels to offer, it’ll make it difficult to pinpoint a dollar amount for each potential sponsor. You should have at least 3 different sponsorship levels, each with its own included perks. This will show your sponsors that you have a clear understanding of your own value and can help make your pitch much more flexible.
Start With The Highest Sponsorship Amount
It never hurts to ask! Always pitch your highest level sponsorship first and drop down to lower levels if necessary. If you come out of the gate showing that you value a particular sponsor at your highest level, they may show more interest in sponsoring your event, even if its at a lower level than you originally wanted.
Be Captivating but Concrete
Your pitch should be compelling and include images and exciting content wherever possible. For example, create a mockup of your display and how your sponsor’s branding would be incorporated (hint: a custom wrapped charging station including their branding is an excellent way to catch your sponsor’s eye). Make sure that your pitch also includes concrete figures on your event, such as your expected number of attendees, past sales information (if applicable), direct growth from your events or expected ROI. A flashy pitch is expected but if your pitch is all fluff and no substance, your potential sponsors are likely to pass on your offer.
Don’t underestimate the time needed to create a compelling sponsorship pitch! Give yourself enough lead time and make sure everyone on your team is involved in the process so, when it comes time to start contacting sponsors, your main points of contact know your sponsorships like the back of their hand.