As the cost of producing corporate events and conferences continues to increase so does the need for attracting more sponsors to help offset those costs. The best sponsorships are a win-win-win. Sponsors win by engaging a large portion of their target audience with their product, service, or brand. Attendees win by learning about new partner solutions that can make their business more successful. And Event Organizers win because they add more value to their event without increasing the cost for attendees all while helping their bottom line.
Competition for sponsorship dollars is on the rise. Depending on your industry and the size of your event, you could be approaching sponsors who receive multiple proposals a day. Your ability to customize, connect, integrate, and offer ROI have never been more important.
Here are eight tips for attracting sponsors:
- Research and Connect – Find out what events their organization has sponsored in the past. Look for common core values and ways to demonstrate how sponsoring your event would provide them with direct access to their target market.
- Tell a Story – Make an emotional connection by appealing to the potential sponsor on a personal level. Share how your company got started, your mission, similar core values, etc. Whatever it is that makes your business unique and connects you to their organization, share it, and do it in the form of a story.
- Create a Value Proposition – Formulate one to two concise paragraphs explaining the purpose and value of your event. Here are examples of questions sponsors will be looking for you to answer:
- What is the purpose of your event and why do you need sponsors?
- Who is your demographic and what is the estimated size of your audience?
- What are the incentives for sponsoring and how will this help their company?
- Who are the other sponsors?
- Be Transparent – Provide a breakdown showing the estimated funding needed and how each portion is broken out. For example, food and beverage, guest speakers, wifi, etc.
- Offer Tiered Packages – Be specific about what each package includes, the value associated with those offerings, and the overall cost. Packages should vary by the value provided such as the amount and location of branding, size and location of a booth, speaking slots, rich data about their target audience, and so on.
- Get Creative – Differentiate yourself by coming up with unique ways attendees can interact with a sponsor’s brand. Here are a few examples to help you get the creative juices flowing:
- Game Lounge. Set up an area with table tennis, life-size jenga, and air hockey. The entire area could be branded by a sponsor, or multiple sponsors could host tournaments and hand out branded prizes.
- Coffee Sponsor. Offer sponsors the opportunity to brand the coffee cups. Their logos are sure to get quality time with attendees throughout the event.
- Relaxation Station. This area could be anything from lounge seating to massage chairs to meditation and yoga classes.
- Be Flexible – Listen to your sponsors and be willing to collaborate with them. Odds are they already have a good idea of how they want attendees to interact with their brand.
- Post-Event Evaluation – Having a post-event evaluation with your sponsors is vital to maintaining your relationship for future events. During this phase, you will want to have pictures, facts, and figures from your event to go over with them. The better your data is, the more value you can provide your sponsors.
Remember when approaching your potential sponsor to focus on building the relationship. Be genuine, use your data, and concentrate on a win-win-win.
Until next time!