Five Steps to Find and Keep The Perfect Sponsor for Your Event
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We’ve talked about how you can attract sponsors to your event, but even if you know what you’re looking for, actually securing that sponsor can seem a daunting task! Here’s our five step guide on how to land and keep the perfect sponsor for your event:

1.       Be clear about what you want, and what you can offer
First, think about what you want out of an event sponsor: how do you want your event to benefit? This could be anything from access to new audiences and extra revenue to free products or services.

Then, decide what you can offer a sponsor: they want to know what they’ll get out of sponsoring your event, so list all possible benefits and opportunities. Will each ‘offer’ be valuable to the sponsor? Is what you’re asking for worth what you’re offering?

If your list of benefits is enough to make a single sponsor very pleased, stick with one event sponsor. But if you have all sorts of benefits and opportunities (which are probably worth different values), you may choose to have tiers of sponsorship. The advantage of tiered sponsorship is that your event would receive more benefits overall. You’d also appeal to companies with a range of budget sizes.

But only approach several sponsors if it will benefit your event: you might partner with one sponsor for brand awareness, and have a second sponsor for additional revenue… a third may not give you anything you don’t already have and could cause extra headaches.

2.       Create sponsorship proposals
The next step is to create sponsorship proposals. Always include a short summary of your event, and explain what your event can offer. List the potential benefits and opportunities they’d experience, and outline the cost of sponsorship. Customise each proposal by including the potential sponsor’s name or logo, or add a couple of benefits that’d work for them in particular.

3.        Get in touch
You have a list of potential sponsors in one hand, and proposals in the other. Now, it’s time to get in touch! Make first contact over the phone with the person in charge of business development or marketing. Explain what your event is, and outline why the partnership would be mutually beneficial. Emphasize marketing opportunities that go hand in hand with sponsoring your event, and highlight the fact that you share a target audience.

If the potential sponsor is interested in learning more, send a proposal. But try not to send out proposals unless they’re genuinely interested: you don’t want private information about your event shared with everyone.

After you send a proposal, follow up a few days later and answer any questions they have. They may want to meet to discuss your proposal, and if so, be prepared: print out copies of your proposal, create a presentation, and have additional information on hand.

4.       Cultivate your relationship
When you’ve successfully landed a sponsor for your event, the work doesn’t stop there. It’s important to build a good and productive relationship. The best way to do this is to keep them in the loop: give regular updates on your marketing campaigns, the numbers of attendees you’re expecting, and the benefits they’re experiencing from the sponsorship.

5.       Deliver on your promises
Now the final step: delivering the results you promised in your proposal… and it’s up to you to prove the ‘return on investment’ (ROI) the sponsorship achieved. So, measure your success wherever possible: record relevant page views and click through rates on your website, highlight the number of attendees that were exposed to the sponsor’s message, and share any press your sponsor received through your event. Offer tangible results, and your sponsor will know that the partnership was worthwhile… they may be inclined to support another event!

If your sponsor decides that the partnership was indeed a great success – and if it worked for you – be loyal: give them a chance to sponsor the next event before offering it to someone else.

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