It is the stamp of a successful event to be able to successfully attract sponsorship from brands and thus enable an event to grow. However, the question often asked by organisers is when to approach potential sponsorship. Many will fall into the trap of leaving it too late for brand involvement and miss an opportunity to subsidise and support their event. Here are a few tips that will help you when you’re creating an event to help maximise your chance of securing sponsors:
- Engage Sponsors through the whole process
A successful sponsorship involves ways in which a brand can be interwoven throughout all aspects of the event. Initial communications and marketing to ticket sales and the event itself are all valuable assets that sponsors can utilise and you can monetise. Through connecting with sponsors in the planning stage you can create your event with bespoke brand opportunities for each sponsor and activate them properly given you have the time.
Bringing on a new sponsor late in the game can often seem rushed and doesn’t leave a sponsor feeling like they got the most out of their investment. The sooner you sign a sponsor the more they can integrate and ultimately, they will pay more for it.
- Don’t approach just any brand
When you are approaching sponsors for your event, stop and think why this particular brand? Can they add value to my event, can they provide product, and even more importantly, what can I offer to them that they can’t get anywhere else? You need to be able to justify why your event will benefit their brand because sponsorship is not charity, it’s a partnership.
The key is to approach brands that will resonate with your event’s audience because ultimately, corporate sponsorship is a form of advertising for a brand. You need to be able to show the benefits to the brand not only at the point of sale but also throughout and post your event so they will renew and upgrade on investment, continuing their support in years to come.
- Don’t just pull a price out of thin air
The most common mistake you can make when approaching sponsors is not valuing your assets properly. Knowing the value of what you are offering a sponsor is crucial because no brand will pay for something they don’t believe they will get a return on. You also must recognise that the brands you approach see sponsorship proposals every day and can tell if your offering is worth the investment you are asking for.
Think logically- if you need £100,000 for your event but you only have £25,000 worth of sponsor assets, you don’t charge one sponsor £100,000, you find four sponsors instead to cover your costs. You need to be practical. Would you pay four times the price of anything? No! Nor should you expect that of your sponsor.