How to get sponsorship for an event: 15 strategies
What is one strategy you can use to get sponsorships for a business event?
To help you secure the right sponsorships for your business events, we asked marketing professionals and business leaders this question for their best insights. From spending time researching potential sponsors to presenting an action plan, there are several strategies to explore when seeking effective sponsorship for your business events.
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Here are 15 strategies these leaders use to get sponsorships for their business events:
- Spend Time Researching Potential Sponsors
- Approach Individual Businesses or Organizations Directly
- Explain What You’re Offering
- Use a Sponsorship Broker
- Reach Out to Companies With Similar Interests
- Get Prospective Sponsors to See the Specific Audience They’ll Benefit From
- Find a Sponsor With Brand Recognition
- Show Potential Sponsors Attendee Testimonials From Previous Events
- Provide Potential Sponsors With Promising Marketing Assets
- Use the Goals of Potential Sponsors to Personalize Your Proposals
- Leverage Any Local Contacts
- Offer Co-Branded Marketing Materials
- Consider Offering a Special Incentive
- Share Your Story
- Present an Action Plan
Spend Time Researching Potential Sponsors
Spend extensive time researching the history of any potential sponsors you’ve determined to be a quality fit for your event. Look for the type of events they have sponsored in the past. If they’ve been a part of similar events, they’ve obviously found it worthwhile for their investment.
Your main goal is to determine their marketing goals and challenges. Accomplishing this will make it easier to successfully sell them on how your companies align. One way to go about this is to try out their product or service to ensure it makes sense for your overall event. You’re seeking to avoid confusing event attendees with a totally unrelated sponsorship. When a sponsor can actually benefit your attendees, it provides a deeper level of value to those coming through the doors.
Jerry Han, Chief Marketing Officer, PrizeRebel
Approach Individual Businesses or Organizations Directly
One strategy is to approach individual businesses or organizations directly. Start with past clients. If you have good rapport with them, especially if they had a good experience with you: you handled them well and provided great service, then you are more likely to get sponsorships from them, or they could refer you to other businesses that might sponsor. Never underestimate the value of a good recommendation.
Paw Vej, Chief Operating Officer, Financer.com
Explain What You’re Offering
No company will financially support your business event unless they are getting the same benefit in return. So think about what you are offering them in return. Good Treatment? Subscriptions to a product or service from your company? In this case, think about the unique offers that your sponsors agree to fund in the event. Further, if you’re serious about a profitable event and want more sponsors, then give them great offers that they’re not getting from anywhere else.
Gerrid Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, Joy Organics
Use a Sponsorship Broker
When looking for sponsorships for a business event, one option is to use a sponsorship broker. A sponsorship broker will work with you to identify opportunities that match your event and your needs. They’ll also help to negotiate the terms of the sponsorship, ensuring that both parties are happy with the arrangement. Using a broker can save you a lot of time and hassle, and it’s a great way to find potential sponsorships that you might not have otherwise considered. Although it may be more costly than going it alone, it often provides better results.
Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager, PhotoAiD
Reach Out to Companies With Similar Interests
One strategy I would recommend is to reach out to businesses that have similar interests as you and see if they would be interested in sponsoring your event. An example of this would be if you are a life coach and you are looking to host an event for your clients, you could reach out to a local gym that has a similar client base as you to see if the gym would be interested in sponsoring the event. This can help to get the gym promoted as well as save you some money!
Nathan Hughes, Marketing Director, Diggity Marketing
Get Prospective Sponsors to See the Specific Audience They’ll Benefit From
Don’t tell prospective sponsors that your event will provide them with greater exposure. Let them know that your event will give them exposure to a specific, concentrated audience that they otherwise wouldn’t have the same exposure to. Make sure the prospective sponsor also jives well with the kind of event you’re throwing. People attend events for a specific purpose. Job fairs, college fairs, health expos – they all attract people who are motivated to commit to something. In Florida, they literally have hurricane expos whenever hurricane season starts. If you sell generators, you’re going to want to attend a hurricane expo. People there are already thinking about purchasing supplies that will help them cope with the aftermath of a major storm. Look for those specific sponsors that line up perfectly with the type of event you’re hosting.
Trevor Ford, Head of Growth, Yotta
Find a Sponsor With Brand Recognition
Get the right sponsorships for your business event by deciding who has a strong brand presence. Check out which brands have already sponsored other businesses in your industry. Look at your competition and see which brands are collaborating with them. When you figure out who to contact, do a little more research. Find out their mission and values to determine if they align with your own and see if you have similar audiences. Utilize these key tips to find the perfect sponsor who aligns with you on many levels and whose brand will help you develop a loyal base.
Lydia Boychuk, VP of Marketing, More Labs
Show Potential Sponsors Attendee Testimonials From Previous Events
Attendee testimonials can help your business get sponsorships if you’re hosting a recurring event. Testimonials show that previous attendees loved your event and word-of-mouth is more likely to get more people on board. Sponsors want to see that you can create buzz around your event. The more people you can get to submit testimonials, the better your odds are of getting sponsorships.
If it’s a one-time event, you can get testimonials from employees or clients who attended similar events in the past or who can vouch for the company itself. It’s essential to get as many detailed testimonials as possible so potential sponsors can know what to expect. Encourage attendees to share what they liked about the company, activities, food, music, or other elements of the event.
Dustin Ray, Co-Ceo and chief growth officer, IncFile
Provide Potential Sponsors With Promising Marketing Assets
It is very important when running a social cause company that you utilize the correct marketing resources. Since the potential sponsors would want to display their brand, provide them with the potential places possible. Some branding examples can be through banners, logos, event programs, and info points. Another advantage they would want is marketing their products. It’s best to look for sponsors who align with your cause in this case. Then, you can give them additional assets like product giveaways, speaking spots, and website and social media mentions. All of these will act as an incentive or lucrative marketing opportunity. But, just make sure you strike a 50-50 deal that will benefit both parties. At the end of the day, an event is about the combination of all successful partnerships.
Mark Blakey, CEO & Advertising Manager, Autism Parenting Magazine
Use the Goals of Potential Sponsors to Personalize Your Proposals
Ensure your event somehow aligns with what potential sponsors are looking for. Reach out to these companies directly to ask about their goals for event sponsorship, whether it’s to expand brand awareness or reach new audiences. Some brands may simply want their logo included in all event-related marketing material. Others may prefer a designated booth or even a presentation slot. Either way, this information can help you craft tailored proposals highlighting what each company stands to gain by sponsoring your event.
Jayme Muller, Brand Manager, RTA Outdoor Living
Leverage Any Local Contacts
Make the most of your local contacts to get sponsorships for your corporate event. You can find out local contacts that are acquainted with any company employees. Or you can inquire if your employees recognize any notable individuals so that they might invite them as guests. Companies based in the local area or attempting to establish a foothold there should frequently look for well-liked residents in order to gain the favor of the community. Such personal contacts should be approached and won over initially. This is because these contacts can later prove to be beneficial for seeking sponsorships for events.
Kurt Uhlir, Chief Marketing Officer, kurtuhlir
Offer Co-Branded Marketing Materials
When you’re able to give benefits to your sponsors, they’ll love to work with you and support your organization’s missions. I think offering co-branded marketing materials helps you to engage potential sponsors to become partners of your organization. These co-branded marketing materials can be publicly thanking your sponsors and mentioning their names in your events, and co-branded merchandise like t-shirts and mugs, etc. Further, ask your sponsors to post about the event, which will not only get more audience to attend the events but also reach your voice to more sponsors through various social media platforms. Which will possibly bring more sponsors for your business event.
Zephyr Chan, Founder and growth marketer, Better Marketer
Consider Offering a Special Incentive
Consider offering an incentive. This could mean the sponsor will be able to host a table at the event, for example. In doing so, it’s a co-branded marketing opportunity for both parties where everyone wins. The sponsor will gain brand awareness and the other company will benefit from the financial assistance.
Randee Machina, Director of Marketing, Simpli Pleasures
Share Your Story
In my experience, this is the most successful tactic for securing financial support for a professional event. I have no doubt in my mind that establishing an emotional connection with prospective sponsors is one of the most effective ways to pique their interest in your event as well as in your organization. Share the background of your organization with them, highlighting the motivations behind your actions. Include your personal mission statement and elaborate on how you try to fulfill it in your daily life.
Daniel Foley, Founder, Assertive Media
Present an Action Plan
Instead of discussing about how a corporation will benefit from a business, there must be something to act on. A proper creative action plan must come into view which would be making things easier and more understandable for a corporate worker to invest in a particular business. A good action plan will make the corporate worker feel secure in investing his/her money without any doubt. Taking such initiatives gives businesses a competitive advantage over others in a sponsorship deal.
Tia Campbell, Director of Marketing, Practice Reasoning Tests