How to secure sponsorship for your event

Securing sponsorship for an event is not just about acquiring financial support. If done properly, sponsorship can be the best partnership for your event, ensuing that both parties involved achieve worthwhile results.

“Sponsorship is the best partnership for your event”

Entering into a sponsorship deal means you are embarking on a relationship with a company or brand that is looking to maximize their return on investment through the sponsorship. As is the case with any relationship, there needs to be give and take on both sides, and you need to create a balance that meets the needs for you and your sponsor.
That means you need to foster good communication, create an agreement that works for everyone, and follow through on that agreement. Assuming all goes well, this can be the foundation for a long-term relationship and repeat events with this same sponsor.
Securing sponsorship for an event is a process, and there are vital steps you must take to ensure the partnership will work for both parties.
Here are our seven steps to securing the best partnership for your event…

1. Market research – finding the right partner

Identify the audience you have attending your event (demographics and interests). Then highlight any new audiences you would like to attract. By having a clear idea of your audience, you will be able to start researching your potential sponsors. The ideal sponsor will be one that it sees value in being exposed to your database and associates. In return, consider what new audiences your potential sponsor can bring to your event. 

2. Consider all the benefits to both the sponsor and the event organiser

Once you have a shortlist of ideal sponsors, consider all the benefits to both the sponsor and the event. For the event, it may include financial support, adding to the guest experience, enhancing the events credibility by being aligned with a reputable brand, or gaining access to marketing support. For the sponsor it may include brand exposure, targeted marketing, access to a new database of contacts or enhancing credibility by being aligned with the event. 

3. Create a compelling proposal

Your proposal should be simple, clear and to the point with tasteful graphics. Always remember that when approaching a company to ask for sponsorship that you’re coming out of nowhere and asking for their time and support – make it easy for the contact person to ascertain exactly what it is you need by outlining the benefits of their sponsorship. The actual proposal should have the following points listed:
Welcome message
Why sponsor? (crucial to your proposal with figures, statistics and benefits)
About the event 
Goals and purpose of the event 
Sponsorship levels
Application form

4. Establishing the relationship – the approach

Once you have put together a comprehensive contact list, make contact by introducing yourself initially via email, then a follow up phone call. You should aim to set up a face-to-face meeting once you have estabilished that the company is interested in sponsoring the event. Sponsors are always looking for the right event to work with and want to meet the person behind the event to determine their charcter, communication and history with events. Make sure you have hard and online copies of your proposal ready for your meeting and be prepared with all the event information that is relevant to the sponsor.

5. Securing the deal

When securing a sponsorship deal make sure all parties are clear on what they need to deliver. Have an agreement in place and be specific by confirming and signing of on the actionable points. You’ll sometimes need to be flexible in your package to customise the sponsors needs for their niche.  

6. Activating the agreement – delivering results

With sponsorship secured it’s now time to deliver on the agreed terms. Sponsors do not part with financial or any other type of support without expecting results. Make sure there is open communication between you and the sponsor throughout the event planning process. At the end of the event arrange a debrief to highlight results. 

7. Cementing a long term relationship

To be successful in gaining and maintaining sponsorship for future events, you need to view sponsors as partners throughout the entire process. Sponsors require nurturing and care, and should  feel that they are both part of the event, as well as gaining value in their sponsorship in the exchange. 

The right proposal attracts interest – a case study

Indoor Sports NSW recently launched their newly created Indoor Netball Premier League (INPL) and Big Blast Indoors seeking sponsorship with their new approach to lift up the standards of Indoor Sports in NSW. They asked Icon Corporate Events (previously Memphis Events) to assist. The INPL and BBI has approximately 1,800 and 1080 players respectively, active between March and December each season. Added supporters, venue teams and staff to that number, ISNSW services over 60,000 people through their members (Franchisors) where a sponsor can benefit from a great amount of exposure.
Icon Corporate Events (previously Memphis Events) developed an approach that resulted in a simple, effective and attractively packaged proposal that delivered clear information. The proposal attracted over $40,000 worth of sponsorship within 5 months including brands such as Beastwear, Simply First Aid and Resources for Profit.

How to secure sponsorship for your event | Case study
If you’d like assistance planning your next event, including getting sponsorship, Icon Corporate Events (previously Memphis Events) can help streamline the process and give you the best chance of achieving your goals.


P.S. If you are interested in sharing your expertise in event planning we'd love to hear from you.
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Guest post by Eyob Yesus

Eyob Yesus is Managing Director of Memphis Events, a Sydney-based event management company. His company specialises in working with clients from the creation and direction of the event right through to the technical production and execution of the event.