When should I think about Sponsorship for an Event? 3 Ways to Maximise your chance of Securing Event Sponsors 29th May, 2018

It is the stamp of a successful event to be able to successfully attract sponsorship from brands, therefore enabling it to grow and fulfill its maximum potential.

It’s therefore unsurprising that the question most often asked by organisers is when best to approach potential sponsors for their event.

Many organisers regularly fall into the trap of leaving it too late for brand involvement and miss a golden opportunity to subsidise and support their event, as well as dramatically increasing exposure to appropriate audiences.

The Slingshot Sponsorship team are on a mission to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. So here are our top three tips to maximising your chance of securing sponsors when organising an event…

1) Think sponsorship from the start

A successful sponsorship involves ways in which a brand can be interwoven throughout all aspects of the event – so engage sponsors through the entire process.

From initial communications and marketing, right through to ticket sales and the event itself, all stages are 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 that you have the time to do so.

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.

Key takeaway: The sooner you sign a sponsor, the more they can integrate with your event – and the more they will pay for it.

2) Don’t just approach any brand you can think of

When approaching sponsors for your event, it’s vital to stop and think. Why this particular brand? Can they add value to my event? Can they provide relevant products? Even more importantly, what can I offer them that they can’t get anywhere else?

You must be able to justify why your event will benefit their brand because at the end of the day, sponsorship is not charity – it’s a partnership. So don’t just approach any brand you may have contacts with.

The key is to approach brands that will resonate with your event’s audience, as corporate sponsorship is essentially a form of advertising for the brand. So you need to be able to show how the brand can not only reap the benefits at the point of sale, but also throughout the event lifecycle and beyond. This will help ensure they renew and upgrade on investment, continuing their support for years to come as you grow your event.

Key takeaway: Focusing on the most relevant sponsorship brands to your audience is vital in ensuring a successful partnership throughout the entire event experience and beyond.

3) Don’t pull a price out of thin air

One of the most common mistakes organisers make when approaching sponsors is simply not valuing their assets properly.

Knowing the true 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. This is doubly important once you recognise that the brands you approach see sponsorship proposals every day and they’ll be able to tell if your offering is worth the investment you are asking for.

It’s important to think practically and logically when it comes to event sponsorship. For example, if you need £100,000 for your event but you only have £25,000 worth of sponsor assets, you wouldn’t just suddenly charge them £100,000. Instead, you could find another three sponsors willing to pay another £25,000, thus spreading out value to cover the event’s costs. Think about it: would you pay four times the price of anything for the sake of it? Of course you wouldn’t – so you shouldn’t expect your sponsor to do so either!

Key takeaway: It’s a common mistake to scare sponsors away by overcharging them to cover costs. Instead, work to spread out sponsorship values evenly to cover costs.

We hope these three tips ensure you never let an event sponsorship opportunity pass you by in future. It always helps to put yourself in the brand’s shoes and make sure you feel as if they’re being offered strong, relevant exposure to a suitable audience throughout an event’s lifecycle at a price that’s honest and provides real value. This is the secret to maximising your chance of securing sponsors for your event.

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