HOW TO WIN THE RIGHT SPONSORS
5 WAYS TO ATTRACT SPONSORS WHO WILL TAKE YOUR EVENT TO THE NEXT-LEVEL
Finding potential sponsors is hard and converting them is even harder! But with the right strategy in place, it gets a lot easier. You already have something they want, the attention of their target audience. All you need is to convince them that your event is worth their time, budget and resources. Follow these five steps to win sponsors for your event and building long-lasting relationships year after year.
IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET PROSPECTS
You’ll want sponsors that fit well with your mission, and whose target markets overlap the demographics of your guests. When pitching a potential sponsor, emphasize the “fit” between your audience and their brand. New companies that are trying to establish their brand are always great targets because they have the highest need for exposure. Know who your contacts are (is there a VP of marketing? A community relations department? An advertising agency?) and figure out who makes the final decision.
An online marketplace for sponsors like Sponsor My Event is a great place to start your search for potential sponsors.
CRAFT A UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION
Selling event sponsorships is like selling a product or service: having a concise and powerful USP is the fastest way to demonstrate the value of what you can offer potential sponsors.
- Define your event’s mission or cause.
- Identify what you offer that is of value to sponsors.
- Explain what differentiates your event from others.
- Offer data about your event’s audience.
- Demonstrate how the sponsor will benefit from the relationship.
CREATE OFFERINGS THAT INTEREST POTENTIAL SPONSORS
To win sponsors, don’t take an approach that says, “please support us,” take an approach that says, “here’s how we’ll add value to your brand.” Sponsorship is a form of advertising, and your potential sponsor will expect customizable benefits such as:
- Speaking opportunities and/or special audience access
- On-stage announcements
- Logo placements (on signage, mailings, programs, etc.)
- Website marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media mentions
- In-kind sponsorship opportunities (like food, beverage, printing, a/v, entertainment, transportation, decor/floral, PR, etc.)
USE INFORMATION AND DATA TO PROVE SPONSORSHIP VALUE
The more details and data points you have on your audience, the easier it is to convince sponsors of their value. Show potential sponsors who they could reach, how many people they could reach, and the revenue they could generate by sponsoring your event. Be sure to include:
- Ticket/registration sales: Use attendance records to show how many people a sponsor could reach.
- Attendee demographics: Know your audience’s age, gender, location, education level, professions and income.
- Non-attendee demographics: Give an overview of other vendors and media at your event.
- Social media actions: Track when, where and how often your event is mentioned online.
SHARE ROI DATA AFTER THE EVENT
Establish key performance indicators before the event and be sure to track and deliver that data to your sponsors to prove your value. A nice touch is sharing it after the event as part of a thank-you presentation. Some effective ways to measure return-on-investment include:
- Social media mentions
- Attendee data collected
- Unique website visitors
- Revenue data
- Leads and sales
At the end of the day, a sponsor is looking to connect with their target audience to boost sales or leads, improve brand recognition and recall or enhance their image in association with your cause. If you help them succeed in these areas you’ll impress your sponsors, please your guests and enhance your events.