When asked “what is your biggest challenge as an event planner?” 49.4% of those surveyed answered: getting sponsorships. (Event Mb – State of the Event industry)
If sponsors have turned you down in recent years, you are not alone.
Marketing budgets of large companies are transitioning from physical (print publications, field presence) to digital (online advertising, product placements). This does not help you canvass for sponsors for your next major events.
However, while traditional marketing practices are eroding, event advertising investments are increasing.
Marketing is now shifting to what we call the “customer experience.”
How do you convince major brands that your event is the perfect opportunity for them to be showcased? What are the key elements of a good action plan to improve your chances of conversion with these valuable partners?
Here are 4 important points to remember to attract interesting and interested event sponsors!
Know Your Client Base, Your Group… Your Target Audience
Before even thinking about making a sales pitch, the important thing is to know your subject and fully understand your customers. The true value of your proposal, for a sponsor, will always be the participants. It is important to remember that, at the end of the day, they are the ones with whom we are talking.
Do they have a similar profile to the company’s consumers?
Even if it is a “B to B” event, it is important to know your group in detail.
Rather than focusing on the different job titles or the group’s level of education, it is preferable to introduce the participants in a more personal way.
- What do they do on their holidays?
- What products or services do they use in their spare time?
- Do they like sports or music? What is their favourite band?
Marketing professionals regularly do this work and equip themselves with tools, such as the creation of a Persona, to determine their target audience.
By ensuring that you take a similar approach and present it concisely, you establish a clear dialogue with your sponsor.
In addition to strengthening the terms of your proposal, this process improves your ability to target your potential business partners.
The Starting Point for an Event Sponsorship Plan: The List
Do you already have a clear idea of your participants and an effective structure for presenting information, and are you working on a portfolio? Now is the time to think about a list of sponsors to contact.
Do you have a few good contacts and about 20 brands in mind and wonder whether that will be enough? The golden rule: don’t put all your eggs in the same basket.
When canvassing for partnerships for an event, consider starting with a list of about 100 “leads.” The figure may seem high, but only a small fraction will become true sponsors. Taking into account the refusals, the lack of response, the coordination challenges… this figure becomes a good starting point.
When it comes to choosing which companies to contact and the “return on energy invested,” it is best to target brands that have previously sponsored events.
In most cases, the decision to become a sponsor is the responsibility of the marketing department. LinkedIn is probably your best place to start for determining who to contact in a given company.
Improve Corporate Sponsorship Requests to Large Corporations
“Companies that offer a solution to a real problem are the ones that will be successful.” This is a phrase often heard in business. This means that improving people’s quality of life is the most important variable in determining a company’s value.
The same is true of the sponsorship proposal. The best ideas are those that take into account the needs of the participants of your event.
- Do your participants often queue up at the entrance to the venue? This may be the opportunity for a sponsored appetizer.
- Is your event held in winter in an enchanting setting? What if a first drink was taken outside, courtesy of a heat lamp sponsorship?
Therefore, the right question to ask is “how can we work with our partners and sponsors to add value to the event?”
The clever concept, the “Wow!” effect, the right vehicle to convey the sponsors’ message – these usually add up to a unique moment and a memorable experience.
Everyone is a winner in a sponsorship proposal where the user is at the centre of the idea.
Create an Impressive Presentation for Your Future Allies
Now that you have a thorough knowledge of your participants, rich opportunities with potential partners and a proposal you are proud of, it is time to share your work.
Your official documents must meet the standards of presentation.
- Professional appearance
- Quality graphics
- Error-free texts, suitable for cursory reading (“bullet point” style, keywords in bold)
The document should also be customized for the targeted company and have the following characteristics:
Let Your Good Deeds Speak for Themselves
One of the easiest ways to enhance presentations to future sponsors is to showcase past successful partnerships! Properly used, these “testimonials” of happy pairings between events and sponsors will have more impact than spreadsheets reporting the number of guests or counting clicks on event ads.
It’s All About the Approach, Even for Events
There is no need to list your contributors and provide photos of brand logos for your presentation. The most important thing is the choice of words (titles) and the quality of the photos taken during the evening.
When referring to the quality of the photos, we mean their aesthetic character. Over and above artistic considerations, the photos should highlight the moment, the atmosphere and the participant’s experience.
Focus on images that show the faces of the participants and the emotion evoked by the sponsored experience.
Ever heard the joke: “What’s your listener’s favourite station? WII-FM (What’s in it for me?).”
Your ability to provide an obvious answer to this question will be directly related to the achievement of your sponsorship targets.
When you will be able to demonstrate to the targeted companies the effect and scope of your offer in their positioning, in the face of competition or in a market share they have not yet managed to break through, everything will be different.
Your stance will be proactive since you will have something to offer!
As we have seen, getting sponsors for your event is not easy.
But by following these important steps, it will become extremely difficult… to refuse you.
– Lulu Events Team