Have you ever organised a major event without any sponsorship? Have you ever had difficulties in funding all because you cannot get sponsors for your event? Do you wanna know why you’re not getting the right event sponsorship you need to take your event to the next level? – Well, it’s probably because nobody likes to giveaway hard-earned money to a bunch of strangers. Honestly, I don’t like it either.
But don’t feel bad, I’m here to teach you just how to get your event sponsored. Getting sponsors for your event can be the difference between an exceptional event and a long, old, boring one… not to talk of how much money doesn’t have to leave your own little pocket.
And it’s not just the big events that need or can get sponsors, small ones too. Whether award dinners or neighborhood festivals etc., there are many organizations of various shapes and sizes that would be interested in what you have to offer (which is a lot!) All you need to do is follow this nine step guide and you’re well on your way to closing your first big sponsorship deal.
Step 1 – Plan your event
You should not be soliciting sponsors until you have planned out your event. Once you’ve figured out what your event is going to be, where it’s going to take place, etc., then you’re ready to move on.
Step 2 – Make a list of potential sponsors
After you have followed through with step 1 and carefully taken your time to plan an amazing event, your next task is to make a short list of the various organizations you think would want to shake hands with you on this enterprise. You’re probably wondering why I said ‘short’ list when all you care about is getting event sponsors: but truthfully, you don’t want to go asking every organization you know to be a sponsor. Your list needs to be of actual potential sponsors; organizations that would really consider your sponsorship request.
A good way to start is by looking at organizations that have sponsored events or activities similar to yours in the past. Try contacting advertising or public relations agencies to see if they think any of their clients might be interested in your event. Use the research that other organizations have done before you to help give you an edge.
Also you could base your search on organizations you share common interest with.
if you’re holding a musical event or a concert, consider listing local radio stations: (Beat FM, Cool FM, etc.) or, entertainment TV stations: (Silverbird TV, etc.)
Step 3 – Anticipate the needs of potential sponsors
Before you approach a sponsor with your proposal you must understand what it is you can offer and what they might want from you. This would allow you strategize how you might pitch the sponsorship. These are some of the qualities a sponsor might want from you:
Your audience – take the time to get to know your audience and what it is about them that will appeal to a potential sponsor.
Your personal attributes – a sponsor might be interested in the value you bring to him through your social media presence; ability to talk in public or your unique marketing look.
After deciding what you bring to the table that might be of value to a sponsor – then, you can move on to the next step.
Step 4 – Write up a good proposal
Your proposal is simply what you’re offering the organization and not the other way around. Always remember that it is not what the organization can do for you but what you can do for them. Your ability to write a good proposal can literally make or break the deal.
Begin your proposal with a brief summary about the event or venture you hope to have sponsored. Make sure it also describes in detail what the sponsorship will fund; why you seek sponsorships, and how been a sponsor will benefit them.
Concentrate on the exposure the company will receive for their money. Make sure sponsors benefits are clearly stated in your proposal. Depending on your event these are a few benefits you might want to consider offering:
• Sponsor name announced at the event
• Sponsor banner displayed at the event
• Sponsor logo displayed on the podium
• Sponsor ad in event flyer
• Sponsor logo on organizations website
• Sponsor logo on T-shirt
• Category exclusivity (a guarantee to a sponsor that once they sign on, none of their competitors will be allowed to sponsor the event)
Step 5 – Set sponsorship levels
Sponsorship levels are the various sponsorship ranks you create according to their benefits and cost for which potential sponsors can choose from. In defining your sponsorship levels, be ambitious but realistic. Make sure the benefits of each level are distinct and enticing enough to encourage sponsors to move up a level.
When setting your sponsorship levels, try to create a wide range of levels such that either smaller businesses or larger companies can find a level that suits their needs and budget. For instance, you could set your lowest or entry sponsorship level at 30,000 naira, (depending on the size of your event) for which sponsors would get the benefit of a small ad in your flyers.
Try to base your sponsor level on the benefits to the company. Put a price on each benefit you’ll offer and add the prices in each level. This would give you an idea of the cost of a sponsorship at each level.
Step 6 – Send proposal letters
This is the easy part you might think, I just have to send this letters to every organization and hope for the best. Wrong. Remember what we said in step 2; make sure you’re sending your proposal letters only to companies you honestly think will work with you.
Also, try to personalize every letter you send to every potential sponsor. For example, you might request a particular level you think would be perfect for a sponsor.
It is important that sponsors feel you are asking money specifically from them, and they’re not just part of a massive group. Doing this might increase your chances of closing the deal.
Step 7 – Follow up
After sending your proposal letter you could wait a few days before you call the people you have sent them to. Ask them if they have received your letter. Find out if they have any questions. Make sure they know where to reach you when they make their decision. Ensure to provide a time limit for them to give you a reply before the request becomes ineffective or useless.
Step 8 – Follow through
This might sound obvious but make sure your sponsors receive everything you have promised to them. If you can give them added publicity by way of name announcement, etc., do so. You do not want to put all the effort into acquiring sponsors then not deliver on your end.
Step 9 – Maintain relationship with your sponsors
After the event is over and you’ve congratulated your team, and everybody keeps telling you how awesome the event was. Don’t forget part of the people that made it possible – your sponsors.
Be sure to send them a thank you note or a gift basket. Let them know how successful the event was, ask them for their thoughts about the event and if they would like to work with you again sometime in the future. By cultivating your relationship with sponsors, you open endless opportunities for your organization and its future events.
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