How to Get Event Sponsors

A study by Bizzabo found that 16% of event planners consider acquiring sponsors their biggest challenge. The reality is that getting a company to invest in your event takes strategy and patience. Potential sponsors get bombarded with requests every single day and there are far too many events that are over-hyped but do not deliver. That is why it’s important to make sure you have the right resources in place so that your event is able to deliver value to your sponsors.

Here are a few ideas to solidify before you approach any potential sponsors.

Event Mission

It’s important that early on you establish your event’s mission. What are you trying to accomplish? Who are you trying to reach? Why should sponsors care? Being able to thoroughly answer each of these questions is important information that sponsors are going to want to know. Most importantly, try to think of what truly sets your event apart from others. You want to stand out from other events to make it an easy decision for sponsors to invest.

Target Audience

Identifying your target audience will help you put together a list of relevant potential sponsors. A sponsor who shares the same audience as you will be interested in being involved with your event. Go a step further and take note of what specific sponsors are looking to achieve and try to align your goals with theirs, that way your success is their success.

Beneficial Offerings

How is your sponsor going to benefit from their relationship with your event? This is something that you need to have a solid answer for before you approach any potential sponsors. This means making sure your offerings are valuable. Common valuable offerings are things like unique speaking opportunities, VIP access, logo placement, marketing placements, social media tags, etc. Of course beneficial offerings also means thinking about the bigger picture. Meaning by utilizing each of these offerings, what will your sponsors gain overall? It’s important to be prepared for any question.

Personalization

Part of offering value is being able to accommodate the needs of each of your sponsors. A great way to do this is to offer customizable sponsorship packages. One package is not going to fit every sponsor. Talk to your sponsors and find out what they really want and also do your own homework so that you can fill in any gaps. A package that fits the sponsor is more likely to result in value. This will let your sponsors know that you’re professional and personable, keeping them coming back year after year.

What Do Sponsors Really Want?

Every event prof has been through the process of trying to get sponsors. At the peak of your event season it can be a hassle trying to find and convince sponsors to be apart of your event. It’s easy to think about what needs your event has, but if you want to start landing the right sponsorships then it’s time to start thinking about what sponsors need.

Event sponsorships should be a win-win situation for all parties involved. Before you spend time trying to convince a sponsor to invest in your event, read up on what sponsors really want:

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is a big reason why sponsors want to help your event. Nothing gets a company name out there like sponsoring an event with the same target audience. Sponsoring an event means having your company name on marketing materials, swag, and much more. It’s a great way for sponsors to get right in front of their core audience. It’s also efficient for being introduced to a new audience.

Lead Gen

Sure brand awareness is important, but nothing beats getting a monetary return on an investment. That is why lead gen has become so important to many sponsors. In fact, 50% of sponsors say their primary reason for supporting events is for lead gen. The fact is that more leads means more sales. Now that’s a win-win.

Beat Competition

Sponsoring an event shows a company’s drive and initiative, a key part in staying ahead of their competition. Sponsoring an event gets a company’s product right into the hands of their target customers vs. just running traditional marketing.

3 Ways to Keep Your Sponsors

Getting sponsors is one thing, but keeping them for your next event is a whole other task. Before your event you created relationships with your sponsors and it’s vital that you maintain those relationships after the event because what you do after the event is just as important as what you did before the event.

Following up with your sponsors after an event can lead to stronger partnerships and ultimately more money next year. So how do you keep your sponsors happy and ready to go for your next event?

Here are 3 ways to retain your sponsors:

Appreciation

Appreciation goes beyond just saying thank you. Your sponsors have taken the time to invest in your event and you want to show them that you are thankful.

Try sending a handwritten thank you card or maybe event a basket of treats. You want them to remember their experience with your event fondly.

Valuable Reporting

What’s better than telling a sponsor that their investment was successful for you and them? Showing them. Make sure that you have the proper tools to produce reports with analytics relevant to the goals that your sponsors originally set out to achieve.

Many sponsors are interested in lead generation which can be tracked through event management softwares like Event Master during the registration and check-in process. This is able to capture valuable attendee data that can be passed along to your sponsors. You’ll want to get an event report over to your sponsors within 24 hours of your event ending.

Awareness of Next Event

Once you’ve proven that your event was truly valuable for your sponsor, you have then earned the right to pass along information about next year’s event. It can be as simple as saying “See you next April” or “Stay tuned for more details regarding next year’s event”.

You may also want to think about pre-selling next year’s event sponsorships. If for some reason your sponsor is not able to be involved with next year’s event, feel free to ask for a referral. This can give you a lead to replace them with for your next event.