How to find a sponsor for your event

How to find a sponsor for your event

Do you have big ambi­tions for your event? Would you like to increase your atten­dance? Think about get­ting a spon­sor to achieve your goals, what­ev­er they are!


    1. Which sponsor for your event?

    Before con­tact­ing a poten­tial spon­sor, you need to know how to con­vince them! First­ly, you should iden­ti­fy your com­mon­al­i­ties, whether it’s a shared pas­sion, a com­mit­ment, or some­thing else. This is what will pique the inter­est of the brand and con­vince its rep­re­sen­ta­tives to invest in your project. Make a list of what you need: financ­ing, vis­i­bil­i­ty, equip­ment, etc.

    Different kinds of sponsors meet different needs

    • Finan­cial spon­sor­ing: In this case, you reach out to a com­pa­ny so that it can help finance your event in exchange for adver­tis­ing space. The size of the adver­tise­ment will depend on the size of the brand’s con­tri­bu­tion to your bud­get.
    • Equip­ment spon­sor­ing: Organ­is­ing an event requires a lot of equip­ment: Tents, bars, fur­ni­ture for “chill out” areas, cups, stage light­ing, dec­o­ra­tion, and so on. Ask­ing brands to pro­vide the nec­es­sary equip­ment to set-up the event enables organ­is­ers to low­er their expens­es. The upside of this type of spon­sor­ing is the oppor­tu­ni­ty for the spon­sor to gain brand aware­ness. Indeed, the spon­sor can pro­vide brand­ed equip­ment to ensure they main­tain con­trol of their brands’ on-site adver­tis­ing.
    • Ser­vice spon­sor­ing: a lot of your fees will be relat­ed to adver­tis­ing — pro­mot­ing your event in the media, cre­at­ing a web­site, etc. — as well as secu­ri­ty and venue hire. Part­ner­ing with local com­pa­nies or local gov­ern­ments may help you low­er these expens­es. Events are great oppor­tu­ni­ties to increase their reach or, in the case of the media, sim­ply pro­vide them with exclu­sive con­tent; which is why they are gen­er­al­ly hap­py to take part in this type of spon­sor­ing. For instance, you can pro­vide brand aware­ness to some media out­lets who will, in turn, pro­vide you with free adver­tis­ing spaces and, as a result, enable your event to reach new tar­get audi­ences. Be care­ful, how­ev­er, not to enlist the help of com­pet­ing media and to choose your part­ners care­ful­ly, based on your tar­get audi­ence.

    If you are look­ing for a spon­sor for the first edi­tion of an event, no need to aim too high. The size of the spon­sor is not what mat­ters, what mat­ters is their lev­el of involve­ment in the project. A small com­pa­ny will some­times be more will­ing to help than a large one.

    Several goals can motivate a company’s decision to be a sponsor

    • Brand aware­ness — the brand wish­es to be seen and remem­bered by a large audi­ence
    • Brand image — the com­pa­ny wish­es to be asso­ci­at­ed with a spe­cif­ic image, idea or cause in the minds of clients and prospec­tive cus­tomers
    • Cus­tomer acqui­si­tion — the com­pa­ny wish­es to attract new clients and the event is a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­play its ser­vices and reach a new audi­ence

    Browse the web­sites of the com­pa­nies that you would like to attract as spon­sors and gain a good under­stand­ing of who they are and what their goals are. The idea here is to find all pos­si­ble touch points between your event and the brand, i.e. what’s in it for you and what do they have to gain in return?

    Is it the first edition of your event?

    If you are look­ing for a spon­sor for the first edi­tion of your event, it makes no sense to look too high. What is impor­tant is not the size of the spon­sor but their involve­ment in the project. Often, a small com­pa­ny is more com­mit­ted and there­fore more involved than a large one.

    2. What are your assets? What can you offer the brand?

    Make an esti­ma­tion of how big your audi­ence will be and what the media cov­er­age will be for your event. Well quan­ti­fied, this data is a true asset for your event when try­ing to con­vince the brands to spon­sor you, as they will show inter­est in the lev­el of aware­ness.

    What val­ues would you like to pro­mote through your event? What is the sto­ry that you would you like to tell? Find­ing shared val­ues between your event and the brand will be an addi­tion­al argu­ment to prove that you will help the brand strength­en its image. Think about actions or acti­va­tions that it could organ­ise for the event: good­ies, speech­es, what­ev­er you can imag­ine!

    Final­ly, quan­ti­fy the num­ber of spaces that you can pro­vide for your spon­sors, along with — if pos­si­ble — an esti­mate of the num­ber of impres­sions, i.e. peo­ple who will see their logo or slo­gan. This will allow you to put a price on your adver­tis­ing spaces (both phys­i­cal and vir­tu­al, count every­thing: from posters on site to web­site ban­ners).

    3. How to put together a sponsoring application

    Once you have iden­ti­fied the brand(s) that suits your event best, you can move on to the next step: putting togeth­er your spon­sor­ing appli­ca­tion.

    The perfect format

    Our advice is to design it a bit like an adver­tise­ment brochure. Make it attrac­tive and pleas­ant to read, insert info­graph­ics and pic­tures, and insist on a clear graph­ic iden­ti­ty, one that is neat and will tru­ly stand out. Be com­pre­hen­sive while remain­ing con­cise.

    Do not under­es­ti­mate the lay­out of your spon­sor­ship appli­ca­tion. It needs to be clear, attrac­tive and com­plete. You can hire a pro­fes­sion­al design­er to help you with this task.

    If you are pro­fi­cient in graph­ic design tools, you can get inspi­ra­tion and adapt spon­sor­ship appli­ca­tion tem­plates avail­able on the Inter­net.

    What you need to include in your sponsorship application

    • Intro­duce your­self and your team 
    • Present your project: its con­cept, its goals, its iden­ti­ty. Include infor­ma­tion on your tar­get audi­ence, any part­ner­ships already in place, your planned media and com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­e­gy, the size of your infra­struc­ture and the recur­rence of your event — one-time or repeat­ed. If you have already organ­ised an event, think to include its reviews. It is the same type of con­tent that you would find in a press kit for brands — sto­ry, goals, pro­gram, part­ner­ships, prac­ti­cal infor­ma­tion, etc.
    •  Set out your needs: Financ­ing, vis­i­bil­i­ty, equip­ment, etc. Be care­ful to jus­ti­fy your needs with num­bers or at least asso­ciate clear objec­tives that can be under­stood by the brand. In order to jus­ti­fy them, you can detail what you are will­ing to offer.
    •  Then make a con­crete offer. What will the brand gain from spon­sor­ing you?
    •  What goals will you meet? How will it be set up con­crete­ly at your event? Where will the brand be vis­i­ble? Are you offer­ing sim­ple posters with their logo or can the brand organ­ise activ­i­ties to have a big­ger impact? Pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less, try to seduce them by giv­ing them sol­id rea­sons to help your project. Do not hes­i­tate to offer pack­ages, they are clear and easy to under­stand.

    Here are a few exam­ples of aware­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties you can offer to poten­tial spon­sors:

    • Com­mu­ni­ca­tion sup­ports: You can place your spon­sor’s logo on all your com­mu­ni­ca­tion sup­ports: fly­ers, posters, teasers, web­site, event pro­gramme (you can even ded­i­cate an entire page of the pro­gramme to them so they can talk about their com­pa­ny and increase their brand aware­ness).
    • Cus­tomised areas on-site, ded­i­cat­ed to the brand: a lot of brands, espe­cial­ly food and drinks brands, are used to cus­tomis­ing points of sale with their brand image. They can, there­fore, pro­vide you with equip­ment while main­tain­ing con­trol over how they want their logo to be dis­played at your event.
    • Good­ies: Some brands could hand out good­ies and/or prod­uct sam­ples at your event. This can be a real win-win sit­u­a­tion for every­one. This kind of aware­ness is good for the brand as it will put them in touch with poten­tial cus­tomers, and it will ben­e­fit both you and your audi­ence as well.
    • Com­pe­ti­tions: Media out­lets, spon­sors and part­ners could run com­pe­ti­tions on social media for peo­ple to win good­ies or tick­ets for exam­ple. For instance, com­pe­ti­tions ask­ing peo­ple to “like, share and com­ment on this post to win gifts” are a good way to sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase your vis­i­bil­i­ty and reach audi­ences that you would not oth­er­wise have reached and the same goes for your part­ners.

    4. How to contact potential sponsors

    Every­thing is now ready for you to move on to the next, more com­pli­cat­ed, step: Get­ting in touch. You can try get­ting in touch with poten­tial spon­sors at trade shows or by phone, but you should expect some dif­fi­cul­ties. Send­ing emails and fol­low­ing up on the phone remains the best and most effi­cient way. We rec­om­mend that you address your e‑mail to the atten­tion of a spe­cif­ic, qual­i­ty con­tact, rather than send­ing a gener­ic e‑mail to an “info@” or “contact@” type address.

    What to include in the contact e‑mail?

    To attract the atten­tion of your poten­tial spon­sors by e‑mail, fol­low these tips:

    • Do it well in advance (between 1 year and 6 months before the event).
    • Pay atten­tion to the sub­ject line, which should be clear and catchy.
    • Cus­tomise the mes­sage, includ­ing at least: the name of the con­tact, the name of the com­pa­ny or media and a phrase that con­nects your activ­i­ty to theirs.
    • Include a list of advan­tages that the enti­ty will get for spon­sor­ing your event.
    • Attach the spon­sor­ship appli­ca­tion.
    • Be con­cise and polite.
    • Try dif­fer­ent approach­es and track the results of each approach using an e‑mailing and CRM tool.

    Have a strategy for your sponsorship meeting

    You have suc­ceed­ed in book­ing a meet­ing? (It can take some time, do not despair!) On the day of your pre­sen­ta­tion, be orig­i­nal. Bring some new infor­ma­tion about your project: how has it pro­gressed since your appli­ca­tion? Have you secured any new part­ner­ships? Have you had new ideas to add to your offer? Sup­port your pre­sen­ta­tion with a slide show, and why not include videos? Show that you under­stand the com­pa­ny you are speak­ing to, that you know your project is per­fect for them!

    Brands appre­ci­ate being offered exclu­siv­i­ty for an event, but it is up to you to choose one or sev­er­al spon­sors. Why not find a dif­fer­ent spon­sor for each of your dif­fer­ent needs? You can pro­vide them with cus­tomised offers depend­ing on the type of ser­vice the brand will offer you.

    Discover our advice to promote your events

    5 Social Media Strate­gies to Help Pro­mote Your Next Event

    The Per­fect Event Web­site: A Com­plete Guide

    Ready to look for spon­sors and plan your own event? Start now with Weezevent:

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