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Innovative Ways To Attract Sponsors To Your Event

Updated: Nov 23, 2019

The great thing about being an event planner is that you don’t have to foot the entire bill when organizing events. Whether you’re putting on a music festival or a pageant, there are plenty of sponsors who’d be excited to partner with you.

That said, it can be tough to raise capital through sponsors if you don’t know how. And yes, there are effective and non-effective ways to go about it.

To help you out, we’ve put together a guide with tips on how to attract sponsors to your event using innovative methods that you may not have thought about. Read on for more....

1. Create an outstanding proposal

Gone are the days when companies would settle for a few banners and a spot on your promotional material. Nowadays, you need to give sponsors a reason to choose you over hundreds of other applicants. This is especially the case with big brands that are overwhelmed by people looking for sponsorships every day.

Set yourself apart from the beginning by finding ways to give your proposal an edge. One way to do this is to tell your company story as authentically as possible.

Tell your prospective sponsor what you do and what the purpose of the event is. Make it clear who your target audience is and be specific about the amount of funding you need. Trust us, brands appreciate transparency and it’ll earn you major brownie points.

2. Build a following

It’s important to build momentum before you even approach sponsors. Start by making some noise on social media and build a following on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Get people excited about your event and get them to interact with you as much as possible. You could start a newsletter or create a YouTube channel if that’s what your target demographic responds to the most.

The goal is to get people talking about your event so you don’t approach sponsors as an unknown entity.

If all you’re bringing to the table is an idea on a piece of paper and nothing else to show for it, chances are you won’t be able to convince anyone to back you. But, if you can show that you have a good following on social media then you’re presenting an opportunity that most businesses would jump to be a part of.

3. Consider “in-kind” sponsorships

If you’re approaching sponsors for the first time, try and go for “in-kind” partnerships. That’s because it’s much easier to get “in-kind” donations than it is to get money up-front, especially for a beginner.

Think about it. There’s a long list of items that you’ll need for your event that you could get through “in-kind” donations.

Consider all the products or services you’ll need to organize your event and talk to those companies. See if they’d be willing to donate some of their products and services as branded swag in return for exposure at the event.

Once you’ve partnered up with your first few sponsors, you can use their participation as leverage to go after other businesses. When companies see that you have other sponsors on-board, they’ll feel like they’re missing out and want to join in.

4. Have a clear mission and message

It’s important that you’re clear on the mission and vision of the event before you approach any company. The companies you approach will want to know what you stand for and who they’re buying into. This is because brands prefer to back events that are aligned with their own values and mission.

Before you pitch your proposal, research companies that have similar values that could align with the theme of your event. This will make it easier for you to convince your prospects into being a sponsor for your event.

5. Define your target audience

Going along with tip #4, you should also figure out who your target audience is for the event so you can find sponsors with a similar audience overlay. Companies are more likely to sponsor you if they feel you’re reaching out to the same audience they’re after.

6. Provide clear contact information

It should be easy for sponsors to reach you and find you online, whether it’s through email, your website or on Facebook.

If you’re doing a presentation, make sure there’s a contact info section at the end with details on how to contact you.

7. Don’t try to be convincing

This might sound counter-intuitive but it actually makes sense when you think about it. If you have to work hard to convince a brand to sponsor you, is it really worth it? You could spend that time reaching out to companies that’d jump at the chance to be a part of our event; companies that are more aligned with your vision and mission.

Sometimes, forcing it just doesn’t work. It’s much better to spend time with ideal sponsors who understand your value proposition and want to work with you, instead of spending too much time trying to convince someone who will most likely not accept your proposal.