Is Event Sponsorship Important? YES!
Event sponsorship for some events can have a huge impact to the bottom line of an event or organizations fiscal success. I have been very fortunate to have worked on some very successful event sponsorship campaigns for tradeshows, conferences, associations and fundraisers. I even managed to create a sponsorship package for my local chapter of event professionals that was the most successful of all of their chapters around the world!
Successful sponsorship leverages brands while providing value for both the brand and the attendees. Listed below are my five foundation steps that I look at when creating a sponsorship program for my clients and events. These can apply to all types of events.
Event Sponsorship Research & Auditing
This assists with understanding your market in relation to the goals and intentions of the event you are planning. Start by looking at what similar events are doing in your market or other markets to get an idea of possible price points and the value proposition to your potential sponsors. It isn’t about copying others, instead your research should inform what might be possible.
For example, when building the sponsorship package for my large-scale Baby & Tot show, I looked at similar shows in Western and Eastern Canada. These markets had well established shows. Our price points may have been different, yet we shared similar National sponsors and these similarities and differences inspired me to think about other levels and sponsors to consider when building my sponsorship package.
When you don’t have comparable events to audit AND when you want to start to conceptualize who you need to engage – start with:
- Who is your target market for potential sponsors?
- Why would they want to be a part of the event?
- What would be the value proposition for their brand? I.E. what do you have to offer in terms of exposure to the event’s audience (think key of the key demographics your event attracts and the amount of attendees the brand can interact with).
- Are you looking for a financial investment or are you looking for goods or services that can be offered in-kind for the value of the sponsorship?
Building your Sponsorship Package
Once you’ve done your event sponsorship research and audit, now you have the opportunity to build out your sponsorship options.
Start with having options for all budgets. I have found that when it comes to brand leverage there are some companies that will spend tens of thousands of dollars and others that have much smaller budgets. Scale your options accordingly.
Commitments and Delivery
It is very important to be clear what your potential sponsor will receive for their investment. Equally important is to ensure that you can deliver everything that you have committed to. While it can be easy to add logos to a powerpoint for meetings or even a website, you also need to fully understand the investment and timing that may be involved by offering to produce swag or printed materials for potential sponsors.
Building a solid sponsorship package is a bit of trial and error, especially when you first start. Be open to unforeseen opportunities during your planning process to build custom sponsorship options that may have not been conceived previously and include as part of your sponsorship package. For instance, you may have a company approach you with a value add for your audience (swag, small giveaways or even a contest). These opportunities can add value, so creating a sponsorship level that can work for this sponsor is a win-win.
Like it or not, sponsorship falls in the realm of sales. Some sponsorships will require little to no effort to sell. BUT most times, building a package requires a great contact list of potential sponsors and the willingness to call, email and do multiple follow ups to complete the transaction. Have patience, this often gets easier the more times you engage with your target audiences, and as you gain confidence in the process.
I could write a book on the art of building a great sponsorship package, instead, I have shared with you what I consider to be some of the basic steps that anyone can take on and run with. Interested in getting more info on how to take your next sponsorship package from ok to great? Reach out and we would be happy to consult.