Running an event with a little to no budget: a simple guide to event sponsorship

Event sponsorships are a game-changer for promoting and financing your event. While you might feel this is a daunting process, we have put together a guide to help you find, contact, and secure sponsors successfully. 

If you have a dream event in mind, a sponsor could help elevate your event to new heights! This really is a great solution for those who have little to no budget. 

Just think, what can this event (if executed well) do to elevate your business, brand, community group or message? 

What is event sponsorship? 

Event sponsorship refers to a mutually beneficial partnership between an event organiser (which could be a business or community group) and a brand or company. 

In this arrangement, the brand, known as the sponsor, provides financial or in-kind support to the event in exchange for exposure and promotional opportunities. 

The main goal of event sponsorship is to achieve specific marketing objectives for the sponsor while helping the event organiser with funding and resources to enhance the event’s success.

Sponsors may contribute to a wide range of events, including conferences, trade shows, festivals, sports events, charity fundraisers, and more. 

The sponsorship agreement typically outlines the benefits the sponsor will receive in return for their investment.

What are the benefits for sponsors? 

There are many benefits for a brand to sponsor your event (it isn’t just you who benefits). Here are a few:

  1. Brand Exposure: Sponsors gain visibility and exposure to the event’s target audience through various marketing channels such as signage, logos on promotional materials, and mentions during the event.
  2. Audience Engagement: Sponsoring events allows brands to engage directly with the event attendees, providing opportunities for product demonstrations, samples, or interactive experiences.
  3. Brand Association: By aligning themselves with a well-regarded event, sponsors can enhance their brand image and credibility, especially if the event shares values or interests with the sponsor.
  4. Lead Generation: Events attract a targeted audience, and sponsors can collect leads and potential customers through activities like contests, giveaways, or data capture.
  5. Networking and Relationship Building: Sponsorship often grants access to networking opportunities with other sponsors, event organisers, and attendees, potentially leading to new business collaborations.
  6. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Supporting events that contribute to charitable causes or community development can enhance a company’s CSR efforts.

How can you benefit from event sponsorship? 

Event organisers (you) benefit from sponsorship by:

  1. Financial Support: Sponsors provide crucial funding that helps cover event expenses, making it possible to deliver a higher-quality experience.
  2. Enhanced Event Offerings: With sponsor support, organisers can offer additional attractions, entertainment, or amenities to enhance the event’s appeal.
  3. Expanded Reach: Sponsorship can introduce the event to a broader audience through the sponsor’s marketing efforts and promotional channels.
  4. Long-Term Partnerships: Successful sponsorships can lead to long-lasting relationships, with sponsors returning for future events.

Event sponsorship is a win-win collaboration where both parties work together to achieve their respective goals. It’s a dynamic marketing strategy that has become a vital aspect of event planning and execution, benefiting brands, event organisers, and attendees alike.

The 6 steps to finding and securing event sponsorship

So how do you get started finding and securing a sponsor? Let’s explore the six steps. 

Step 1: Understand the Benefits of Event Sponsorship

We have outlined the benefits above. Make sure you read over them and ensure that the benefits for both you as the event organiser and the brand sponsoring make sense for you and your business or organisation. 

Step 2: Choosing the Right Sponsors for Your Event

Discovering the ideal sponsors requires a deep understanding of your audience. If you can, obtain valuable data from your event ticketing platform, tracking technology, and social media analytics to pinpoint potential sponsors that align with your attendees’ interests and preferences. 

Extensive research on companies that sponsor similar events can also lead you to the perfect partnership. This might take you a little bit of time, but it will help you to find the perfect sponsor! 

Step 3: Creating Your Sponsorship Proposal 

An effective proposal is key to winning sponsors over. Keep it concise, visually engaging, and aligned with your broader sales pitch. 

Consider presenting a sponsorship pitch deck to showcase your event’s unique value proposition and stand out from the competition. Here is a great guide on what a pitch should include! 

Step 4: Sealing the Deal: Approaching Decision-Makers

Approaching potential sponsors requires finesse and strategy. Leverage mutual connections or reach out through LinkedIn, social media, or email to connect with the right decision-makers. 

Master the art of event sponsorship emails, ensuring your subject lines intrigue recipients and entice them to open your message.

Persuade potential sponsors by presenting compelling data that highlights the value of sponsoring your event. 

Share attendee demographics, non-attendee demographics, ticket/registration sales figures, previous sponsorship results, and event mentions across various platforms. 

Demonstrating the success of past sponsorships can be a powerful tool to win over new partners (if possible).

Step 5: Create packages 

Tailor your sponsorship packages to meet the unique needs of potential sponsors. 

Present them with clear, attractive options that outline the benefits they’ll receive in return for their investment. 

Consider creating tiered packages to accommodate different budgets and sponsorship levels.

You can have packages that include “gold, silver, bronze” with each package giving different benefits. Or you might just want to obtain one sponsor. 

Step 6: Thank Your Sponsors with Exposure + Marketing 

In the lead up to your event, make sure you market the event and highlight the sponsor in the branding. You want to ensure they have good exposure in the lead up. 

Then, after the event, show your sponsors appreciation to nurture lasting relationships. Thank them publicly during the event, send personalised thank-you notes, craft engaging social media shoutouts, re-share sponsor content, and consider creating case studies that showcase their involvement.

Final thoughts 

Event sponsorship offers a win-win opportunity for both event organisers and sponsors. 

By understanding the mutual benefits, choosing the right sponsors, crafting effective sponsorship proposals, and sealing the deal with compelling data, organisers can secure the support they need to take their events to new heights. 

Tailoring sponsorship packages and showing gratitude to sponsors through exposure and marketing helps nurture lasting relationships and encourages sponsors to return for future events.

If you want to explore your options for your next event, contact us and let’s see how Bonacci Agency can help you!