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Event Sponsorship 101: Proven Tactics for Securing Support and Resources

by | Oct 13, 2023 | Event Planning

Planning an event but finding it tough to cover the costs or reach your audience? Sponsorship might be your answer. Event sponsorship, a potent strategic partnership, lets companies provide resources for your event in return for promotional benefits. It’s a win-win situation. So you might be wondering how to get sponsors for an event. It’s often easier said than done to secure it.

This article offers proven tactics to help you secure event sponsorship effectively, from knowing what it involves, pinpointing potential event sponsorships, and crafting persuasive proposals to maintaining long-term relationships.

By the end, you’ll be armed with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure a successful and well-funded event. Here’s to hosting bigger, better events quicker and cheaper. Let’s get started!

Understanding Event Sponsorship

Defining Event Sponsorship

Event sponsorship is a strategic partnership where a company provides financial support or resources to an event in return for promotional benefits. This support can take various forms, from monetary contributions to in-kind services, all aimed at making the event a success. As a top event sponsor, you’ll receive promotional benefits and exposure to the event’s audience, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

Importance of Sponsorships for Events

Sponsorships are key in financing and enhancing the quality of events. They provide additional resources and support that can help elevate the event’s stature and reach.

For instance, in 2022, North American companies alone invested over $24 billion in event sponsorship, highlighting corporate sponsorships’ immense value and potential for associations and chambers.

Sponsorships allow you to host bigger and better events faster and at a lower cost. They also increase the event’s credibility and visibility, making it more attractive to attendees and potential sponsors alike.

Types of Event Sponsorship

Sponsorship opportunities can vary depending on the nature and size of the event. However, they typically fall into four main categories: financial, in-kind, media, and promotional partners.

Financial sponsors offer monetary support to virtual events in exchange for promotional benefits outlined in their sponsorship agreement. In-kind sponsors provide goods or services that contribute value to the event. Media sponsors promote the event through various channels, such as social media posts, blog posts, and broadcasting. Lastly, promotional partners, which can include social media influencers and bloggers, promote the event across various communication platforms.

Benefits for Sponsors

Sponsorship of similar events offers a wealth of benefits for sponsors. It provides them with increased brand exposure and access to a targeted audience, aligning their brand with the event’s values and goals. This can help them reach new customers and strengthen their market position.

Moreover, sponsorship allows sponsors to spread their organisation’s message without the trouble of planning the event themselves. It also provides them with valuable data about event attendees, which can be used to refine their marketing strategies and improve their products or services.

With a good grasp of event sponsorship, its importance, types, and benefits for sponsors, you’ll be well-equipped to create an attractive event sponsorship proposal yourself, which is key to securing sponsors and ensuring a successful and well-funded event.

Bag With Dollar Sign And Two stick People

Identifying Potential Sponsors

The initial step in securing event sponsorship involves pinpointing how to get sponsors for an event. This process requires more than just contacting every business you come across. It’s crucial to seek out sponsors whose interests align with your event’s theme, industry, or target demographic.

Researching Appropriate Industries

One effective strategy for pinpointing potential sponsors involves investigating industry events. This can provide insights into businesses already investing in sponsorship and potentially interested in similar opportunities. Connecting with professional associations related to your event’s industry can also be beneficial. These groups often have a network of businesses that could be potential sponsors for an event.

Local Businesses as Potential Sponsors

Local businesses can also be a valuable source of event sponsorship packages. These companies often have a strong interest in supporting community events and initiatives. While they may not have the same financial capacity as larger corporations, their contributions can still be impactful. Additionally, local businesses can offer in-kind contributions, such as products or services, to help mitigate event costs.

Networking Opportunities

Networking is another effective method to pinpoint potential event sponsors already. This could involve attending industry events, joining professional associations, or leveraging existing connections. Remember, individuals are more likely to sponsor events if they have a personal connection or the opportunity was introduced through a trusted source.

Social Media Search for Sponsors

In the digital era, social media platforms can also be valuable for finding potential sponsors. Many businesses maintain a strong online presence and use social media to engage with their audience and promote their brand. By investigating companies on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, you can gain insights into their brand values, target audience, and marketing activities. This information can help you tailor your sponsorship proposal to align with their objectives and demonstrate the value they’ll receive from sponsoring your event.

After identifying potential sponsors, the subsequent steps involve:

  • Crafting a compelling sponsorship proposal.
  • Initiating contact with prospective sponsors.
  • Negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement.

You can secure the necessary support and resources for a successful event with a strategic approach and persistence.

People Holding A Network Sign For Sponsors And Event Networking

Creating a Sponsorship Proposal

The process of developing a persuasive sponsorship proposal is crucial in obtaining the right sponsor and backing for your event. It goes beyond merely requesting financial aid; it involves showcasing a value proposition that resonates with the potential sponsor’s goals and interests.

Strategies for Crafting a Compelling Proposal

Understanding your event and its audience is fundamental when creating an impactful proposal. This understanding allows you to articulate the event’s value proposition and the advantages sponsors stand to gain.

Your proposal should comprehensively overview the event, its objectives, and the intended audience. It should also delineate the sponsorship tiers and corresponding benefits, such as logo visibility, branding prospects, speaking opportunities, sponsorship packages, and marketing activities. Ensure your proposal is visually engaging, well-structured, and straightforward.

Key Elements of a Sponsorship Proposal

A sponsorship proposal should contain a lucid statement of the event’s objectives, a thorough profile of the event planner and intended audience, and a highlight of the event’s unique selling points. Specifying the sponsorship tiers and the perks associated with each tier is also crucial. These range from logo visibility and branding prospects to speaking opportunities and marketing activities.

Customising the Proposal for Each Sponsor

Each sponsor is distinct, with their own set of goals and brand values. Therefore, it’s crucial to tailor your proposal for each potential sponsor. Investigate their industry, target audience, and brand values, and use this information to modify your proposal. Demonstrate how your event aligns with their brand and how they stand to gain from sponsoring your event. Personalising the proposal shows that you’ve done your research and enhances the likelihood of securing sponsorship.

Following-Up After Sending Proposal

After dispatching your proposal, the task still needs to be completed. You need to keep in touch with potential sponsors. Send an acknowledgement email or letter to confirm the receipt of the proposal and express appreciation for their consideration. Follow up with a phone call or meeting to delve into the proposal further and address any queries or concerns they may have. This continuous communication aids in building relationships and enhances the probability of securing sponsorship. Remember, obtaining sponsors may require patience and tenacity, so be reassured immediately if you receive a positive response.

Selling Benefits to Sponsors

As an event organiser, it’s crucial to communicate the advantages of sponsorship to potential partners effectively.

Aligning Event Goals with Sponsor Goals

Understanding your event’s unique attributes is the foundation of a compelling sponsorship proposal. These attributes should resonate with the potential sponsor’s objectives and interests. For instance, if your event promotes sustainability, you’d approach businesses with strong environmental commitments. This synergy ensures both parties benefit from the partnership.

Marketing Benefits for Sponsors

Sponsors seek meaningful interaction with your event planners and audience, not just logo exposure. Therefore, your proposal should highlight the marketing advantages they’ll receive. This could encompass brand recognition during the event, audience engagement through promotional activities, or the opportunity to exhibit their products or services. The more valuable you can demonstrate, the more likely sponsors will participate.

Non-Monetary Benefits that Motivate Sponsors

While financial contributions are a significant aspect of any sponsorship package, it’s also important to consider non-monetary incentives that can encourage sponsors. These could include networking prospects, access to industry knowledge, or the chance to associate their brand with a cause they support. By understanding what motivates potential sponsors, you can customise your proposal to align with their objectives and interests, making your event an appealing prospect.

Showcasing Previous Successful Sponsorships

Demonstrating your past successful sponsorships is an effective way to attract new sponsors. Concrete examples provide tangible evidence of the benefits prospective sponsors can anticipate. These case studies illustrate how you’ve worked with sponsors previously, the advantages they received, and the influence they had on your event. This validates your track record and gives potential sponsors a clear vision of what they can expect from a partnership with you.

Securing event sponsorship is a continuous process that requires research, outreach, and negotiation. By understanding your event and audience, developing a persuasive proposal, and demonstrating the value sponsors will receive, you can establish successful, enduring partnerships that are mutually beneficial.

Person Holding Sign Saying Sponsors Welcome

Maintaining Relationships with Sponsors

Securing event sponsorship is the initial step. The ongoing challenge is nurturing these partnerships to ensure they extend beyond a single event. This involves effective communication, fulfilling commitments, and ensuring sponsor satisfaction.

Follow-up Tips After Securing Sponsorship

Once sponsorship is secured, continuous dialogue is essential. Regular updates during the event, personalised messages, and timely expressions of gratitude can all help to fortify your relationship with past sponsors. Post-event, consider creating a ‘memento’ package for your sponsors, comprising photos, event collateral, and promotional materials that evidence your fulfilled commitments. This tangible proof of your dedication can reassure sponsors of the value derived from their investment.

Effective Communication with Sponsors

Open and transparent communication forms the bedrock of any successful partnership, including those with sponsors. This involves clearly conveying expectations, providing regular updates, and striving to understand your sponsors’ target markets. When you comprehend their goals and objectives, you can better align your event with their needs, fostering a more fruitful partnership.

Ensuring Sponsor Satisfaction

The satisfaction of sponsors is of utmost importance. This involves delivering on all commitments made in the sponsorship proposal. Treat your sponsors like VIPs, facilitate networking opportunities, and provide them with positive data and metrics. These actions can make sponsors feel valued and appreciated, encouraging their participation in future events.

Tips for Long-term Sponsor Relationships

Cultivating long-term sponsor relationships involves more than just fulfilling promises. It requires demonstrating a genuine interest in a lasting partnership. This could involve companies sponsoring events, offering additional benefits and freebies, or involving sponsors in charitable initiatives. Actions like these can strengthen the bond between you and your sponsors, paving the way for future collaborations.

Maintaining relationships with sponsors is a continuous process. It requires time, effort, and a genuine commitment to mutual success. However, a one-time sponsorship can evolve into a long-term partnership that benefits both parties with the right approach.

Navigating the Road to Sponsorship Success

Securing and maintaining sponsorships are key to driving your event’s success. This journey involves knowing your event, audience, and potential sponsors inside out and crafting compelling, tailored proposals. By nurturing relationships with sponsors beyond individual events, you’re laying the groundwork for long-term partnerships, leading to ongoing support and resources.

Each sponsorship you secure, each relationship you build, brings you one step closer to making your event a hub of shared success and value for everyone involved. Now that you’re armed with these actionable tactics, you can start the sponsorship journey — turning your event vision into a resilient reality.

Melanie Williamson

Melanie Williamson


Melanie has been working at Onstage for 17years  with her love and passion for all things entertainment and events. Prior to Onstage, Melanie worked in Hotels and Venues in various roles which gave her a strong knowledge in how all things work for events. Her entertainment  product knowledge combined with her event skills, makes her a highly sort after Stage and Events Manager (just as recently contracted for events overseas).

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