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How-To: Get Event Sponsors

17% of event professionals feel that sponsor retention rates are noticeably decreasing, and 53% agree that finding sponsorships is a challenge, according to the Event Manager Blog.

An event professional shakes hands with an event sponsor

Are you an event professional who’s working out how to get event sponsors that’ll stay with your organisation? Read on as we give 4 tips to get sponsors for your next event. Be sure to implement them into your event sponsorship strategies.

1. Pick the Right Sponsors


Social Tables points out that you should research sponsors who already work with events in the same industry as yours. Alternatively, you should get sponsors that work in events related to your industry. This is because these brands are likely to know what value event sponsorships can offer them. They’re also likely to continue investing in events to keep reaping the benefits that they’re aware of.


Also, these sponsors already know that their audience will align with yours if they’ve worked in your industry before. Therefore, they’ll be easier to pitch to and obtain.


This will also be easier if you choose brands whose values strongly align with those of your event. Don’t be afraid to cherry pick. Whether your organisation values employee wellbeing, gender justice, etc., pitching to a brand that also focuses on this will be a lot easier. This is because you both have common ground that you care about and will want to work towards together.


2. Prepare Interesting Sponsorship Features


The question might be, how to get event sponsors if all you can offer them is their logo on a leaflet or a short description of their brand at the end of a talk? If this is all you can offer them, they won’t be interested. They can get that from any other event organiser, and some event organisers can offer them even more.


Start thinking as early as possible about inventive ways in which you can market sponsors to your event audience. This way, you can include this information in your sponsorship proposal. For instance, read last Monday’s post here for some interesting ideas about event sponsorship strategies.


An event professional writing a tailored sponsorship proposal

3. Tailor Your Sponsorship Proposal to the Sponsor


When reaching out to a potential sponsor, you need to tailor your proposal to them and their interests. Do your research and sprinkle in references to their recent work and how your event can help to promote it. For instance, instantly get their attention through a sentence or so at the start of your proposal that demonstrates that you’re familiar with their work. If you simply copy and paste a proposal you’ve previously sent to other brands, the sponsor will notice. Their interest will immediately drop.


Also, don’t just write about how important and enjoyable the event will be for you and attendees; that’s ultimately irrelevant for the sponsor. Instead, approach the proposal from the sponsors’ perspective. Focus on how much visibility and added value they’ll get from the event.


4. Other Information to Put in Sponsorship Proposal


By now, you probably have an understanding of what your potential sponsor wants. Therefore, you can offer them incentives based on that. Firstly, provide them with a list of ways in which you intend to incorporate them into your event. Secondly, state why these would suit their brand. How would this benefit them? What visibility will they get? Give concrete data, even if it has to be a range of numbers. E.g. the gross revenue they could get from your events, and how many registrants you usually get. However, Aventri does emphasise that you shouldn’t simply think of the sponsor as a cash cow; don’t give them pure costs and prices with no details about your event.


This leads us to our second point: include a comprehensive event description. This should be relatively snappy – enough to give the sponsor a brief idea of what your event’s about, what will happen during it, and why the sponsor should be interested in having a presence there. If the sponsor doesn’t know anything about the event and have better offers, don’t expect them to email you back asking further questions about the event. And if they do go ahead with sponsoring your event, it’ll waste time if they have to ask lots of questions later.


Also, you should mention any mutual connections that you have with the sponsor. This will instantly make them trust you over strangers. If you heard of them through a mutual contact, or met their representatives at an event, remind them here.


Furthermore, you need to state what demographics your event is targeted at, to get event sponsors interested. Aventri points out that sponsors want to promote their product or service in front of the right audience, i.e. their target segment. This includes the gender, age, financial background, education, career, etc. of their audience. Therefore, event organisers need to assure them that their event’s audience fits these demographics. Additionally, state explicitly that this audience will be relevant targets for the sponsor’s services. This also allows event organisers to demonstrate competence, by expecting to be asked about this and having this information readily available. Event organisers who can’t answer this will look rather unprepared.


Conclusion


We hope that you use these event sponsorship strategies for your next event. If you have any more, drop them in the comments!


Also comment if there are any other aspects of event organisation that you’d like us to discuss in our next How-To blog post.

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