Sales & Marketing

How To Get Sponsorship For A Special Event

Luisa Ddakis | 6 July 2022 | 2 years ago

how to get a sponsor

A lot of events rely on sponsors to cover their costs and keep them going. This is most likely true in your case as well, so we have put together this guide on how to get a sponsor which should give you all the information, advice, and tips you need.

Having good sponsorship connections can mean the difference between breaking even and turning a profit at both in-person and online events. Whether you’re planning an online event and need a sponsor to cover virtual goodie bags or you’re looking for a seven-figure festival sponsor, the same principles apply.

Making a valuable offer in exchange for sponsorship is the key to attracting sponsors. The more appealing this prize is, the more likely it is that sponsors will want to collaborate with you.

Some ideas for providing visibility and opportunities for networking for potential sponsors include their branding on promo products like gift bags or pens, actual event signs, “takeovers” on your social media channels, and having a speaker from the sponsor organisation give a presentation at your event.

Do you want to learn how to get a company to sponsor an event? This article includes tips on how to write a winning proposal and cold email campaign, as well as event sponsorship ideas that are unique.

Why Do Companies Sponsor Events?

When a company sponsors an event, it usually wants one of three things to happen:

It has access to a specific audience that it would not otherwise have.

A strategy for enhancing the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR)

It’s occasionally a mix of all three. Whatever your sponsor hopes for, a return on investment (ROI) is paramount, and event planners must keep this in mind (and be able to demonstrate to sponsors). Many event sponsors will not spend money unless they know they will get a return on their investment.

Although it’s difficult to quantify the return on investment, your event sponsor will most likely be looking for ways to turn event activities into more revenue, customers, or employee involvement. Consider the following benefits of event sponsorship when calculating ROI:

Brand Awareness

By exposing your sponsor’s brand to an audience within their target demographic, events that align with their ideals can help to elevate their status and authority. Sponsoring an event can help a brand re-establish its industry connections and build loyalty through recurrent exposure for brands looking to grow their existing customer base.

Internal Marketing

Internal marketing, which aims to include the company’s own employees, particularly those who may be disengaged following a merger or period of growth, is another benefit of event sponsorship. Sponsoring an event can help companies realign their values and show employees what kind of company they work for.

Generating Leads

Many businesses today rely on online lead generation strategies, but event sponsorship offers a unique opportunity to interact with individuals – whether on a face-to-face or virtual date. Sponsors can meet with participants during or after the event to collect their data, which can help them fill their pipeline for the coming year and generate new leads and sales.

how to get a sponsor

How To Create A Proposal Letter For Event Sponsorship

You must first create an in-depth proposal for event sponsorship before pursuing event sponsors.

While no pitch deck or proposal is a substitute for a good old-fashioned discussion, having the right introduction or follow-up in the form of a PDF or PowerPoint presentation can help you succeed. Your proposal should be succinct, to-the-point, and supportive of your overall sales pitch.

Your sponsorship pitch deck will be used in three ways in general:

  • As the main point of contact for your company and the event
  • As a reminder of some of the key issues raised and as a follow-up to your conversation
  • Internally, your contact will pitch the sponsorship to their colleagues.
In all three cases, it’s critical to present only the most essential information about your event in your sponsorship pitch.

How To Research Potential Event Sponsors

It’s time to start looking for sponsors after you’ve finished your proposal document. It will be difficult to persuade a sponsor to invest in your event if they are not a good fit for you. This is why it’s so important to take the time to figure out what your event is all about, as well as who your target audience is and how your event will connect with them in a way that a brand might not.

Then consider keywords, demographics, and the purchasing power of the suppliers you want to attract. Whether it’s extreme sports, indie music, or wellness courses, look for businesses that fit the theme of your event. Next, look at previous sponsorships from your target companies.

Look for snippets of information about what companies are doing, where their marketing strategy is leading them, and how they plan to communicate with their target audience in business news and marketing periodicals. This information can also be used to personalise your pitch and pique their interest.

The Best Way to Talk to Companies for Sponsorship of an Event

Are you stumped as to how to talk to event sponsors? There are a variety of ways to start a relationship. If you already have a mutual friend or have met the person in person, approaching them may be a little easier. If you’re starting from scratch, however, you might want to start with email, which is the internet’s oldest and most reliable tool.

The quality of your writing is frequently a determining factor in the efficacy of email. Always use Grammarly to ensure your email is professionally written, concise, and free from grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and typos.

Take note of the 7 (cold) email event sponsorship guidelines listed below.

1. Ensure The Subject Line Makes Potential Sponsors Open the Email

Keep in mind that the goal of approaching brands for corporate sponsorship isn’t to actually sell a package for sponsorship. A typical individual receives more than 100 emails each day and your email subject line will most likely land up in the trash if it appears desperate or is too demanding.

Instead, write a subject line that explains why you’re writing to the sponsor.

The subject line reads, “Met you at [event].” “Let’s get together!” sets the tone for your message and invites people to continue the conversation. When emailing a referral, use the same procedure. “[Referrer name] suggested I contact you,” is all you have to say.

2. Start Off Hot

The first step is to persuade a potential sponsor to open your email. Your next task will be to keep their attention — if you come across as too aggressive, they’ll wonder why they even opened it. The same is true if your request is not specific.

3. Avoid “Hope You’re Doing Well”

If you start an email in this manner you run the risk of coming across as phoney. Breaking the ice and getting down to business can be done in more effective ways.

If you’re drafting a high-stakes email that needs to get results, it never hurts to do your homework. This doesn’t mean that you need to start stalking someone on social media, it isn’t necessary, but doing some research can help. To demonstrate familiarity with the recipient’s work, include a sentence or two in the subject line of your email.

Assume your target was recently recognised by a reputable publication as an industry leader. A quick email congratulating them on their accomplishments can demonstrate your interest in their goals.

4. Mention Connections

It’s a huge plus to reaffirm a shared relationship. People are much more receptive if you’ve been introduced by someone they know and respect.”

While it is important to provide context for your relationship with the sponsor, do not write a novel. Move on to the reason you are emailing them, after briefly mentioning your mutual relationship.

This is a good example: “I had a breakfast meeting with [referrer name], who discussed some of your ideas.” I was blown away! Your method appears to be ideal for a project I’m working on.”

5. Seek Their Expert Opinion

Sponsorship, after all, is supposed to be a solution where everyone benefits. When you ask a potential sponsor for help, you’re playing with their ego.

Make your request brief to demonstrate how much you value their time. “Spare 15 minutes to provide expert feedback” is only eight words long but conveys the request perfectly.

6. Ask for the Referral or Meeting

You should now be able to tell the potential sponsor who you are and what you expect from them. The final piece of the puzzle is telling them what you want them to do. Make your intentions clear and include a strong call to action.

“Could you connect me with [referrer’s name]?” Commitment questions include things like “Does 3 p.m. work for a phone call?” or “Does 3 p.m. work for a phone call?”

Avoid using the phrase “thank you in advance” at the end of your speech.

Thanking a sponsor in advance for doing something can come across as pompous. Depending on the circumstances, you might come across as expecting them to act, which is extremely presumptuous.

While you should avoid lavishing praise on your prospects ahead of time, a simple “thank you” could go a long way.

7. Take The Next Step

Sponsorship is a people-oriented industry. The more you interact with potential sponsors and earn their trust, the more valuable your event becomes.

Develop Sponsorship Packages For The Event

To provide simple tiered options, use event sponsorship levels, and rewards. Traditional sponsorship schemes are outlined below, which you can use to persuade vendors and potential partners to sponsor your online or in-person event. You can see how the sponsor’s benefits increase in lockstep with the cost of sponsorship.

Many event planners will also have a primary sponsor who will have access to benefits not available to the lower-tiered sponsors.

£50,000 for Gold

  • You will have the opportunity to speak to the entire audience during a speaker session.
  • The brand logo appears on the front cover of all printed event materials and on the brand profile page.
  • A presentation with the brand’s Twitter @handle and logo is being shown at the conference.
  • 10 unique social media posts to promote attendance 10 days before the event
  • Exhibition stand measuring 20m x 20m
  • In the event brochure, there is a one-page advertisement.
  • Three guest blog posts can be found on the event website.
  • An important podcast interview from the event
  • Registration on the website
  • The main sponsor of the delegate drinks networking event
  • The delegate goodie bags are all branded.

£10,000 for silver

  • There is a page dedicated to the brand in printed event materials.
  • On the sponsor page of the conference slides, a small logo appears.
  • Create ten social media posts to encourage people to attend prior to the event.
  • Exhibit space of 10m x 10m
  • You have the option of holding a 30-minute speaker session on the campfire stage every day of the event.
  • A free printed leaflet is included in the delegate goodie bags.
  • Attendance at a delegate drinks and networking event

£5,000 for bronze.

  • There is a page dedicated to the brand in printed event materials.
  • On the sponsor page of the conference slides, a small logo appears.
  • Two social media posts were made prior to the event to encourage people to come.
  • Exhibition shell scheme pop-up stand, 5m x 5m
  • Attendance at a delegate drinks and networking event
  • You could also look into the following sponsorship packages for events:
  • Each activity or area should have a single sponsor, such as the main stage sponsor or a virtual networking sponsor.
  • Having a major conference sponsor who is solely focused on your event’s agenda
  • Sponsors of a specific session, presentation, or breakout room

how to get a sponsor

How to Thank Event Sponsors

When sponsors invest their time and money to support your event, you want them to feel appreciated. Here are some suggestions for thanking your sponsors:

1. At The Event Express Your Gratitude To Them.

It’s crucial to acknowledge your sponsors while the target audience is still present; after all, this is who they’re trying to reach. Take a few moments at the end of the last session, or during an award or networking reception, to thank your sponsors and show them how much they are appreciated. This is also a great time to get feedback and talk about possible collaboration opportunities.

2. Compose A Thank-You Letter

After the event, send a thank you note to sponsors, preferably one that is handwritten and personalised. A physical letter shows that you have more of an effort than just sending an email and is something “real” that the sponsor can keep, which will help them remember your event.

3. Make a Social Media Announcement

If you don’t have time to thank all of your sponsors during the event, a social media shoutout will show them how much you care and may result in new followers. Consider using video, an Instagram story series, or images from the event as an innovative and engaging method.

4. Repurpose Content From Sponsors

Outside of the event, assisting with the promotion of your sponsor’s material will help build goodwill and show them that you value long-term relationships over short-term profits. This can be done by re-sharing a blog post or retweeting a sponsor’s tweet.

5. Write A Case Study

Including a case study about the sponsor and their involvement in your event on your website will increase their visibility and give you a reason to stay in touch after the event. This can also be used as a piece of collateral to persuade additional sponsors in the future.

Developing A Long-term Sponsor Relationship

Whether it’s a virtual or in-person event, sponsorship can help you create a memorable and engaging experience, and hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on how to get a sponsor. Thorough research and effective communication are essential when it comes to obtaining sponsorship for an event. You’ll be well on your way to not only finding suitable sponsors but also making valuable long-term connections if you use the methods outlined above.

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