5 tips for securing Event Sponsors
What does the word sales bring to mind? Someone has an aggressive personality and cold calls you. Those annoying phone calls that you end up blocking? From these experiences, a lot of people shy away from wanting do to sponsorship as part of their role. But it doesn’t have to be like that. We as event professionals have great people skills and this lends itself to securing sponsors for your event. There are a few ingredients to make it a success.
1. Know your market
In some businesses a sponsorship role is rolled into a marketing role but sometimes it sits within the operations team. The best way to start is to speak to your audience, have a focus group or working group to ask about the products and services they are likely to buy from which is in relation to the topic of your event. If you have a marketing department, speak to them first of all as their research will be an invaluable starting point to understanding the delegates in the room and the brands most relevant to them.
2. Utilise your speakers/delegates
If you are already in the process of creating a program or have started registration, have a look at the speaker and delegate organisations and see if they could be a potential sponsor. A speaker or delegate could have the right connections within their organization to the sponsorship manger which will be an easier entry than sending an email via their website.
3. Speak to your business development or corporate partner team
This team may be focused in bringing in new clients for your organisation but especially if you sit in house, they are the best people to understand the sector that you sit in. They are constantly keeping up to date with the market to bring in new business and they will be creating pitches and proposals to ensure the clients tailored to their needs to ensure the company you work for win that business.
4. Build rapport
This is hugely important. Especially in the last two years when our home and work lives have merged. Ask them how their day was. Ask about their children, their hobbies. It may seem trivial but we spend most of our days at work and we need to remember behind that big brand name there is a human being. It builds trust and strengthens the relationship between companies. At the start of your career, it may seem that you must leave anything personal away from the boardroom but often asking a question about someone’s recent holiday puts them at ease.
5. Keep in touch
Last but definitely not least, keep in touch with your sponsors between events. Your event may be over and you may be unsure when the next event in the series will happen but you never know if that organisation may expand into a market that is appropriate to another event the department is running. If you have newsletters, ask if they would be interested in signing up. Sign up to their newsletters if they have them. Engage with their content on social media. Send a regular follow up asking if they would like to attend any events as a delegate. If you know the financial year is ending there is no harm in contacting them to tell them of prospective events in the next 12-18 months that your department has on the horizon so they can forward plan and put a pot together for potentially sponsoring your events.
So that’s it, my top 5 tips for securing sponsors. At the start it may feel like a struggle but once you know the industry you are working in and have built rapport, your sponsors will automatically introduce you to other organizations that can bolster your portfolio of companies that support your events time and time again.