Securing a sponsor for an event may be challenging for most sponsorship seekers as it usually require proper planning as well as diligence in order to succeed. In this article, let us explore some of the effective ways to secure sponsorship for your event. We will also outline on how to best plan the event, create a proposal, and close the deal as we provide you with insights about your prospective sponsors.
Step 1: Planning the Event
In the event planning stage, it is crucial to first and foremost understand the value of sponsoring an event so you could best communicate the benefits with the potential sponsors. What most people don’t realize is that sponsorship is actually a form of promotion and advertising for businesses who wish to connect a targeted group of audience. An event sponsor can get big exposure by letting their brand show up and engage with the attendees during the event. No other form of marketing allows anyone to get real-time feedback and insights as to how a targeted audience react to the promotions than event marketing. After all, the main goal of a sponsorship is to increase the brand exposure and eventually develop brand loyalty. This is usually done by strategically including the brand’s logo for awareness during the events. Since events are typically planned based on the needs and wants of the guests, the event acts a way to facilitate the synergy between the two groups.
When you first walk through the venue of the event, it is important to go through the possible places where the logo of the sponsor may be strategically placed and integrated to the whole experience without necessarily appearing disruptive of the environment vibe. Firstly, banners can be hung over the entrance so that the guests may see it right away. It may also be placed on the back of the seats and the booths. The organizer may also hand out program flyers having the logo of the sponsor at the back. Other possible materials can be in the form of freebies such as shirts used by the participants or the event organizers.
Aside from location, it’s important to identify the other needs of the sponsors such as important highlights including meet and greet with the performers, celebrities or backstage passes. Product samples may also be given in booths where the logo of the sponsor is present. These marketing and promotional opportunities are your assets and it is good to make a list of all of them to be able to keep track of their usage as well as fully optimize them and integrate your event plans accordingly.
Since sponsorship is also a type of promotion, there are three main things to take note of.
First of all, organizers must always count the number impressions or in other words, number of people who actually look at the logo or who may be aware of the brand because of the event. With this, the organizers have to determine the target demographic of the guests who would potentially look at the logo. Ensure having a system wherein you would be able to count and keep track of the number of people who see ads in your posters, newspapers, or billboards.
4. Make An Evaluation of Your Assets
When you have all the figures for all the assets in your inventory, you can easily include accompanying costs and pricing to each asset and better tailor the event package based on the sponsor's specific needs. A good rule of thumb would be to use the 1 cent per impression for quantifying the assets.
5. Plan the Packaging of the Assets
When you have comprehensive assets like gifts, shirts, and other merch, it’s best to bundle them up in packages for your sponsors instead of distributing them individually. Creating bundles per location and per segment of the event can also be done to better plan out the packaging and distribution. Special bundles to put special mention for certain sponsors is also a recommended practice to provide sponsors different tiers of sponsorship benefits. By emphasizing the name of the sponsor, the event can also be renamed along with its key activities for optimum event advertising.
When creating the draft of the proposal, it is important to keep it short like a one-pager in order to put emphasis on the impressions, target guests, marketing opportunities, and key benefits of the sponsorship. When possible, only include the information that has been proven to be important for the specific sponsor. The crucial part here is tailor-fitting the proposal to the type of sponsorship that the prospective sponsor may be interested in. There must also be a theme of the event that matches the potential sponsor’s preference. When preparing the proposal, it is important to distinguish the regular events from fundraising activities. For events that are looking for donors, then a fundraising proposal should be made instead or the regular sponsorship proposal.
Perhaps one of the important step that needs to be made before sending out the sponsorship query is to make a research on the prospective sponsors along with key information of the events they’ve sponsored in the past and spot any recurring themes and understand what is common among these events. The typical prospect would be companies that have a big budget for promotion and advertising. These companies would include publicly listed companies, utilities companies, and other brands that need good community relations. Event organizers may look at government directories, websites, and local media for research.
After making a list of prospective sponsors, the next step is usually to call them up and find out the specific department in charge of sponsorships. Depending on the size of the company, it is usually the marketing department that handles such queries and proposals. The one-page evaluation will then be sent to the designated person. Afterwhich, a meeting is usually requested right after wherein the organizer will ask the potential sponsor what specific criteria and benefits they are looking for in a sponsorship.
The organizer and the sponsor will then be determining and negotiating for the best package that is produces the best win-win situation for both parties. Once the agreement has been drafted, the next step is usually to create a detailed proposal of what’s agreed upon. From the draft of the one-page proposal including details such as payment, logo location specifics and other specific requests must be added and agreed. Afterwhich, the agreement must be countersigned by both parties.
During the event proper, it is an standard operating procedure to give the sponsor VIP status and special treatment. Once the event is finished, then a meeting would usually be made in order to show and evaluate the achievements of the event. Documentation of the event, like pictures, videos, or written reports must be made to serve as proof to the sponsor that the event met the objectives. If the event is to become a regular one, this is the effort that must be done to ensure that the sponsorship will be renewed.
There are many steps and moving parts needed to ensure the success of an event and especially when you will need to be vying against many other event organization. In order to stand out, having full research about the prospects and tailoring your proposal and messaging will not only help you stand out, but potentially develop much more effective partnership with your sponsors.