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.
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.
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.
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.
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.