The Art of Event Sponsorship: How to Attract and Retain Sponsors for Long-Term Success

Hosting an event is all fun and games when you have an unlimited budget for it. But if you’re a small company, funding your event can be very stressful. One of the best solutions? Finding event sponsorship. Getting event sponsors can very well mean the difference between a memorable event and a failed one. 

So, how do you get sponsors for events? The process may seem straightforward, but without the right guide, it may end up being a bit cumbersome. The good news is that regardless of the scale of your event, finding, contacting, and securing sponsors for your event is the same. It all comes down to creating a valuable offer in return, and the more attractive you make it, the bigger fish you’ll get.

In this guide, we’ll uncover the key steps behind securing event sponsorship and how to leverage those connections to make your event go down in history.

Is it Necessary to Get Sponsorships for Events?

Finding a sponsor may seem unnecessary if you’re hosting a brand event for Coca-Cola. But there’s more than meets the eye behind event sponsorships. Establishing the right partner connections may result in many other benefits aside from raising funds. Let’s look at some:

3 Benefits of Getting Sponsorships for Events

  1. ROI Boost: This is the obvious one. Events can be expensive. Sponsors provide financial backing, allowing organizers to make the event experience better.
  2. Brand Exposure: Sponsors are likely to promote their brand to a large audience, especially those with significant social media traction.
  3. Audience Expansion: By partnering with sponsors, event organizers tap into the sponsors’ audience, expanding their reach without additional expenditure.

How to Find Sponsors for Your Event?

Are all sponsors for events right for you? The short answer is no. Just because Sharapova is a great tennis player doesn’t mean that she’s going to excel at ping-pong. It’s the same for event sponsorship. If you want to squeeze every drop out of your efforts, it’s crucial that you understand which event sponsor fits best for your event type.

Here’s the Blueprint for Choosing Sponsors for Events:

Figure Out Your Event Goals: Before you dive into the sponsor pool, make sure you are absolutely clear on what you want to get out of the sponsorship. Is it financial support, brand alignment, or audience expansion? Knowing your goals will guide you to make the right choice.

Match Demographics and Interests: Ensure the potential sponsor’s audience mirrors yours. While a complete alignment might be too much wishful thinking, look for shared interests and demographics.

ROI-Centric Sponsors: Avoid sponsors who merely want their name on your event. Instead, actively look for those who understand the mutual benefits of the partnership.

Still pondering over potential sponsors? Here are some strategies to guide your search:

Five Proven Strategies to Discover Your Ideal Event Sponsor

  1. Leverage Digital Platforms: Platforms like SponsorPark, Sponeasy, SponsorMyEvent, OpenSponsorship, and SponsorPitch can be goldmines. They connect event planners with potential sponsors, streamlining the process.
  2. Understand Your Event’s Goals: A tech summit sponsor differs from one for a music festival. By understanding your event’s core objectives, you can target sponsors who resonate with your goals.
  3. Learn from Past Events: Observe sponsors from events in your niche. What did the other brands do? Who did they sign, and why?
  4. Align with Brands Sharing Your Values: If your event champions sustainability, partner with eco-conscious brands. This alignment not only strengthens your event’s message but also resonates with your audience.
  5. Crowdsource Sponsor Ideas: Tap into your audience’s preferences. If they are into a particular brand, that brand might be an ideal sponsor. It creates a sense of community and boosts attendee engagement.

How to Attract Sponsors for Events Effectively

Now that you know the importance of getting sponsors on board for your event and how to find them, let’s dive a little deeper. That being said, attracting sponsors for events is an art in itself. Have a look at the key steps to ensuring a smooth process:

The 4 Steps to Attracting the Right Sponsors For Your Event

  1. Alignment is Key: Ensure the sponsor aligns with your event’s goals and vision. A mismatch can harm both parties’ brand images.
  2. Clear Communication: Clearly articulate your event’s objectives and how the sponsorship will benefit both parties.
  3. Understand Their Goals: Know what potential sponsors are seeking. Offer measurable ROI and showcase past successes to build trust.
  4. Engage and Inform: Keep potential sponsors updated about event progress, other sponsors, and exciting event features. This keeps them interested and invested.

How to Pitch Event Sponsors to Secure the Deal?

By now, you should have a list of prequalified candidates. Now, it’s time to seal the deal, and nothing does it better than a great pitch. The key here is always to remember that this is a two-way street. It’s not just you benefiting from this deal. If your sponsor can’t see the upside of striking a deal with you, they’re going to back out from it.

Therefore, make sure to always highlight how the partnership benefits both parties. Showcase past events hits and paint a vivid picture of the potential impact of securing the deal with you.

Securing the right sponsors can take your event to unparalleled heights. But how do you pitch effectively to potential sponsors? Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure you hit the mark every time:

  • Know Who You’re Pitching To: Before you even think of pitching, it’s key to understand your potential sponsors thoroughly. Take a deep dive into their marketing goals, challenges, and potential roadblocks. Once you have a clear picture of who they are and what moves them, tailor your pitch to resonate with them.
  • Highlight the Value of Collaboration: Sponsors are looking to get out of the collaboration just as much as you are. Emphasize how the event can amplify their brand, reach their target audience, and align with their objectives. Share anticipated attendee numbers, demographics, and success stories from past events.
  • Leverage Social Proof: If you have past experience to include in your pitch, it’s going to make a big difference in the impact. Testimonials and case studies can be powerful tools in your pitching arsenal.
  • Optimize Your Digital Presence: Your event website can be a silent pitchman. Feature past sponsors, keynote speakers, and other relevant information to provide potential sponsors with a comprehensive view of the event’s value.

Pitching to sponsors for events is an art that requires a blend of research, communication, and collaboration. By understanding your potential sponsors, showcasing tangible value, and building strong relationships, you can secure mutually beneficial sponsorships and set the stage for long-term partnerships.

How to Retain Your Event Sponsors?

Now that you know how to attract the right kind of event sponsorship, it’s time to look at securing your partnership with them. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to take the lollipop out of your mouth once you’ve tasted it.

3 Proven Tips to Retain Sponsors for Events

  • Enhance Their Experience: Move beyond traditional methods. Offer sponsors unique experiences, advanced setups, and technical amenities that exceed their expectations.
  • Overdeliver: Always strive to provide more than promised. This builds trust and ensures a lasting relationship.
  • Deliver on Promises: Ensure you meet the sponsor’s expectations. Whatever is in the contract needs to happen; no excuses.

Ways To Maximize the Value of Your Event Sponsorships

Finding, acquiring, and securing a deal with sponsors is very time-consuming, which is why you’ll want to make the most out of the deal. Here are three suggestions to take your partnership to the next level:

Create a Case Study: Once the event is over, gather information about the impact of the partnership with your sponsor and use that information to create a case study. This will help you build authority, and it can even help you acquire more and bigger sponsors for your upcoming events!

Re-share Content: Regardless of your event goals, sharing the content created by your sponsors is always a good idea. It gives your sponsors a shoutout they will surely appreciate and shows you’re thinking about long-term partnerships.

Promote Your Event on Social Media: This is especially satisfying if you signed a sponsor that’s popular within your niche. Promoting your event on social media will drive more awareness of your event happening, and if you leverage your sponsors there, you will highly likely boost RSVPs.

Event Sponsorship Demystified

Knowing how to find good sponsors for your event can oftentimes feel like an uphill battle. However, with the right guide, the journey becomes much easier. 

The essence of event sponsorship isn’t just about securing funds; it’s about forging partnerships that resonate with your event’s ethos and amplify its impact. It’s about creating a symbiotic relationship where both parties thrive. By understanding your event’s core objectives, aligning with brands that echo your values, and continuously nurturing these relationships, you set the stage for not just one successful event but a legacy of them.

Remember, the art of sponsorship is as much about giving as it is about receiving. By overdelivering, re-sharing content, and promoting mutual growth, you ensure the success of your current event and lay the foundation for future collaborations.