Responsible for developing external partnerships for your organization? Whether you are brand new to sponsorship sales or a few years in and simply looking for new tips on how to improve your proposal technique, check out How to Craft and Pitch a Sponsorship Proposal.
Getting sponsorship is a great way to fund your event, but you must convince your potential sponsors to invest in your event by providing them with a clear proposal with specific details. Write a preliminary proposal to your potential sponsors and be sure to include these five important points.
You should seek out sponsors who align well with your event-goers. Sponsors support events to promote and build their brand, so make sure the attendees are in your sponsor’s target demographic. Your relationship with a sponsor should be a logical one, such as a health food store sponsoring a marathon or a hospital supporting a cancer walk. Avoid odd or contradictory pairings. For example, if your event is a beer festival, you probably wouldn’t want to attempt getting sponsorship from a brand that markets their products primarily to children.
A sponsor will want to know how many people will be attending your event. They may be less willing to pay a lot of money for advertising at your event if your attendance is projected to be low. It’s important for you to be realistic in your estimation of attendees, because your sponsors will expect you to deliver on the number of people who will see their brand. Have a number of contingencies based on events outside your control. If your event would be affected by bad weather conditions, you should have alternate projections for that. The best way to gauge potential traffic is by selling tickets in advance. However, for many events that could be affected by the weather, patrons will often delay buying a ticket until the day of the event.
Make your potential sponsors aware of the type of exposure they will receive by investing in your event, and give them the most exposure possible. There are a few ways you can sell space, including:
- sponsor a booth at the event
- presenting sponsor of the event
- sponsor an award
- provide in-kind products or services
Location of Sponsorship Material
Just like the old real estate adage emphasizes, the location of a potential sponsor’s space is extremely important. While you might want to squeeze as many sponsors into your venue as possible, realize that not all locations are attractive. For instance, if your event is an outdoor concert, sponsors will be less likely to pay for a location next to the portapotties than they will be to drop money for a prime spot next to the beverage stations.
Cost and Benefits
Break down a simple analysis of what your sponsors will pay or provide and how their sponsorship will benefit them. Emphasize how they will receive name recognition and access to a specific, niche market in their target demographic. You can also offer them other advertising benefits they can exploit, such as discounts to event attendees and getting people to sign up for mailing lists.
Testimonials From Past Sponsors
According to sources, 87% of clients are willing to provide a testimonial, but only 10% of companies ever ask for one. Advocacy is one of the most powerful forms of selling sponsorships, and adds value to a proposal based on a third party speaking on the positive experience they had.
Sponsorship and marketing decision-makers do not want to feel like they are being sold, so outside endorsements make for a great workaround. Keep in mind the strength of these testimonials relies on specific details around actual results of the event and ROI.
When reaching out to a prospect, present a menu of options that will help achieve them achieve business goals through the partnership. It’s important to clarify that these options are simply suggestions and that you are flexible.
The most effective way to determine the best suggestions is to conduct research on your prospects in order to find commonalities between your organization and the space they work within. When researching, attempt to find answers to the following questions:
- What perceptions are they trying to change about their brand?
- What behaviors are they trying to encourage or diminish?
- Do they stand for something or do they stand against something?
- What markets are they trying to influence or get in front of?