Event sponsorships can give your event the extra boost it needs. Sponsors at events lead to profitability, publicity, and improved brand perception in your niche. If you are unfamiliar with an event sponsorship agreement or want to know where to find event sponsorship opportunities, keep reading.
What Is an Event Sponsorship?
An event sponsorship is when a business or person, known as a sponsor, provides financial support or provisions for an upcoming event, or the business hosting the upcoming event, in return for brand promotion.
For example, with about $370 million to spend, PepsiCo is a memorable sponsor of the NFL Super Bowl. The result of the sponsorship was increased publicity of PepsiCo through (1) 360-degree consumer touchpoints, (2) local market activation, and (3) sustainable activation platforms.
Any company planning on hosting an event can find event sponsors to support their event and grow relationships with other brands. Obtaining event sponsors typically starts with a pitch proposal to a brand. Businesses can also pitch to brands where corporate relationships already exist.
Where to Find Event Sponsors
#1. Search Engines
Indexes like SponsorMyEvent give event hosts a streamlined way to find event sponsors. Local event sponsors can share what they are looking for, and event hosts can pitch to these potential sponsors.
To find the top event sponsors, be sure to index your event on these search engines and event indexes. Make your event stand out by illustrating your target audience, brand mission, and event goals.
#2. Social Networks
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more are major event marketing bases. To find sponsors for events, join social media groups in your niche. You can also join groups for event hosts to find sponsorships.
Depending on your niche, one social network may better suit your needs than another. Find fresh brands and personalities who could potentially support your event, then get in touch. You can discover their contact information through their social media page.
Networking in the real world opens you up to the best event sponsors for your upcoming event. Event sponsorships are effective—though somewhat daunting—to establish in a face-to-face environment.
You can establish new relationships through local networking events, building personal relationships, and through your own networking research. Make an event sponsors list of who you want to sponsor your event, then start tackling this list in-person, on the phone, or through email.
How to Choose the Right Event Sponsor
Let’s go over some basic rules for choosing potential sponsors to pitch to. Pitching to an unfit sponsor is a waste of your time, and it can even damage your credibility online.
#1. Align your target audiences. The entire purpose of event sponsorships is to provide the sponsor with promotion at your event. Why would a sponsor want to promote to event attendees that do not align with their target market?
#2. Align your goals. If one company’s goals and beliefs differ or conflict with your brand’s, the company is not a good fit for a sponsor. You can find a statement of a company’s mission and goals on their website or “About Us” page.
#3. Align your needs. When obtaining event sponsors, make sure they will be able to meet your needs for the event sponsorship. For instance, you won’t want to ask for the same $370 million PepsiCo deal from a local startup.
Instead, make your partnership requests reasonable. Share what you need minimally from your event sponsors and ask if they can meet those needs. Keep in mind, you do not have to ask for monetary support. You could ask for catering, handouts, merchandise, equipment, or promotion in return.
How to Contact a Potential Sponsor
Once you have identified a list of potential sponsors, find their preferred contact info. Visit each sponsor’s website, go to their contact page, and record the first contact details listed.
Some companies will list their phone number, email, address, or a contact form first. This is typically the preferred contact method and the best way to guarantee a response. You may also want to find a list of employees at the company to find the proper person to pitch to.
As with any other pitching, offer to give more than you get. This will establish reputability and trust when building a relationship with a new sponsor. Concisely share who you are, what you want, and why you want it. Make your pitch stand out by including unique figures about your brand and upcoming event.
Be sure to highlight the benefits of sponsoring your event. Do not be vague. If you are upfront and polite, many businesses will consider your proposal. Include a question at the end of your pitch asking the sponsor if they are interested, have any questions, or would like to make a counter proposal.
Tips to Getting Event Sponsors
- Use numbers in your pitch. Quantify how many people you expect to attend your event, what percent of the market your brand reaches, and so on.
- Be open-minded. Do not turn down counter offers if they do not meet exactly what you want. Starting a less-than-ideal relationship could lead to more beneficial event sponsorships in the future.
- Provide unique benefits. Make your pitch appealing, and use real data. For instance, share your number of social media followers and explain how businesses could access this audience by sponsoring your event.
- Make it personal. Avoid offering generic pitches. Instead, include each business’s name and highlight points from their mission statement that stand out to you.
- Learn from your mistakes. If you aren’t getting many responses, figure out why. Are your pitches too long and wordy? Do they lack impressive data? Is your event even worth sponsoring?
Creative Event Sponsorship Ideas
Coming up with creative ways to integrate sponsorships in your event will help you:
- Secure more event sponsors
- Brand your business and your sponsor
- Engage attendees
Check out the following unique event sponsorship plans, and try brainstorming some of your own ideas for your upcoming events.
New technology, like drones and VR, are common to find in modern events. If you want your event sponsorship to be stylish and creative, incorporate technology. For example, you could design a drone with your sponsor’s logo to show off:
From fun runs to puzzles, activities help engage your event audience. Your event sponsor could consider sponsoring a certain activity at your event. This activity should exemplify their brand, and their brand should be a central focus for participants.
Handouts are the oldest trick in the book. Who doesn’t love free stuff? As long as your handouts are creative, fun, and practical, they can captivate your audience. For example, event sponsors could hand out branded T-shirts, headphones, or snacks.
Event sponsors can promote themselves in a more direct way at your event. By setting up booths, sponsors are satisfied and your event is enlivened. At their booths, sponsors can give free handouts, set up activities or games, or pitch to interested attendees.
Live polls and surveys are foolproof ways to engage the audience. On the other hand, event sponsors are thrilled to gain new insights to their target audience. Consider creating a sponsored poll at your event, asking questions created by your sponsors.
Takeaway: Event Sponsorships
Event sponsorships are worth it to get funding for your event marketing campaign and build your relationships with other brands.
If you want to take a leap into experiential marketing, visit Valoso to get started. Our team of event marketers and video production specialists will take care of all your event planning needs. Get in touch ASAP so we can start on your event marketing plan.