Searching for sponsors for your event? While finding solid sponsorship can be nerve-wracking, many companies are happy to help with large events, especially when there’s something in it for them.
Check out these tips to make it nearly impossible for companies to say no to your event sponsorship proposal.
1. Nix the urge to copy and paste.
Your potential sponsor needs to see that you’re reaching out to them for a reason. Sending a personalized letter shows that you care about them as a company, while copy and pasting shows that you’re grabbing money from wherever you can get it.
Get personal, use their name, and add detail that shows you were thinking about them while writing your proposal.
Can this be a pain? Yes. Is it worth it anyway? Also, yes.
2. What’s in it for them?
A company isn’t likely to shell out money to support your event just because they’re feeling generous.
Tell them exactly what they’ll get from sponsoring your event - signage at the event, the opportunity to add their advertising to swag bags, a banner on your event website, a program ad, a tax deduction, etc. Get into the nitty-gritty details here.
Adding photos of how your sponsors were celebrated in previous years can be a huge help.
3. You’re going to hate this one, but it works - pick up the phone
We know, we know. You’re busy and making phone calls is a pain. While email is convenient, actually connecting to the voice of a human being works wonders when it comes to asking for event sponsorship.
When you get on the phone with someone, it becomes much harder for them to say no.
It’s easy to ignore an email, but it’s not so easy to say no to a polite, friendly voice on the phone. Sending an initial email followed up with a phone call is a great combo to get sponsors to say yes.
Remember, even if a sponsor does happen to respond to your initial email with a yes, following up with a phone call to thank them is a great way to sneak in a request for them to upgrade to the next sponsorship level.
If your sponsor is local, offering to meet in person for coffee or lunch is a great way to solidify the details of the sponsorship, and will make it easier for you to reach out to them for sponsorship the following year.
4. Start with past successes
When you reach out to sponsors, go with people who have shown support for your organization in the past. If they’ve supported your specific event before, even better.
When a company has shown financial support for your organization, it’s likely that they’re already aligned with your company’s mission.
Mentioning that you’ve noticed their sponsorship at other events for your company shows them you’ve done some research. Don’t forget to thank them for their previous support of your organization before you do your big ask.
5. Talk numbers.
While promises of advertising are great, companies need to know how this advertising will help their company long-term.
Talk with them about the statistics of how advertising with your event has boosted sales for companies in the past, how many eyes will be on their sponsorship products, testimonies from past sponsors about how your event boosted their company visibility, etc.
The more you can drive home how much more effective event sponsorship can be than traditional advertising, the more likely they are to say yes.