Creating a top team and successfully organising an event will surely give you an accomplished feeling. But for that to happen, you need good talent, a lot of resources, planning, preparation and most importantly, sponsors! Yes!
The value of sponsorship is more than the power of traditional advertising that print and media can buy. Though don’t confuse sponsorship with advertising. It is a marketing medium which promotes sponsors in association with the event.
But getting sponsors is not an easy task. You’d be having a long list of tasks, from sending out emails to fruitless calling and dealing with uninterested company employees and what not!
Getting sponsorship might sound like a tiring task but it doesn’t have to be anymore.
Here we have cooked the perfect recipe on how to get hold of your sponsors.
Ingredients are- traditional ways, a pinch of fresh ideas with event technology sprinkled on it.
1. Know your platform.
The first and the foremost thing is to find the people who align with your core values and who’d support your endeavours. Finding the people who think just parallel to you, is half work done.
Make a detailed list of companies who sponsor events and activities similar to yours. Targeting the right kind of people is going to save time and energy both.
2. To whom you are approaching?
Do a thorough research on what sort or organisation you’d like to approach. Or you can use the research that other people have already done to give you an edge. But how do you do that?
Well, look out which are the organisations sponsors events like yours. For example, if you’re looking for a sponsorship for your technology conference, look out for the other technology conferences and who were the sponsors.
3. Know different levels of sponsorship.
Any event, big or small, has a different level of sponsorship and you need to curate them in a detailed manner. If you haven’t already outlined your budget and what do your expect from your sponsors, do it.
Make a list of different levels of your event. Know what level has to offer what and what are your requirements from sponsors. Well, then entice your sponsors accordingly and tell them what’s there in it for them.
4. Create a potential sponsor list.
Having a good long list of potential sponsors sounds like a good idea. But the length of the list is of the least importance. We are sure that you wouldn’t like to go to every company and talk to every other person. Sounds tedious, right?
Therefore, make a list of sponsors who would be willing to sponsor your event in actual. Also, sponsorship has different layers. So, make sure you categorise your sponsors accordingly.
5. Do your revision.
We all know the importance of revision, don’t we? Having done the revision about the company beforehand will help you in the long run to gain the confidence of the sponsors. It will also help in finding the right person to talk to when you approach the company.
Before approaching the company, ask yourself, what does company want? Look for the reasons why they would be interested in sponsoring your event? If you have this thing clear in mind then you’d be able to offer them better.
6. Have a great proposal ready.
One of the fundamental keys to getting sponsored is our ability to create a winning sponsorship proposal. Just so you know, it can literally make or break the deal. Start with the story, tell them what do you do and what are the benefits they are going to get.
Well, here you need to connect the bridge. The bridge between what you have to offer and what they want. Research and make your proposal an insightful document which aligns with their as well as your objectives. If sponsor and sponsee both stand on the same platform, chances of a win-win situation are more than ever.
7. Go creative.
Sponsorship is about more than sticking logos on everything. While your sponsorship agreement might include the use of logos, if that’s all you’ve got to offer you can’t really ask for all that much in return.
Find out new ideas and offer more than just logos. Be it terms of customised gifts, product endorsements, event naming rights, the establishment of staff volunteer program, organising contest or giving coupons. Just do it differently!
8. Promise on the deliverable.
When you’re courting a sponsor, always do what you say. Sponsors will test you. If you can’t get information, tell them why. Always be on time or early for an appointment. Let them know you are a person of integrity.
“You get one chance to make an impression, and if you burn the bridge, you can’t go back.”
9. Use the magic wand- Event Analytics
Use of event technology is that magic ingredient you can use to attract your sponsors. But, how? Here’s where event analytics come into play. People these days have resorted to dedicated event websites and apps to create a unique experience for their attendees and are keeping a track of it with event analytics.
Event analytics are user interactions with content on your website that can be tracked. This comes very handy in winning the confidence of the sponsors. Hence, send them a detailed report of how many visitors your website are gaining and what exposure it would give to their brand as well.
Entice them about how you are using event technology to boost and measure your event performance by providing concrete information on the real return on their investment. We’re sure they won’t say no!
10. Don’t sell yourself short.
According to Linda Hollander from Women’s Small Business Expo, making a year-long sponsorship program is what feasible for sponsors and sponsee as well. That means you are asking for sponsorship for not just a single event but multiple events that you are going to hold withing the specific time.
Also, make up your mind about what amount of money you want from sponsors. Asking quite short amount is a big No. You’re dealing with a well-paid person in corporation. If you’re seeking low key sponsorship then maybe it’s not even worth their time.
11. Be confident and always follow up.
Don’t ever think that once you’ve got the cheque your job is done. As with most things in fundraising, sponsorships are all about the relationship.
You need to be in regular contact, you need to give thanks where it’s due, and you need to ensure that you’re always doing what you said you’d do.
So, next time when you are going out to seek sponsors, keep these points in mind.