On the PheedLoop blog, we’ve talked time and time again about how a great event is great business: a great event introduces you to new audiences, gives you valuable face time with clientele and boosts brand recognition. Events are rarely possible without sponsors, but good news: sponsors sign on to events for the same reasons you organize them. Read on to find out everything you need to know about sponsorship packages, from their importance to different models to use when planning your next event.
Event sponsorship packages are essentially a contract between event organizers and sponsors that outlines what sponsors will provide an event (financial, in-kind or media sponsorship, for example), and what sponsors will get out of the deal (brand activations, placement on promo materials, et cetera).
Sponsorship has been a key component of event organizing for decades. Even though events in the 2020s look a little different as a result of the pandemic, sponsorship remains crucial for funding in-person, virtual and hybrid events alike.
It’s important to offer sponsorship packages because they fund your event and they increase your reach. Sponsors make up a significant percentage of an event’s budget - they make your event happen! - and offering sponsorship packages allows you to bring on myriad sponsors in ways that work for them. Plus, partnering with the right sponsors can introduce your event to new audiences, and introduce your demographic to your sponsors, making it a win-win. Check out PheedLoop’s guide to finding the right sponsors for your events.
Plus, with different sponsorship models like tiered packages or a la carte options, you’re able to attract new sponsors who may want to “try before they buy,” or who want to join at an entry level – more on that later.
When putting together sponsorship packages, here are some do’s and don’ts to maximize appeal and secure a stellar sponsorship slate, no matter if your event is virtual, hybrid or in-person.
Do emphasize how virtual events are just as beneficial for sponsors as traditional event formats. Virtual events are well-attended and offer great value for sponsors, just like their in-person counterparts.
Do create unique ways for event attendees to engage with virtual sponsors. Make your virtual event stand out for prospective sponsors by going beyond the traditional website placements. Consider virtual swag bags or sponsored virtual networking sessions as unique sponsorship package components.
Don’t neglect to source sponsors for virtual events, or take a one-size-fits-all approach to sponsor deals. Virtual event sponsorship can be just as customizable as in-person events of the past – don’t think a virtual event means you have to lower your sponsor expectations!
Do discuss sponsorship opportunities across your in-person and online event components. Get sponsors in on the action at the venue or virtually. Making hybrid sponsor activations a part of your sponsorship packages is attractive for sponsors who want maximum exposure.
Do use an event management platform that allows you to control sponsor placements and logistics across event formats. Instead of leaving coordination up to email chains and disjointed project management systems, an event management platform like PheedLoop lets you manage hybrid sponsors out of one place.
Don’t view hybrid sponsor packages as simply half in-person, half virtual. Hybrid event sponsorship packages should treat hybrid formats like their own event and seek to emphasize the unique nature of hybrid events. How can you use this relatively new format to provide ROI for your sponsors?
Do use exclusivity to market sponsorship packages. As COVID-19 restrictions ease, many event organizers are still taking a cautious approach to in-person event organizing, so creating “invite-only” sponsorship packages or advertising an exclusive guest list can attract big-ticket sponsors.
Do make the return to in-person exciting for sponsors. In-person events remain the best way to connect with potential clientele, so work with your sponsors to create fun ways to boost brand awareness (sponsored hand sanitizer stations? Raffles with exclusive perks offered up by sponsor companies?). It’ll make the return we’ve all been waiting for extra exciting.
When putting together your sponsorship packages, the most common approaches are tiered models and a la carte models. Here’s how to choose the best model for your next event.
Sponsorship levels or tiers are a tried-and-true way to attract a wide range of sponsors, from small businesses offering in-kind support to major brands providing financial sponsorship. Sponsorship levels allow organizers to bring sponsors on at a level that makes sense for them.
For example, the 2021 Canadian Evaluation Society Virtual Conference, powered by PheedLoop, offered four corporate sponsorship tiers: Silver at $1,000, Gold at $2,250, Platinum at $3,500 and Diamond at $10,000. Each tier lays out opportunities for social media promotion and placement on PheedLoop’s platform and the event site. Corporate sponsors had the opportunity to buy in and support CES depending on what they could contribute, and how they wanted to be promoted at the virtual conference.
When creating your tiers, be sure to include standard sponsor placements: ads on your site, promotion on social media, features in event programs/posters/signage, booth accommodations, live displays. The higher the tier, the more perks. Tiers are traditional, but they work spectacularly.
A la carte sponsorship packages are more tailored than sponsorship tiers. They’re great for sponsors that are looking to achieve specific goals, or create brand awareness in specific ways.
A brand may care a lot about engaging with guests in a hands-on way, through sponsored sessions, gamification or IRL brand activations, but less about pre-event exposure on social media or event websites. A la carte sponsorship would allow this brand to opt-in to having a presence at the physical event without having to pay for the tiered benefits they don’t want or need.
A la carte sponsorship offerings can cover everything from pre-event placements in marketing materials to day-of activations to post-event reporting and content. With more flexibility than your traditional tiers, an a la carte model might be a beneficial add-on to your sponsorship plan to attract new partner companies.
We know why sponsorship packages are important and how they can boost your next event’s profile (and how they can boost your budget!). When putting together your sponsorship packages, be sure to consider event format and type of sponsorship model – what kinds of sponsors are you looking for, and what might they get out of your event? Once you have your sponsorship packages laid out, read PheedLoop’s guide to finding and approaching the right sponsors for your next event.