Business Buzz
August 8, 2017
How to get sponsors for your next event!

by Candice Sealey

Hosting an event sounds great, but finding and convincing sponsors to give you the MONEY can be a struggle! Everyone wants to know “So what’s in it for me?”

Check out some “must have” materials that every event organizer needs prior to asking anyone to sponsor an event.

  • Benefits that will interest your target sponsor

WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) Businesses sponsor events for many reasons, including to build awareness, to show social responsibility, increase sales of a product, to reposition their brand and to block competition. They do not sponsor an event out of the kindness of their own heart. When posed with the question “What’s in it for me? Be prepared to have a swift reply. Answer the WHY with a WHO. The audience is one of the most important things to a sponsor. They want to know that their name will be seen by the people who are most likely to buy their product.

  • Answer the question “Why would someone attend this event?”

The event sounds great, but how do you know people will come? Provide your target sponsor with a well thought-out action plan. Tell them exactly how you are going to promote the event, using several different platforms. A sponsor wants to know how exactly you plan on netting in the promised number of attendees that fit their ideal customer description.

  • A list of additional sponsors who’ve already signed on

It’s all about the competition! If you are calling Company A and 30 minutes earlier Company B agreed to be the Silver Sponsor, you can almost guarantee (if your pitch is right) that Company A will be quick to grab that Gold Sponsor position. However, don’t use this tactic immediately! Start your pitch by revealing the associated benefits of sponsorship. Answer the WIIFM.

  • Sponsorship levels and costs

Direct the focus to what benefits are associated with each level. Get creative … go beyond ‘your brand will be included in all advertising’. Plant ideas in the minds of the potential sponsor, e.g. how about a photo of the event venue filled with people, with a photo shopped pic of the target sponsor’s logo on the large banner behind the stage? Your potential sponsor now has a visual reference of what his or her business logo will look like from the perspective of an event attendee. Refocus the conversation from ‘how much’ to ‘what if’.

  • Testimonials from past attendees

Social influence is a powerful thing. At any event, especially if you plan on making it an annual one, gather testimonials in various forms. Social media has made this process easy! Use your smart phone – get your patrons to participate in a video that is being created to promote next year’s event. Sweeten the deal by getting their contact information, and sending them a FREE ticket to next year’s event, along with a link to the video. Do you think they will share that video online with their friends? YEP! That’s extra promotion for you at the cost of $FREE!

Candice Sealey is the Founder & Principal Marketing & PR consultant at Ignite! a Full service Marketing & PR Consultancy that offers marketing & PR support, as well as tailored, fresh, innovative strategies to help businesses succeed.

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