How to Find Companies That Are Interested in Sponsoring Events
By Stephen Kim for bizzabo.com
Sell to those who want what you’re selling! Though obvious, people often overlook this fact when the need for buyers becomes urgent and overbearing. This kind of tunnel vision is particularly true for event organizers looking to secure event sponsors.
The approach should not be to indiscriminately search for potential partners but to find companies who are specifically interested in sponsoring events. It’s a subtle yet significant difference. By focusing solely on companies willing to sponsor events, the search process becomes targeted and in turn yields more favorable results.Read more!
Define The Fundamentals of Your Event
Before you can start finding the right companies, get clear on the differentiating factors of your event. Below are a few questions to help get to the core of the event identity.
- What is the overall vision of the event?
- What overarching goals are you trying to achieve through the event?
- What are the values of the event brand?
Know Why Companies Want to Sponsor Events
Sponsoring an event is a significant investment so it is important to know the types of event ROI that these companies are expecting.
- Increasing social media impressions - If your event is particularly well suited for social media sharing, companies will be very much interested in promoting their own social media channels and thinking of ways to push partnered content. If executed properly, this can be a win-win for all parties involved.
- Collecting customers leads - Many companies are excited at the prospect of gaining more potential customers through event sponsorship. Especially if the attendee demographic overlaps with a target customer base, companies see events as a great opportunity to grow sales and increase closed deals.
- Gaining access to specific demographic - Event sponsorships offer companies a way to get in front of a specific target audience that may have been inaccessible otherwise. Companies are especially interested in sponsoring events if the sponsorship can give the brand the exposure it needs in regards to a specific demographic.
Define The Sponsorship Criteria
Having clearly established criteria for the types of sponsors you want is crucial for the overall success of the sponsorship.
Remember, event sponsorship is not only about asking for financial support. It's about creating partnership—you as the event organizer are bringing significant value to the table—and, as with all partnerships, both sides must be mutually invested be successful.
Research Companies That Have Sponsored Events Similar to Yours
Great, you’ve done your due diligence. You’ve articulated event goals, anticipated sponsors needs, and established sponsor criteria. Now it’s time to search for ideal companies.
A good place to start is to look up events similar to yours and check their sponsor’s page. Since those companies formed event partnership with these events, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in yours.
Use Online Resources That Connect Organizers with Sponsors
These are all great ways to get right in front of companies who are craving event partnerships:
- SponsorMyEvent is a platform for organizers and sponsors alike to connect with one another for potential partnerships. The homepage features events looking for sponsors with a minimum prices range for each.
- SponsorPitch facilitates quick, smart connections between sponsoring brands and sponsorship opportunities. Unlike many other sponsor search platforms, SponsorPitch provides analytics to help make smarter decisions as well as analyze their competition.
- SponsorPark is particularly geared towards event organizers, requiring all organizers to post event sponsorship proposals and then wait to be contacted by interested sponsors.
- Sponseasy can be viewed as a Squarespace for sponsorship proposals. Event organizers create a proposal and then post it on for potential sponsors to look through.
Find Companies With The Right Resources
Here are three qualities to keep in mind when looking for companies that are both interested and eligible to be sponsors:
- Companies with sufficient budget: The main reason for sponsorships is to cover costs you otherwise couldn’t. So, make sure your potential sponsor has a large enough budget to offer financial support.
- Companies with Advertising/Marketing Departments: Companies with these departments oftentimes set aside a budget for sponsorships. In some cases they may specifically set aside a budget for event sponsorship.
- Companies through referrals: Enroll your first few sponsors into a referral program which incentivizes them to promote your sponsorship opportunity to other companies. This way, you’re automatically introduced to qualified sponsorship candidates and will have much of the search being done for you.
7) Focus On Key Decision Makers
Tools such as LinkedIn and Hunter.io are helpful for targeting these relevant stakeholders. Once you find their contact info, send them personalized event sponsorship emails.
8) Have Valuable Event Data Readily Available
Potential sponsors crave data. The best way to go about collecting it is with a well-integrated event software program. A full-stack event management platform will provide the tools and features you need.
9) Tap Into Your Event Organizer Network
As long as the organizer is not a direct competitor, connecting with your peers is a great way to learn new insights and add to your list of industry contacts. Having conversations with those who have more experience may serve as a source of inspiration for your own strategy.
10) Organize An Exceptional Event
Always remember that event sponsorship should complement your overarching goals, not replace them. And ultimately, the best way to find stellar sponsors is to have them come to you. If the event is amazing, top tier companies will be pitching you sponsorship ideas.
Again, the best sales strategy is to sell what the customer wants. By creating a stellar event experience, you’ll ensure that the product is worth buying.