From the music industry to sports and everything in between- I’ve had the opportunity to help others create, build, organize, and plan events on multiple levels….BUT, if there is one essential EVERY Event Organizer wants, it’s SPONSORSHIP.
With over 8 years of experience in event planning, promotion, marketing, PR, and so on, I can honestly say it wasn’t until maybe 2 years ago that I fully understood exactly how event sponsorship works. With that being said, I’ve decided to write this blog and share my knowledge and insight that I’ve gained over the years – to better help you understand what it takes to secure sponsorship, what sponsors are looking for, and how to deliver what they want.
SPONSORS: WHY DO THEY SPONSOR? AND WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR IN SPONSORSHIP?
Event Sponsorship is the act of a person and/or company giving support to an event through the provision of products, services, or monetarily – with an expectation of their business goals/agenda being met, primarily by reaching their target audience.
The lists below are subject to what each company’s business objectives are – something that you should research before reaching out – in order to ensure your event will be a good fit for sponsorship (We will go more in depth with this a little later in the blog)
WHY THEY SPONSOR
- Promotion of their brand
- Reposition their brand
- Increase sales or new product launch
- Block competition
- Align their brand with a good cause (Cause-Related Marketing, Damage Control Purposes, and/or good deed)
- Employee Engagement
WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR IN SPONSORSHIP
- Brand visibility
- Direct consumer engagement (Brand Activations & Experimental Marketing)
- Drive traffic to website
- Increase social media impressions (companies see events as the perfect platform to elevate their presence on social media)
- Colleting customer leads (This is common with companies such as car insurance, dental, medical, car dealerships, etc.)
HOW DO I ATTRACT THE RIGHT SPONSORS
In recent years, event sponsorship has been the fastest growing marketing strategy for companies seeking to leverage their brand – increasingly enough that in 2017, according to IEG Sponsorship- it recorded 24.2 billion in sponsorship spending from companies in North America. What exactly does this mean?? It means there is plenty of money out there, and companies are ready to spend it! So how do you attract the right sponsors and secure the sponsorship?
- Knowing your demographic audience is invaluable – this is an essential that sponsors want to know and that will need to go in your sponsor deck. What is it to know your demographic? Age, gender, nationality, income level, education level, etc. The more in-depth you can go with this information, the easier it will be to secure the “right sponsors”. *Side Note* Before companies sponsor, they need to know their marketing dollars are going directly to their targeted audience.
- Develop a captivating sponsorship deck – Your sponsorship deck, from graphics to content curation is going to say everything about your event without speaking a word. It’s the first thing sponsors see (first impression is the last impression, so make it presentable.) What info goes in your sponsorship deck? 1. ABOUT YOUR EVENT- be sure to state your mission and invite them to support your cause. 2. BENEFITS OF SPONSORSHIP – although I like to create personal proposals for companies according to their business objectives, it’s always good to start out with a generic one. BE CREATIVE when doing this. Think as if your that company, what would you want from sponsoring an event? 3. DEMOGRAHICS – Sponsors want to know how many people attend your events and the demographics of attendee to see if it aligns with the market they are trying reach 4. Include a fact page about your event: Number of attendees, previous sponsors, press coverage links, notable people that attended, photos (photos of crowd, fan interaction, celebrities, sponsors, anything that would attract a current sponsor.) 5. Contact info and logo. Be sure full name, email, phone number, website, and social media sites.
- DELIVER, DELIVER, DELIVER – Whatever it is that you said you were going to do, DO IT!! This is so important in building your relationship with the sponsor. You want them to be overly satisfied, that they have received their ROI (Return on Investment). Find out what they liked, or didn’t like, or maybe what could be done a little differently. This allows you to possibly continue your relationship for the following year.
The key to successfully securing event sponsorship is taking into consideration the needs of your sponsors and developing creative strategies that help them obtain their business goals. In turn, adding value to your event – delivering the ultimate experience to your customers.
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