How to Secure Event Sponsorship

Feb 4, 2020 6:15:00 AM Julia Sousa Tips for Event Planners, Strategy

Sponsorships are the lifeline that keeps the events industry sustainable. An important aspect of event management is finding the right sponsors who can provide the right financial assistance needed to pull off a big event, in exchange for brand exposure. 

Over the last decade, event sponsorship has become the primary way in which events receive funding, products, and other services. Undoubtedly, the most lucrative form of sponsorship for event managers, the brands too gain a lot from these events. For them, these events serve as an extremely specialized branch of promotion and marketing, bringing together brands and potential customers/business leaders on a face to face basis.

For example, the watch company Rolex was one of the first brands to support TED conferences. Rolex created short promotional videos and played them at various TED Talks. The event marketing campaign was called, ‘Rolex’s DNA: innovation and design’, a theme that suited the nature of TED Conferences.

 

Why Event Sponsorships Are Valuable

 

Budget

In a survey conducted by EventMB in 2019, it was revealed that over 70% of event professionals who spent over $5 million on events in the 2019 budget plan to spend even more on event technology in 2020. 57% of the event professionals who took part in the survey stated that the budget needs to increase in order to improve the event experience.

Organizing an event is an expensive undertaking. Ticket sales rarely recuperate the expenses. Ticket prices also have to be kept affordable to ensure maximum attendance. What's an event planner to do? Sponsorship.com revealed that in 2017, sponsorship spending in North America on events reached 23 billion dollars. Sponsors make events financially feasible, keeping ticket prices reasonable, ensuring the implementation of the latest and the most innovative event tech.

Credibility

When brands and event heads enter into a partnership, both parties can gain credibility from each other. A great example of both parties coming out as more credible due to an event is TechCrunch Disrupt and New Relic. The cloud-based software platform New Relic started sponsoring the TechCrunch Disrupt events in the early 2010s. 

Since then TechCrunch Disrupt has become one of the most highly anticipated conferences in the technology industry with their event “Hackathon” which pits contending hackers against each other, gaining a widespread following. Both New Relic and TechCrunch Disrupt gained credibility due to this exchange. All events are aimed at brands and events lending and sharing credibility while increasing the number of potential customers and event registrations.

 

How Secure Event Sponsors

In 2020, finding event sponsors is not going to be difficult. Businesses have enough evidence proving that events are one of the most, if not the most effective form of marketing – both B2B and B2C. Here’s a complete guide on how to improve your event with event sponsorships.

 

Finding Event Sponsors

Before you start reaching out to potential collaborators, you must have a clear overall vision for your event. Answer key questions like –

  • What are the main objectives of the event?

  • What niche will you be targeting?

  • How different is your event from others?

  • What tech innovations does your event need?

Only after thoroughly analyzing your ideological goals can you start planning for the practical ones. Brands are extremely particular about how the event will feel for attendees. The way they want the attendees to communicate with each other and the brand may not align with your views.

Teaming up with organizations that do not share the same vision as that of your event brand is pointless. Another important criterion is the experience of these organizations in sponsoring events. If they have limited or no experience at all, teaming up with them may not be fruitful in the long run.

Find organizations and brands that fit your overall event idea. For instance, partnering up with a meat company for an event about sustainable eating habits isn’t ideal. Choose only after thorough consideration and create a detailed list of potential event sponsors with their contact information.

 

Pitching Event Sponsors

Once you’ve created a list of potential sponsors, the hard part follows – pitching the event idea to them. Be it via mail, phone or personal meetings, pitching sessions shouldn’t be used by event managers to pander to all the demands that potential sponsors may make. It should be a collaborative endeavor focusing on important issues such as -

  • The marketing aims of the brand in question.

  • How the event can help them reach their marketing goals

  • The scale of the budget needed to meet event tech requirements

The better the communication is during pitching, the better the outcome. Even if an organization rejects the pitch, it is much better to clearly state everything in advance instead of facing disappointment and confusion in the future. Event managers need to communicate the value the event can add to the brand.

A fair exchange of value is what organizations are looking for when participating in such conversations. They care more about how the event will affect their bottom line. Hence, conveying crucial data such as –

  • Expected attendance

  • Demographics of the attendees

  • Expected gross revenue

  • Plans to improve attendee engagement

  • Projected sales leads

  • Notable speakers who will be headlining the event

  • Brands that have supported the event in the past

  • ROI past sponsors obtained

The sponsor may also ask for event-specific data, statistics, etc. You can collect such data from previous events, especially if you use event management platforms with data collection and analytics visualization dashboards. Overall, communicating value and guaranteeing returns for the sponsors is the most important aspect of pitching. 

Explain in simple terms every benefit, incentive, and necessity in clear terms. The sponsors should know exactly what to expect in return for their investment. Since large sums of money are usually involved in sponsoring large events, a detailed projection report must be provided to every sponsor you pitch your event idea to. Another great way to convince sponsors is to provide them with testimonials from previous sponsors.

 

Tips for Better Event Sponsorship Packages

Since securing all the required funding from one or two sources is not possible, it is better to offer brands different sponsorship packages. Create multiple levels of sponsorship, each granted with various benefits and plugged at varying prices. For example –

  • Standard Sponsor - Exclusive booth in the event field. Customized sponsorship merchandise.

  • Communications Partner - Brands that will get to reap the benefits of attendee networking. Provided with a special branded room named for attendee communication.

  • Location Sponsor – Sponsor for providing the location.

  • Premium Sponsor – Branding on all event banners, websites, apps, etc. A chance to be included in the event name.

Make sure to make the sponsorship page on your event website as optimized as possible. Use rich graphics to design the page.

 

Proving ROI to Event Sponsors

Lastly, once a pitch has been made, event managers will have to give a clear ROI estimate to the sponsors. To prove that your event can return the amount you want them to invest, you must provide them with data from past events, information about attendee demographics, and testimonials from past sponsors.

Show the sponsors that you have teamed up with a professional marketing event automation platform like Attendease. Automation platforms are essential tools for event management teams. They help in creating a scalable event planning process. A partnership with a reputed platform like Attendease will indicate the sponsors that the event is set to be an intuitive, seamlessly branded and convenient experience for all attendees. 

 

Key Takeaways

Refrain from forcing sponsors to increase their level of interest. Teaming up with only the companies that suit your event ideals is a better approach than teaming up with anybody and everybody who is willing to pay money. Innovative event ideas when powered by the right sponsors have the potential to create something special. Use this guide to find the right sponsor for your event. 

Want an easier way to manage events? Attendease helps event managers create customized, branded and full-featured event websites while managing registration, passes, attendee communication, event analytics, and more. With a tool like Attendease, event managers can provide their attendees with a comprehensive one-stop-shop for all the event-related information that they need.