Monday, 29 August 2011

Event Sponsorship

Hope everyone had a kick ass weekend! The weather was absolutely beautiful.

Just a heads up to all my readers that this week is pretty busy for me so I MAY not be able to post everyday this week but I will try my best :)

So today I am going to discuss event sponsorship. Event sponsorship involves companies providing monetary or in-kind support for an event. Sponsorship is often needed (especially for large-scale events) to help fund events. What companies get in return usually includes brand awareness, visibility, increased revenue and recognition for supporting an event.

The following are some event sponsorship tips and guidelines:
  • Create sponsorship objectives. In the initial planning stages of your event, you should develop your sponsorship objectives. How much sponsorship dollars do you want to attain? How many sponsors do you ideally want to have? When do you want to secure sponsors by?
  • Develop your sponsorship strategy. After you have developed your sponsorship objectives, you should develop your sponsorship strategy. Your sponsorship strategy basically outlines how you will attain sponsors which could be through phone calls, emails, social media etc.
  • Develop your sponsorship options. You should layout all the sponsorship options that you would like to present to businesses. There should be a variety of options/levels for potential sponsors to choose from. What you are willing to offer each sponsor really depends on your event but here are some examples: company logo on website and signage, social media mentions, exhibitor booth and complimentary passes. You typically divide each level by a dollar amount - $2500 get these options, $5000 get these options and so on and so forth. Sometimes, companies want to have a custom package and this is definitely something an event planner should be open to.
  • Create your sponsorship package. Before approaching businesses, you should develop a sponsorship package to provide to sponsors. The package usually includes an overview of your event, event history, your event audience, expected attendance, a breakdown of the sponsorship levels/options (includes what you will offer them and what they will offer you) and the benefits for sponsoring. The package should provide a really good understanding of the event, what you are willing to offer the company and what the company will be providing in return.
  • Create your sponsorship deadlines. It is important to create sponsorship deadlines because you need to make sure you have all the sponsors in place well before your event so you can promote the sponsors and fund your event. Depending on what you are asking and the scale of your event, I would recommend starting to attain sponsors 6+ months in advance of your event. Some important deadlines would be the following: Sponsorship confirmation, payment and logos.
  • Make a list of potential sponsors.  Make a list of all the companies that you would like to contact for sponsorship. When you start contacting companies, mark down their contact details and make notes on what you discussed.
  • Provide value to companies. When trying to attain sponsors, it is really important to explain to businesses what is in it for them.Before contacting each business, I would suggest determining why the event would be beneficial for them specifically. Once the business realizes that it is a beneficial investment, they will most likely become a sponsor
  • Don't get discouraged. There will be a lot of companies that you approach that won't want to sponsor, no matter how much you show them the benefits. Don't let this discourage you and don't take it personally. Companies will say no and that is just part of the process. You can get sponsors, it sometimes just takes a lot of time, persistence and patience. 
  • Use your network. Inform your colleagues, friends and family that you are looking for sponsors. You never know who will pass on a referral to you. It's also good to post this information on your social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • Follow through. If you promised your sponsor several types of exposure make sure to follow through on those promises. If you break your promises things could get bad. Not only will you lose a sponsor but you will most likely damage the relationship and word could spread that your event is not reputable. Word of mouth can be a nasty thing :P
  • Treat your sponsors well. Treat your sponsors like you would a good friend or colleague. Always talk to them in a pleasant and professional manner. Be accommodating to their needs. Greet them at your event. Thank them. The reason for doing this first and foremost is because they are supporting your event but also because you want to build a relationship that will last for the long term.

This is another shameless plug but one of my tips above is to use your social network and I should really follow my own advice: I am currently looking for sponsors for the Festival of Chocolate opening event called Panache. It would involve showcasing product/services to chocolate and food enthusiasts. If you know of anyone that may be interested please have them contact me -

-Shira :)

No comments: