Before contacting a company, you need to know how to convince it! First, define what you share with them: a passion, a commitment, … This is what will pique their curiosity and make them invest in your project. List your needs: financing, visibility, endowments, …
There are different types of sponsorship depending on your needs:
- Financial Sponsorship: In this case, you call upon a company to participate in the financing of your event in exchange for visibility spaces of a size proportional to the involvement of the brand in the budget.
- Equipment sponsorship: Organizing an event requires a significant amount of equipment. Tents, bars, furniture for “chill” spaces, cups, scenography, decoration… This type of sponsoring allows the organizers to lighten the bill by asking brands to provide them with the material necessary for the good installation of the event. The interest of this type of partnership is that the exchange of visibility goes without saying. Indeed, the brand can provide the material and affix its logo directly to it in order to ensure the control of its visibility on the site.
- Service sponsoring: many costs are related to advertising (media inserts, website design…), security or venue rental. Setting up partnerships with local businesses or local authorities can help you reduce costs. Events are good opportunities to increase their audience or simply to bring them exclusive content, for the media that willingly practice this type of sponsoring. You can therefore give visibility to media outlets that will, in exchange, give you advertising space and thus allow your event to reach many new targets. However, be careful not to use competing media and choose carefully according to your audience.
If you are looking for a sponsor for your first event, don’t aim too high.
The important thing is not the size of the sponsor but its involvement in the project. A small company will sometimes be more willing than a large one.
Several objectives can guide the decision of a company to choose sponsorship:
- Notoriety (the brand wants to be seen and remembered by as many people as possible)
- Image (the company wants to be associated with an identity, idea or cause in the eyes of its customers and prospects)
- Acquisition (the company wants to attract new customers and take advantage of an event to present its services and reach a new audience)
Go through the websites of the companies you would like to sponsor and understand their project, their identity. The idea here is to find all possible points of contact between your event and the brand. What can they bring to you and what can you bring to them in return?
What are your assets? What can you offer the brand?
Estimate the audience of your event and its media coverage. When properly quantified, these data will be a real asset for your event with regard to brands that will see a great interest in sponsoring your event for their visibility.
What values do you want to convey through your event? What story are you telling? Finding common values between your event and the brand will give you an additional argument to prove that you will help the brand strengthen its image. Also, think about actions or activations that the brand could implement during the event: distribution of goodies, speaking engagements, … anything is possible!
Finally, quantify the number of spaces you will be able to devote to them with, if possible, an estimate of the number of people who will see the logo or the slogan of the brand allowing you to value your visibility spaces (physical as well as virtual, count everything: from a poster on the site to a banner on your website).
How to build a sponsorship file
Once you have found the brand(s) corresponding to your project, you can move on to the next step: putting together the sponsorship file. Designed a bit like a commercial brochure, you must make it attractive and pleasant to read, enrich it with infographics and photos, insist on a clean, neat, and identifiable graphic identity. Be as exhaustive as possible while remaining concise
- Introduce yourself and your teams
- Present your project: its concept, its objectives, its identity. The type of public targeted, the partnerships already in place, the media, and the communication plan envisaged the size of your infrastructures, and the recurrence of your events (one-off or recurrent). If you have already organized an event, remember to include all media coverage. The same type of content that would be found in a press kit (history, ambition, program, partners, practical information…) for brands.
- Present your needs: financing, visibility, supplies… Be careful to justify such and such a need in a quantified way or at least by associating precise objectives that are clearly understandable by the brand. To justify them, detail what you are ready to offer them.
- Then put together a concrete offer. What advantages will the brand have in being your sponsor?
What objectives will you meet? How will this be concretely implemented at your event? Where will the brand be visible? Do you propose simple posters with the logo or activities organized by the brand for a more specific highlight? The possibilities are endless, try to seduce them by giving them real reasons to help your project. Don’t hesitate to propose packages of offers, clearer and more readable.
Here are some examples of visibility exchanges that you can offer to your potential sponsors:
- Communication supports: You can place the logo of your sponsors on all your communication supports: flyers, posters, teasers, on your website, on the program of your event (you could even devote a page of this program to them so that they can explain their approach and benefit from more important visibility)
- Customization of branded spaces on site: many brands, especially food and beverage brands, are used to customizing points of sale with their colors, so they can provide you with material resources while deciding themselves how to present their logo at your event
- Distribution of goodies: offering brands to distribute goodies and/or product samples at your event can be a real win-win solution. This type of visibility has an interest for the brand which enters in relation with potential customers while bringing a benefit to you and your participants.
- Contests: you can propose to media, partners, to set up contests on social networks to win goodies or tickets for example. Contests like “like share, and comment on this post to win gifts” are a great way to increase your visibility and reach audiences that you would not have been able to reach alone and vice versa for your partner.
Everything is ready now to move on to the most complicated step: making contact. You could try to make contact through trade shows or by phone but expect to encounter some difficulties. Sending emails and making phone calls is still the inevitable and essential method.
Got an appointment? It may take some time, don’t be discouraged! On the day of your presentation, be original.
Bring something new to the table: how has the project progressed since then? What new partnerships have you put in place? Did you have new ideas to add to your offer? Support your presentation with a slide show, why not with videos. Show that you know the company you are talking to and show that your project is in line with it!
Brands like to have exclusivity on an event, but you are free to choose several. For example, you could find a different sponsor for each of your needs and bring them personalized offers depending on the type of service the brand will provide.