In Blog Form

August 31, 2022
Event Tips

The Ultimate Guide to Approaching Sponsors in 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Approaching Sponsors in 2022

You have a stellar event planned from venue to program. You have excited event registrants and a schedule full of industry leaders and fun engagement opportunities. What could complement your event and take it to the next level? Sponsors.

Securing sponsors is a crucial part of organizing any event. Sponsors give you a financial boost, promote your event to new audiences and give your event legitimacy. Read on for the ultimate guide to approaching (and securing!) sponsors for your next event.

Different types of sponsorship 

The first step to securing sponsors for your next event is understanding exactly what a sponsor does. Promotion, event goodies, cold hard cash – there are a few main sponsorship types you’ll encounter when seeking sponsors for corporate events:

  • Financial Sponsorship. This one’s pretty straightforward: financial sponsors give money towards your event budget in exchange for promotion or other benefits. You can get creative with financial sponsors, creating a sponsorship package with everything from a pop-up on your event’s mobile app to an activation at your event to an attendee-facing giveaway before the event.
  • In-Kind Sponsorship. In-kind sponsors contribute goods or services to an event rather than money. Secure in-kind sponsors for food and beverage contributions, or physical items to use as prizes. Venues are often in-kind sponsors, too, offering their space for your event as their side of the deal.
  • Media Sponsorship. Give your event marketing efforts a boost by approaching media sponsors who will provide publicity and media coverage for your events. Media sponsors are one of many ways to promote your event in a cost-effective way.
  • Promotional Sponsorship. Promotional sponsors take the form of influencers or individuals with a large following who promote your event to their fans. In exchange, promotional sponsors get free event tickets, products or a payout.

Every event organizer could use a healthy mix of the four types of sponsors, but how do you determine which in-kind sponsors to target, or which promotional sponsors will reach the right potential attendees? The next step in approaching event sponsors requires some research.

Choosing the right sponsor for your event

Sponsorship isn’t just about the financial aspect of your event. It’s tempting to reach out to as many potential sponsors as possible, but consciously seeking out sponsors that align with your values, demographics and event goals will create a better experience for you and your attendees.

Here’s what to look for in a brand or company when choosing sponsors for your next event:

  • A mission statement and company values that align with your event
  • Experience sponsoring events similar to yours (size, scope and niche)
  • A shared audience
  • Key goals/ROI metrics that would be achievable through sponsoring your event

Don’t be afraid to get picky with your specifications when looking for sponsors. Finding the right brands or companies using this criteria will result in a slate of sponsors that increase promotion, engagement and successful event outcomes.

With these ideal traits in mind, here’s how to start the search for sponsors that fit the bill:

  • Use sponsor search engines. Websites like SponsorMyEvent, SponsorPitch and Sponseasy allow you to filter for sponsors that meet your needs. 
  • Research past events like yours. For example, if you’re organizing a hospitality trade, find hospitality professional events from the past few years and note any recurring sponsors. 
  • Find key contacts online. With your list of potential sponsors handy, use sites like LinkedIn to hone in on the right people. Finding employees responsible for sponsor relations, brand management or budgeting is a more targeted approach than reaching out to a generic info email address.
  • Start a referral program. If you have several sponsors lined up, try establishing a referral program. This way, existing sponsors benefit from introducing you to new companies, and you get a low-effort introductions to potential sponsors

How to ask for sponsorship (5W’s & H)

We’ve all learned the 5W’s & H in our entry level English classes. Put them to good use when contacting potential sponsors about getting involved in your event. Whether via email, phone call, social media or in-person meeting, make sure to include all relevant info in your pitch to get your sponsor interested from the jump.

  • Who you are and who will be attending - Introduce yourself and your role in the event. Later on, describing your event’s demographic profile will help potential sponsors get an idea of the audience they’d be reaching through your event.
  • What your event is - Is your event in-person, virtual or hybrid? What format is it taking – trade show, conference, networking event, et cetera? What industry, professional organization, area of study or geographic location is your event centered around? Give sponsors a profile to really understand your event.
  • When your event is - The simple stuff: dates and times your event will be held.
  • Where your event is - No matter in-person or virtual, let your potential sponsors know where your event will be held. There are immense sponsorship benefits to sponsoring IRL, virtual and hybrid formats, and your venue/event format could play a part in a company’s decision to sign your sponsorship agreement.
  • Why your event - Why is your event a wise investment? This is where you make your value proposition. Facetime with event attendees, increased brand awareness, a sponsorship package full of perks and a wide-reaching event with top-tier programming – make your event something worth sponsoring.
  • How many people will be attending - Mention the approximate size of your event to give sponsors an idea of your budget and scope.

Make it about the sponsor

It’s important to include all the specifics of your great event in your initial pitch, but when approaching sponsors it’s equally important to make it about them – that is, what do they get out of the deal?

Clearly outline your sponsorship levels and benefits. We’re all familiar with the free booth, sponsor logo on promotional materials and social media shout-outs, but to really personalize your sponsor relationship, ask what “bucket list” items you can cross off for your sponsor. Get creative with your brand activations; when you ask your sponsors what their ideal role or presence in your event looks like, you might be surprised at what unique, engaging things they come up with. Another win-win for your event and your attendees.

Providing hard data on event success is another way to prove value. To ensure confidence, use key data points from past events, showing gross revenue, event turnout (registrants vs. attendees), demographic profiles, social media engagement and active event community members.

Finally, making it about your sponsor can look like showing them why you’re interested in their sponsorship in the first place. Go back to those guiding traits you used when starting the sponsor search, and emphasize how they’re a great fit for your event. 

Managing your relationship with your sponsor

A signed sponsorship agreement is crucial in outlining the exact details of your sponsorship package, and what you’ll receive in return. Written confirmation creates a paper trail of transactions for reference.

Managing the actual logistics of your sponsors’ involvement doesn’t have to be complicated. Use an event management platform like PheedLoop to coordinate sponsor registration, manage contracts and finances, automate communication with sponsors and create sponsor portals for self-management – all in one place. 

Conclusion

Organizing a great event for your event community should be your top priority. When you have a clear goal in mind for your event, and know the need it will serve for your attendees, finding sponsors that align with your vision will be easy. 

Choosing an event platform that centralizes sponsor communication and management makes the sponsor search even easier. Check out PheedLoop

How to Boost Exhibitor Engagement with Badge Scanning and Gamification
PheedLoop’s 2022 Year-End Promo - FREE Badges and Lanyards For Your Next Event!
How to Streamline the Event Check-In Process
Unlocking the True Potential of Your Career as an Event Professional ft. Connie Cay-Santos
PheedLoop is an all-in-one event management platform for live, virtual and hybrid events. Our platform powers events for associations, corporations, agencies, educational institutions and governments worldwide including Shopify, Government of Canada, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, IBM and more. We commit ourselves to being a highly product focused company, and are dedicated to releasing new features and product updates every week since our founding in 2015. We post regular updates like this one to our blog.

If you'd like pricing or demo information, or would like to book a meeting with one of our representatives, please visit this link.
Subscribe
Get event tips, product updates and more from PheedLoop

Looking for more information or
want to get started?

Request Pricing