Finding the right sponsor for your event can be a struggle. However, while you are searching for funding, there are companies out there who want to find events for their marketing campaigns. One report states that total sponsorship spending by North American businesses will hit $23.2 billion in 2017. This figure includes all sponsorships, not just those for charitable causes and events. Companies are spending money because they understand that sponsorship is mutually beneficial.
1Understand How Companies Will Benefit
Understanding your participants and their demographics will enable you to approach businesses with authority and information. How will companies benefit from teaming up with your event? What type of exposure will they get? Sponsors look at this as a marketing opportunity- be ready to explain how their business will profit!
2Search for Potential Sponsors
Not sure where to start? Start with your immediate network and determine potential connections. Look at which businesses have sponsored similar events to your own and reach out to them. Their involvement in other opportunities will not necessarily preclude them from working with you on your event. The more you know about their company, mission statement, and marketing efforts, the better.
3Deal With the Decision Maker
This might be someone on the marketing team or involved with their company’s public relations. It could be someone higher up. Who will make the final decision? Look for influential employees and decision makers on Twitter and LinkedIn. Go to this person with a clear proposal, your mission statement, and sponsorship benefits.
4Pitch Your Event at the Right Moment
One study shows that over 45% of corporations decide on their sponsorships in the last quarter of the fiscal year. In addition, give yourself plenty of time, by requesting funding 4-6 months ahead of your event. Sufficient funding is imperative and should be one of your first steps in planning an event.
5Don’t Forget the Media
Funding comes in many ways, and don’t forget the importance of advertising! You already need to pay money to adequately advertise your event and increase attendance. If you team up with a newspaper or radio station, you may be able to save yourself advertising costs by partnering with a media outlet.
6Remember Your Sponsors
Of course, you should thank your sponsors. But, don’t stop there- you should provide a recap of the event with pictures, testimonials, and statistics. Focus on their important role in making this a success. Keep your sponsorship correspondence organized for upcoming events- they may want to help out in the future.