If you’re putting together a larger event, chances are you’re considering how to get event sponsorship. Recruiting some sponsors can help cut your out of pocket expenses. It’s a smart move. Now more than ever, companies and individuals are turning to sponsorships and influencer marketing to promote their products to their target market.
It’s the perfect chance to show consumers their interest in a cause or event, thus gaining their trust. For you, it means a couple hundred or even thousand extra dollars in the budget in exchange for slapping a logo on printouts and maybe a booth space.
But you want to be careful not to just sign with any company that waves a check in front of you. There’s several things to consider when searching for sponsors.
Alignment with the Event
First, do their values align with yours? You probably wouldn’t want a tobacco company as a sponsor for a health conference, but a holistic health supplement provider would be perfect. Similarly, if your company has a strong stance on being eco-friendly, you’d want to be careful to align yourself with brands that actively campaign their efforts to go green. If you’re unsure of a company’s values, check out their website, most will proudly share the causes they support and any ideals they hold near and dear on their about pages.
Another thing to consider would be a company’s reputation. If you’re sponsored by a company that just had a scandal, it will reflect badly on your event. For example, if you were sponsored by BP in 2010 following the oil spill, the partnership would hurt you more than it would help. It’s impossible to predict the future, of course, so you’ll never know if one of your sponsors is about to make a big whoops, but that’s why it’s important to have other options in place, and contracts to protect you should something go wrong.
You probably already have a few brands in mind that would fit well with your event. If you’re running a smaller or newer event, big corporations may be out of reach for the time being. I suggest searching for smaller, independent business that fall into the same category. These partnerships may have more mutual benefits. The smaller brand gets to reach a new segment of their target market and you get some extra spending dollars. It would be harder to convince a larger corporation of how you may benefit them should they sponsor you. Unless of course, you can leverage having an offer from their competition.
Persuasive “Benefits to Sponsoring” Sections
This is one of the most crucial aspects of your sponsorship sales. So, you will have to come up with ready-made and persuasive reasons that will convince your prospects.
Consider the following:
- Demonstrate how your event or conference will raise awareness and preference for their brand. There are also other corporates offering similar services as your prospects. This point is very important as they also need leverage over their competition.
- Show how their sponsorship of your event will increase their positive public relations and give their organization more dominant presence. This is most relevant to companies operating out of a local community that tend to keep to brand loyalty more than a diverse urban area.
- Establish how your program will include a sales promotion campaign that will benefit the sponsor.
- Utilize your past record of success or the indices that determine your event will be successful if you are just starting out. Sponsors naturally only want to associate with successes as they are not really doling out charity but also expecting benefits in return.
Social Media Engagement
Another way to find potential sponsors would be to watch your social media (of course). Somewhere along the line, a company of similar values has interacted with your posts or followed you. These are great brands to reach out to and propose a partnership to.
If all else fails, reach out to your Event Planner or find an assistant who specializes in Sponsorships. They may already have a network of brands interested in sponsoring events that can make the outreach process easier.