How to secure event sponsorship in 3 easy steps!
Are you planning a meeting or event and want to double even triple your budget to really make an impact? Here are some ways that you can leverage your event to get the most out of sponsorship and leave everyone saying WOW!
- Do you research
What is your event? Is it a 2-day conference for lawyers? Is it an incentive trip? Or is it perhaps an awards gala? Whatever it is, do your research on who would want to be in the room or meet with your attendees. Let’s say it is a 2-day workshop for doctors at a well-known hotel banquet facility. Your value proposition to potential sponsors is showcasing their brand to your audience and/or allowing them to attend or present at the workshop. So, who would want to be in front of a group of doctors? Medical supply companies, Pharmaceutical companies, government agencies? It is important you do your research – talk to your stakeholders and look at what other organizations are doing.
- Think outside the box
They say, “cash is king”, but don’t underestimate the value of in-kind sponsorship. During your research and brainstorming phase, think about the items that you need to run your conference or event that could be given in-kind or at a reduced cost. For example, audio visual, hotel rooms, food and beverage, printing services or poster maker, décor, airline/travel. Or perhaps one of your potential sponsors is connected to a cool or new venue? Or maybe they want to host a golf tournament as part of your incentive trip. Don’t be limited to just accepting cash -get creative!
- Don’t be afraid to reach out
Use the connections you have at hand to reach out to potential sponsors. It is also important to reach out before you send them a sponsorship prospectus. Once you have been communicating with them, you can send them a Brochure or short proposal - but make sure you note that you are flexible and will customize to their needs. That may be talking with well known attendees or suppliers that you already have relationships with or using tools like LinkedIn. As mentioned, it is important that there is value for both parties and if there is value, then you should feel very comfortable reaching out. It is a quid pro quo. They won’t give you money if they don’t see value. And don’t be afraid to cold call or email – the worst thing they can say is no!
Sponsorship can be a great way to offset your event costs, but always remember that it is important to create a compelling value proposition and that it is much easier asking a happy sponsor to come back the following year than to find a new one. You are building relationships – it is a two-way street!