Sponsorships are big business. Companies spend billions of dollars each year sponsoring meetings and events. If you find the right sponsors, it is a huge opportunity for both of you because it gives them exposure to a targeted audience and gives you additional resources to produce your event. Often times, the CVB directory of contractors and services is an excellent place to begin your search.
Sponsors should understand the event’s goals and objectives and should be approached from the standpoint of creating a long-term strategic partnership. Don’t approach them just because they have something you want. Understand what they need from the relationship and then build a sponsorship package.
Before you begin, you need to understand what you need from your sponsors. Sponsorships are often a way to help defray costs. What do you currently buy that could be donated “in kind”? Make a list and target those first. Here are a couple of items to consider.
– Airline or train tickets
– Food and beverage
– Giveaway items
The best way to find sponsorship dollars is to match the opportunity with the sponsor. Do your homework. What organizations are potential sponsors? First, look at exhibitors and other organizations that do business with you.
Next, look at your audience and determine what companies are looking for the same audience. Create sponsorship opportunities that meet the needs of the sponsoring organization. Are they looking for recognition? Access to participants on site? Marketing opportunities before, during, and after the event?
In other words customize. Here are some ideas to give your sponsors exposure:
– Recognition in front of participants on site
– Logo on items such as hats and T-shirts
– Website banner ads or links to their websites from yours
– Promotional materials
– Prominent sIgnage
– Mailing list
– A booth at the event to promote the company or to sell products or services
Don’t just create one sponsorship brochure with stock benefits. Personally contact potential sponsors and ask them to be a part of your event. Then send a letter outlining your discussion and confirming participation.
Joshua Gair – Impact Entertainment