When is it Too Late to Sell Sponsorship for an Event? 21st March, 2018

If you’ve got a recurring event then the answer is ‘never’. Putting a deadline on sponsorship sales means you’re missing out on a key marketing period when hype is at its highest.

It’s six weeks before your annual event. You’ve got a number of sponsors on board and all your assets are full. There’s a sponsor for all the awards, the stage, newsletter and social media mentions. Even if you do have a couple of assets that could still be sponsored, you don’t have time to get it all sorted before the big day. It’s time to put a halt on sponsorship until next year, right?

Wrong. While most rights holders stop thinking about new sponsorship deals completely at this point, if you’ve got an ongoing or annual event it’s actually the prime time to get people on board for the next one. Here’s why you could boost your sponsorship sales by keeping up the impetus throughout the year

Strike while the hype is hot

Let’s imagine you’re hosting a music festival. The lead up to, during and just after an event is when hype is at its highest. Artists and attendees are all over the media – both social and traditional print and broadcast forms. They’re counting down to the big day, posting images and videos of the action as it happens, reminiscing about the great time they had.

Take advantage of the buzz. Sponsors may have seen or heard online conversations and thought, ‘hmm, this could be good for us.’ Even if they haven’t heard anything yet, a quick Google will show them just how valuable your platform and audience reach is. It’s the perfect time to get them excited about being involved next year – or even take up any last minute slots if the timing’s right.

Invite potential sponsors along

Sponsorship proposals and videos of past events are all well and good, but the best way for brand prospects to understand an opportunity is to experience it for themselves. A couple of months before an event is the ideal time to start researching any potential future sponsors and send them an invite. Once they’ve seen the event in the flesh, they can understand exactly how it could work for their brand.

Sponsorship should never stop

If your event is happening more than once, then your sponsorship sales process should be continuous. Using the buzz, hype and experience of an event as it happens is the ideal time for sponsors to see how they could get involved in the future. While it’s good to step back and assess your sponsorship strategy and pipelines consistently, having a fixed deadline on sponsorship sales could put a cap on potential sponsorship revenue.