13 augustus 2020 Marketing 6 min

How do you successfully find sponsors for your event?

Tjeerd Leendertse

Sponsors can help your event grow. But how do you find the right sponsors? How do you add value to your event to draw event organisers over the line? What do I have to offer a potential sponsor as an event organiser? In this blog, you’ll read how to find sponsors so your event can get a running start.

In this blog, you’ll read:

  • Why sponsors help you to get the most out of your event
  • What value your event has to offer for sponsors
  • The different phases and steps you go through to find sponsors for your event successfully

Sponsors can help you get the most out of your event by providing you with more budget to use to invest. By saving on your budget, this can help keep costs down for your visitors. The question remains; how do you convince companies to sponsor your event?

1. What value do you have to offer to potential sponsors?

Before you start looking for sponsors, it’s essential to figure out what value you and your event have to offer to potential sponsors.

The keyword in the value that you have to offer is ‘Data’, more specifically; visitor information.

Would you like to download your visitor information as an Excel spreadsheet? You can read all about it in our guide.

Visitor information provides you with information about your visitors, such as age, gender and other demographic details. Visitors enter this information into the fields in your ticket shop during the purchasing process.

Why is this important?

Your potential sponsors, which will likely be companies, have goals they would like to achieve. Usually generating as much revenue as possible is the most important of these goals, and to achieve these goals a company is dependent on the target group that has the highest potential of purchasing their products or services. That’s where visitor information comes in. You can use this visitor information to create different target groups.

2. The search for sponsors

Create a list of potential sponsors

The internet is your best friend in this phase, so start looking for companies nearby your event’s location. If you’re organising a party in a neighbourhood in Rotterdam, it doesn’t make sense to look for companies in Maastricht. There’s a better chance that entrepreneurs in Rotterdam will be more inclined to support your event financially.

Check the social media pages of potential sponsors

Look for the mission, vision, and goals of potential sponsors by browsing through their social media channels. Visit their website, check out their other pages and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the company’s characteristics?
  • How do they behave on social media?
  • and, most importantly; is there any common ground between your event and these potential sponsors? Are your visitors similar to these companies target groups?

If there are plenty of intersections, then there’s a better chance that a company will want to sponsor your event.

Meet the person that makes the decisions

The next step is to find out who makes the decisions within the company. There’s a good chance that when you send an email to a company, the first person you speak to may not be the one to make the decisions about these things. There are a lot of administrative employees out there. Make sure you get a direct line to the person who will make the final call.

EVENTIX TIP: “Sponsored by...”

If you would like to know whether a company has sponsored an event before, you can do a quick google search for “sponsored by [company name]”. If a company has sponsored an event previously, you’ll know that they are at least open to the idea of sponsorship.

Start a conversation and look for opportunities

Once you know your (potential) sponsors, you can start a conversation. During this conversation, you introduce yourself and your event, listen to each other’s stories and find ways to help one another. You know what to do.

3. Turn your search into a brochure

Once you’ve finished your search, you’ll have a list of companies who (you think) may be interested in sponsoring your event. The next step is to offer them a sponsor brochure.

EVENTIX TIP: Putting your sponsors in order

In the collected list of possible sponsors, there’ll likely be different types of companies, with various sizes, budgets and preparedness to sponsor. You can rank the different sponsors by their willingness to sponsor and separate them into appropriate groups, for instance. By doing this, you can offer custom sponsor packages to each group.

Goals and expectations

Create an overview of the goals and expectations. Add the criteria and the different terms that you need to reach your goals and expectations successfully. By naming the potential sponsor’s goals and expectations, you show that you take the company seriously.

EVENTIX TIP: Show your past result

If you’ve had previous editions of your event, you can use the results (such as the number of visitors and your event’s revenue) to fine-tune the goals and expectations. For sponsors (and companies) there is one crucial question: “What do I get out of this?”

What do I have to offer?

Create an overview of what you have to offer, what forms of sponsorship there are, and in what ways sponsors can contribute. Focus on multiple sponsorship packages so you can expand your offer. By offering various packages, you ensure that sponsors can pick the package that suits them best. You can imagine that a company with a large budget isn’t interested in investing in a small banner, whereas that could be exactly what a smaller company is would like.

Agree on what constitutes a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’

Looking for sponsors is a process, and isn’t usually something you do between some bread and coffee. Often it requires a plan of action and attention to detail. There’s also a time limit. It’s crucial that you give the sponsor enough time to respond, but also that you give yourself enough time to find other sponsors.

Therefore, make sure that you decide what constitutes an answer. The final date may have passed without having heard anything. At this point, you’ll need to decide whether to move on, to wait or to ask for clarification. After all, there are plenty of reasons a sponsor might not respond.

EVENTIX TIP: Make sure your sponsor brochure looks good

Make sure that what you have to offer looks good. A scrunched up piece of paper with a WordArt title isn’t particularly inviting, and certainly not professional. You have something valuable to offer, why not make it look decent?

4. From brochure to signature

It’s time to get down to brass tacks and put the agreements made about the selected packages on paper. Your sponsor may want to settle on a sponsorship deal against a discount at your event. Or perhaps they want a discount on their sponsorship by providing another service, such as a local bakery that provides some sandwiches. Include these deals in the contract.

By setting up a contract, you’re giving one another rights on a business level, which can help you avoid potential disputes about verbal agreements. On top of that, if you have the verbal agreements on paper, you can use that information to determine the arrangements for future events.

Good hunting!

Would you like to know how to make your event visible in the Google search bar?

Check out our blog!
Author image

Tjeerd Leendertse

Content Marketeer

Writes about ticketing, experiences and marketing. Believes in the power of language and beautiful words (and puns). Is going to write another book someday.