I am passionate about sponsorships and I love how they can enhance an event in both experience and of course in revenue. I really believe that any good event should be able to find a sponsor or sponsors but it’s a competitive world out there so here are the basics to start with.
A is for Attendees: Knowing the data of your event will not only help you sell sponsorships but it will help you find the right sponsors. What are the demographics of your attendees? Age, Income, zip code, interests…the more knowledge you have for your event the better. You can get this info from your tickets, socials and even by survey at your event. There is also lots of new tech that can help in that area that you can look into.
B is for Business: Sponsorships can be a major business expenses so remember that although your event might be a non-profit, DO NOT treat those sponsorship dollars like a donation. Businesses are buying a product (your event) and you need to deliver that product with the utmost professionalism and deliver what you commit too.
C is for Closing: Closing a sponsorship can be hard. I have had sponsorships that took me almost 3 years to actually close but when it happens it’s exciting. If you get a “No” and you believe that a business would be a perfect fit…don’t give up. I find that if I invite the prospect to your event and give them a chance to see how great it is they tend to be more willing to look at the opportunity again. Also, some of my smallest sponsorships grew into my biggest ones with time so always look at how your sponsors can grow within your event.
And of course….the 1, 2, 3’s
- START EARLY: You need to start early when it comes to prospecting Sponsors it can be a lengthy process to get a meeting with a potential sponsor and once you get a sponsor to say yes it can take time to actually get the agreements finalized. I start a year out when it comes to my events.
- GOAL: Know what your sponsors goals or initiatives are…I can’t stress this enough. One size does not fit all when it comes to sponsors so know what they want! Not all sponsors will be interested logo placements or banners. Take the time to gain insight into why they’ll want to sponsor your event.
- RECAP: Don’t just disappear after the event…makes sure to sit down with your Sponsor and go over what they found to be successful and what could have been done better. This is also the time when you should prepare a recap of the sponsorship and the event. This keeps the door open for the following year and also allows you to get valuable feedback.