How to Secure Event Sponsors and Keep Them Coming Back
Written by A-mazing Events on July 13, 2017
Six Tips to Prepare, Present, and Cultivate Supportive Sponsorships
Gone are the days when recruiting sponsors for an event meant sending a generic letter to as many companies as possible. Today’s sponsors expect (and enjoy) the opportunity to engage with attendees and VIPs in memorable ways. The key is to design sponsorship opportunities to meet potential sponsors’ interests and inclinations.
Our clients build relationships throughout the year to set the scene for successful sponsorship recruitment. Twelve months before a big fundraising event, we begin working together to engage these essential partners.
First, carefully answer these questions:
- What value does this opportunity offer potential sponsors?
- Why is this event a better match for the potential sponsor compared to other proposals they may receive?
- How will we make this an especially personalized and worthwhile partnership?
Create a list of viable sponsor prospects:
- Pursue sponsors that coincide with your organization’s mission or event theme.
- Consider business contacts, vendors, media outlets, honorees’ associates, and related associations.
- Find the right person to approach. Introduce yourself by telephone, then e-mail after you’ve made this connection.
Enlist your board members to connect. They are an essential part of this process. Encourage and empower them to approach their acquaintances directly for sponsorships. Our job as planners is to supply them with the information and tools to be successful, including a well-written and designed sponsorship packet.
Create a customized sponsorship packet that is branded, clean, and easy to read. Ask your event planner for help. At A-mazing Events, we have graphic design talent on staff to make this process easy, effective, and well-coordinated with your event theme.
- Succinctly explain your organization’s mission, the number of people who are impacted by your mission, and how the event’s funds will be used.
- List your board members and their organizations or associations
- Summarize your event demographics (who will attend, how many attendees)
- Clearly list available sponsorship levels and benefits such as registration, opening reception, coffee break, shuttle buses, lunch, or décor. Consider using a chart or infographic to make the pitch more visually appealing.
- Carefully consider the differentiation between sponsorship levels. Be sure sponsor benefits clearly match the dollar value requested.
- Include exclusive benefits for top-tier sponsors, such as meet-and-greets or VIP seating.
- Create different price points so a wide range of companies can become sponsors.
- Include a sponsorship pledge form.
Illustrate your Ingenuity
- Are you pursuing an orthopedic clinic as a sponsor? Why not suggest a coffee “break” sponsorship and help brainstorm a memorable table tent?
- Hoping to get a printer to produce your meeting materials? Offer the “registration” sponsorship and use printer’s registration marks on the signage.
Make it Easy
- Once sponsorships are obtained, assign one person as the coordinator to collect all properly formatted logos, verbiage, and other information well in advance of print, web, and broadcast deadlines.
- Make sure all sponsorship benefits are fulfilled.
- Be as efficient as possible. Your sponsors will remember this experience when you ask them next year.
Greet and be Grateful.
- Individually greet sponsors at the event, thank them for their generous support, and recognize them at the event with name badge ribbons or in some other distinctive way.
- Take pictures of “sponsorship in action” with attendees enjoying the event.
- Personally call each sponsor to thank them for their support and ask them about their impressions of your event. Send a follow-up thank you note. Include fundraising and attendance numbers, a few photos, and an invitation to attend next year.
Are you interested in planning an event that engages sponsors to strengthen your organization and theirs? The staff at A-mazing Events can help you plan anything from a small executive excursion all the way to a gala fundraising event packed with eager attendees. Contact us at 920-788-3000 or email@example.com to kick off a friendly creative discussion.