When you’re planning to produce a conference or exhibition, one of the issues you would be interested in is getting sponsors to support the event, either financially or by providing products and services. Sponsorships play a significant role in the event income.
Attracting and engaging potential sponsors is not an easy task and it involves significant marketing skills and resources, keeping in mind that sponsors measure ROI and want to see a return on their investment by being exposed to the event’s attendees and connect with qualified prospects.
So, what needs to be done?
Define the relevant market sectors for the event, prepare a list of verticals, industries, or demographics, set up categories of prospective sponsors and after research prepare a list of potential sponsors with collected intelligence.
Prepare a sponsor proposal that includes the event mission and main topics, number of expected attendees and characteristics, the uniqueness of your event, and several sponsorship packages with prices and benefits of each package. Sponsorship prices should depend on the type of market you’re dealing with and the size of companies you’re approaching as sponsors.
Improve the branding of your event by creating a logo, a modern and well-designed website and update your marketing materials. Include your standard sponsorship packages within your website with the possibility to set up a sponsorship automatically.
Finding the right person in the company you approach is an important issue. You should contact the right department (marketing, public relations, brand management or similar) by email or phone and try to set up a meeting.
Meeting a potential sponsor should include the understanding of the sponsor’s expectations, needs and key business objectives as well as introduction of your event marketing efforts and potential audience. Sponsorship packages should be customized to each sponsor’s needs.
Event marketing efforts may include website, social media and email marketing, logo placement and signage, speaking opportunities, free VIP passes and more.
Sign a sponsorship agreement with your sponsor, keep him involved and updated before, during and after the event and remember that the sponsor is probably your most important client for the current and future events.