How to win sponsors for your event in 4 easy steps
It’s a challenge especially for start-ups to find the right corporations and organizations to sponsor their event. For long time event companies who have been in the industry for decades, it’s obviously a lot easier because they have already established a good business relationship with the sponsors and they no longer have to prove their brand credibility.
But even the best in the industries can easily lose regular sponsors with just a few setbacks. Sponsors are the most important resource of your event. You need to take care of your relationship with them to keep them on board for a long haul.
Here are 4 easy steps to win sponsors and how to keep them:
#1 Craft an impeccable sponsor proposal
According to business and sponsorship consultant, Linda Hollander, “Without a great proposal, don’t bother.” A great proposal consists of a compelling story, a clear mission statement, a list of amazing benefits, a description of your demographics and a straightforward amount.
A compelling story needs to be something of great value. What have you done so far from the past that can create an emotional connection with your sponsors? Tell them your story.
A clear mission statement will also give them an idea of what they’re getting into. What is your company about and what does it do? Give them a reason why they need to be part of your vision.
The list of amazing benefits should be presented on the table neatly as possible. Lay out all your cards to them and let them know what the event sponsorship can bring them.
Define your demographics to your sponsors. According to Jeff Kear, Head of marketing and sales from PlanningPod, the first thing the sponsor says to a company asking for sponsorship is “Show me your audience.”
Your target audience is the first thing they would look at: if you can deliver them the right people or not. Their major concerns are whether you can help them boost their leads or sales, improve brand awareness or enhance they brand image.
#2 Provide a detailed input and output
The most common mistake event professionals do is to speak vaguely of what they need.
A sponsor said once, “If I don’t see the prices in the menu, I throw it.”
It only makes sense that you don’t waste your sponsor’s time, if they give you any. The clock ticks like gold for business owners so just go straight to the point and give them valuable options right off the bat.
That way, they can make their call easily.
Apply the same straightforwardness to your output. If they agree with the price, then you need to be detailed and clear about what you can offer them.
Don’t give them ambiguous promises. Let them know what they will get in return and how much of it will they get. If it’s media coverage, let them know what it consist: live coverage of keynote speakers and sessions, press releases, interaction and implementation in social media, etc.
Give an approximate and realistic amount or percentage. They would like it if they see some solid numbers in the picture.
#3 Reach out to the right people
Reaching out to the appropriate department can save you time and money. Instead of meeting someone who can’t make a decision for the sponsorship and spending a few bucks for coffee, might as well call the right person and get immediate action.
The right people may come from different departments such as public relations, community affairs, marketing department or brand management.
Some experts advise emails as the best medium to reach out to sponsors, some says its phone call. It really depends on how you lay out your proposal.
If you market well in person or over the phone, you might as well give a sample pitch via phone call. If you can draft the best email, might as well write them a preview of your proposal and ask them to meet up somewhere.
The only advantage of emails is that most companies have strong firewalls that may block your emails and you end up waiting in vain.
There’s no harm in calling them and get instant feedback.
#4 Follow up no matter what
This is applicable whether you’re an event professional trying to win a sponsorship or a telemarketer trying to convert a customer.
We are living in a very busy world. Everyone is already pre-occupied by the time you reach out to them. Initial sponsorship emails get automatically overlooked because there are more urgent items in the mailbox.
The best way to not miss your chance is to follow up.
You will be surprise that a sponsor just missed your message and was not able to get back to you. Remember, that sponsors have busy lives and you need to make the necessary adjustments on their schedule.
Don’t assume rejection unless they say so. Just keep the communication line open.
About Stride Plus Events
Stride Plus is an events organizing and management company based in the UAE, focused on business, networking and community events.
Learn more about our services here.
Follow up no matter what to not lose major deals.