Event sponsorship is an incredibly tough market in 2016
Corporate sponsors have smaller and smaller budgets for events. It is an expensive way to advertise and when held up against options like social media – many companies simply balk at the prospect of event sponsorship.
The event sponsorship market is oversaturated and it can be really hard to show a sponsor why your event is the one to choose.
One of the major reasons some companies can struggle with the concept of event sponsorship is that it can be difficult to track outcomes. We have become used to receiving in depth analytics of everything we do in terms of advertising, especially in tech industries. Being firmly rooted in the real world, event organizers need to do more to provide facts and figures to support why someone should sponsor them. Here’s how you can do that.
Gather as many metrics as possible
There are a few easy ways you can do this. Work out how many people are at your event as well as who will be passing by. Those eyes seeing your posters outside the venue are important in their own right. Keep in mind also what logos will be on goodie bags and who will see those. If you have the possibility of including branded mugs or water bottles which will be reused in the future, you can increase your number of impressions quite significantly. An event app can be an amazing way to get hyper accurate data on your event which is impossible to obtain otherwise.
Having accurate impression numbers is reassuring for sponsors and a great way to really clarify why your event is good for them.
Design your event with sponsorship in mind
Approach sponsors with an innovative and well thought out meeting design that will draw potential customers to them. There is nothing worse than sponsors realizing that they’ve spent a significant amount of money for nobody to see their materials or speak to them. Be sure to pay close attention to the flow of attendees through the space. If possible, be able to show your sponsors how the event layout will work during your proposal
Choose your demographic carefully
Demographics are a numbers game, but you would be foolish to think they are just a numbers game. Be careful of trying to target too many groups in one event because you will end up targeting all of them poorly. Create a profile of your ideal attendee that is as specific as possible. If possible, even look at creating a focus group where you can get an idea of what sort of products and services your attendees are interested in. Make full use of the online community your event already has on social media and elsewhere to this end. You can then use these results to find sponsors most likely to be successful at your events.
Research your potential sponsors
Once you’re done researching your attendee demographics, move on to your sponsors. What sort of services are they providing? Are they based more on or offline? Are they seeking to make sales as a result of sponsorship or simply to improve brand image?
The latter will be a specific concern if you are focused on community events. Large companies have a strong interest in maintaining the goodwill of the area they work in, so they may be good targets as sponsors for charity or community building events as ROI will not be a primary concern.
On a more practical level, find out if your target sponsor already has sponsorship guidelines published.
Large organizations might have one person who only works on sponsorship deals, but for the the SME sector you will most likely be looking at an advertising or marketing manager.
The person signing off on sponsorship deals is likely to be higher up in the company and is therefore more likely to start work early or leave work late. It may be in your interests to reflect that in how you contact them.
Getting event sponsorship is never going to be easy, but by making sure you’ve done your homework and can present the case for your event well, you can increase your chances. Be strategic and thorough in your research, but don’t lose sight of the human element. Your event is there for people to learn something and have a good time, make sure your sponsors understand that too.