Event sponsorships allow brands to advertise at your event. Sponsorships are a great way to garner financial support for your event outside of registration fees. In exchange, event sponsors expose their brand to an audience of highly engaged attendees. Building strong relationships with event sponsors takes a lot of work upfront but has a high return on investment.
Build attendance and engagement
Event sponsors are attracted to events with large numbers of highly engaged attendees. Working to increase your event’s attendance and engagement over time is a surefire way to attract event sponsors. If you’re running your first event, don’t be discouraged. Instead, use the number of RSVPs to show event sponsors their potential return on investment.
Perfect your elevator pitch
Effectively communicating with event sponsors is the first step in getting them to sign onto your event. An elevator pitch is a brief introduction to yourself and your product.
A company representative might be willing to sponsor an event but be unsure exactly what that sponsorship deal will look like. It’s your job to paint a picture for them.
A well-practiced elevator pitch includes a brief (think 30 seconds) introduction to yourself and your event and allows you to connect with the potential sponsor. Have a streamlined pitch in your back pocket to allow you to make the most of networking events or introductory phone calls.
A great elevator pitch ends with a question. Here are some examples:
- I’m looking for an event sponsor to get in on the ground floor of a series of conferences and symposiums. I expect this series to grow into an exciting community-based event over time. Is your company interested?
- I want to learn more about event sponsorships, and I understand that your company sponsors multiple events in the same sector as my event. Would you be willing to discuss your experience with event sponsorships over coffee?
- I think your company would be the perfect sponsor for my event. Would you mind if I follow up with an email to outline what I have in mind?
Know the value of your event
When asking a company to sponsor your event, understand that they are taking a risk. The return on their investment is uncertain. It’s your job to communicate the value of your event to potential event sponsors.
Data and numbers are essential for adding credibility to your pitch. If your past events have had high engagement levels and many attendees, have the numbers to back up your claim. The most convincing data that you can present to a potential sponsor is data relating to the success of past event sponsors you have worked with.
If you haven’t worked with an event sponsor in the past, don’t be intimidated away from doing so. Instead, present your potential sponsor with an organized package showing exactly what they will get out of the deal. This can include a summary of how their brand will be presented at the event, how many social media posts their brand will be mentioned in, and how attendees can interact with the brand.