To get the sponsor for your event you have to convince a company that the investment will return. Is it possible to measure the benefits of the sponsorship to the sponsor before the event?
Why are event organizers eager to get event sponsors?
The idea of getting a sponsor might not be the same as the first thing you have in mind while hearing about it. Role of the sponsor may vary. Of course, some sponsors only give money to the organizer and provide a logo in a high resolution. But believe me – if this is the core of your pitch – you will fail. Unless you organize The Event of the industry, finding this kind of sponsor is hard.
But money isn’t all. Event organizers try to engage companies and publishers for marketing reasons. Imagine you are organizing a FinTech Conference. Wouldn’t it be easier to market it to Forbes’ readers, than to build an audience from scratch?
What’s more, getting this kind of “older brother” gives a touch of prestige and may attract others to join the play. It’s a variation of the “social proof” kind of an argument. When companies see that an A-lister sponsors an event, the might put their assets on the table as well.
Gathering some profs and keynote speakers can also help you enrich the lineup. Many events build their marketing campaigns around the recognizable name. It works. A person the attendees look up to can attract even more paying participants.
What are the reasons to sponsor an event?
But what’s in it for the sponsor? They give their money and name. What do they receive in return?
Event sponsorship brings many benefits to the sponsor. Brand visibility is the obvious one. But let’s assume, that this benefit won’t be a clincher for the sponsor. What other profits are on the list?
The way brand’s customers see the brand – the customer perception – is a good example. To sponsor an event means to support the whole idea behind it. Some events touch issues important for the particular brand, or it’s audience. These brands are more likely to fall for the sponsorship of the particular event.
Sponsors also do need sponsors and partners. Attending an industry event eases networking. So if a company shows up on your event, there’s a chance it will gain some valuable contacts for its future projects.
Another not-so-obvious reason to sponsor an event is to gather live audience insights. The live contact with prospects and consumers is priceless. It shows companies the data form their CRMs in the real life. It gives them a context. But it makes sense only if the event attendees cover somehow company’s target group! (That’s a hint for you)
How to get a company to sponsor your event?
If you ever wondered how to get businesses to sponsor your event, here’s a quick answer:
You have to tell companies what’s in it for them.
I know, I know – it’s an open secret. But do you know how to do it right? Repeating clichés like “wide audience” and “top players” will only make your pitch blunt. It will disappear among dozens of similar offers.
As I already said, the reasons for companies to sponsor an event are different. What’s more, there are different kinds of sponsorship packages. Some only grant a display in the main hall. Others get companies to the main stage to give a memorable speech for the attendants.
To get the businesses to sponsor your event, you must first personalize the pitch. Period. Start it with a list of reasons why you want a particular company to be your sponsor. Is it because it’s customers are similar to your target audience? Or it’s because brand’s values match yours? The process will give you a hint on why a company might want to cooperate with you. Include it in your pitch!
Second step also includes a research on the potential sponsor. What are their strengths and weaknesses. Do they have a recognizable CEO? Do they bring the innovation game on the new level? Sum it up and create a USP for your event. Yes, an event is also a product you are trying to “sell” to a sponsor. Be bold and passionate about it. Tell people what’s so special about your summit, hackathon, meetup or conference.
Finally, define what you can offer. You can propose such activities like:
Social media mentions,
On-stage speaking opportunities,
Special audience access,
Complimentary or VIP passes,
And so on.
Now think of the types of the sponsors you aim at. Bring it all together and prepare the pitch. make a few versions – align the offer with the list of the potential sponsors, their needs and your USP.
If you want to stand out make your sponsor pitch specific and data-based.
Surprise sponsors with numbers. Outline:
the reach of the event,
estimated number of attendees,
the coverage of the sponsor target audience among attendees,
attendee feedback from previous editions,
type of the attendees gathered during an event (their position, interests, profiles and so on).
Bring a web-based event planning software, like Eventory into play. Use it to calculate or estimate such information. Make the most of the data you have and describe future events with it.
Use the data that tickles the sweet spot of the sponsor. Focus on the Key Performance Indicators that align with the given company. Be concise and precise in your offer. Give the prospect a specific information on the influencres he’ll meet. Describe their social media presence. Do the same with the audience and speakers.
Relation between the organizer and the sponsor must be two-way. The sponsor needs to calculate the risk before joining the team. Making the offer detailed and personalized will only make it easier for the company. It will show that you respect prospect’s time. It also proves that you are transparent in your actions.
If there’s only one piece of advice that you should remember after reading this text, let it be this one:
Translate the data into benefits of the sponsorship to the sponsor. 100% guarantee it will make your pitch bulletproof. You will avoid empty promises and get exactly those sponsors that you want for your event!
What are your secrets on getting a sponsor? Leave us a word in a comment section!