Want to know the single fastest way to improve your event’s bottom line? We have two words for you: sponsorship revenue. 

When done well, sponsorships benefit both the event organizer and the brand in a big way. 

True experiential marketing is often challenging to pull off. Event sponsorship, however, allows brands to interact with customers in a non-threatening atmosphere. Registrants feel extra valued and naturally attach a positive experience to your brand when they are showered with sponsor-provided perks, giveaways, and merch. In addition to improving the event experience, the sponsorship dollars you rake in will be 100% pure profit. Need we say more?

Now, if attracting and monetizing event sponsors seems like a locked vault mystery, we’re here to crack the code for you. 

The 7 secrets in this post—delivered to us straight from the experts—will help you grow your revenue and attract even bigger sponsors. Let’s dive in.

1. Ask Whether You’re Ready for it            

While “make sure you’re ready” might sound like a cliché caution, the advice is too important to skip. With a long sales cycle and a path peppered with “Nos,” you need persistence and a thick skin to develop a sponsorship program. 

How do you know whether you’re ready for a serious commitment? 

  • Evaluate what’s happening in your market. 
  • Scout out other big events to see their sponsorship integration. 
  • Check out companies actively sponsoring similar events and investigate how they attract their sponsors. 

Once you’ve done your research and determined that your team is ready to run, it’s time to jump in with both feet.

2. Understand Your Audience

As an event organizer, it’s important to dig into the demographics and psychographics of your market. Make an effort to understand their values, opinions, interests, and lifestyle.

Are your customers made up of mothers in their 40s who care deeply about the environment and healthy food? You can use surveys to gather this type of information. The more you can learn, the better. 

Pro tip: We recommend using our new-to-the-industry feature, Contact Insights, to gather this data and leverage it for your future events. The enrichment service is GDPR compliant, and your data remains private.

3. List Your Assets

To create compelling sponsorships, you need to know what you have to sell. Start by making two lists of everything sellable within your event. 

First, make a list of general assets that you can include your sponsors on. For example, this might include a logo on your registration page, T-shirts, or market research. 

Second, list the specific segments and marketing opportunities you can sell to a sponsor. This could be a VIP parking area or a branded banner at the entryway. 

If you brainstorm, you’ll likely find tons of opportunities within your event that sponsors are willing to purchase.

4. Add Value for Everyone Involved

As we mentioned earlier, your sponsorships must add value—not only to the sponsor but also to the participant’s experience. There are so many more options than simply sticking the sponsor’s name on the back of a shirt. 

One way to accomplish this goal creatively is to consider what your attendees need and want during your event.

If you’re organizing a summer picnic in the desert, for example, offer the registrants discounted sunglasses from your preferred partner when they check out. 

5. Design a Quality Sponsorship Deck

Have you ever heard the expression “sell the sizzle, not the steak?” While that’s true (a sizzling sirloin is far more enticing than a raw hunk of beef) you might be wondering what meat has to do with marketing. 

Well, if you want sizzling sales success, sell the meaning of the outcome rather than its features alone. A thoughtful and visually appealing deck will speak loudly to your event and your commitment to excellence. 

As you’re creating your sponsorship deck, keep this five-item checklist handy.

  • A summary of your value proposition. 
  • High-quality photos.
  • A knowledgeable breakdown of your audience.
  • The prices of each level. Use these initial prices as a benchmark, and then customize from there.
  • Your contact information.

You can also check out this blog for sample sponsorship proposals. Before you hit send, make sure it’s compelling and clear.

6. Tune in to What Your Sponsor Needs

Steak aside, the key to fantastic, long-term partnerships is understanding your sponsor’s objectives. Don’t wait until one of the parties is dissatisfied to clarify your objectives. 

Take a walk in their shoes and look at the world through their lens. Set yourself up for success by going into the partnership with a written list of their objectives. 

When you truly understand your customers' needs, your sponsorship programs will not only boost your revenue but it will benefit all parties involved!

7. Be Patient

Lastly, remind yourself that bigger sponsorship deals take time to cultivate. Kicking off communication with a company this month might not materialize as an event partnership until next year. 

Get to work early and be patient with the process. 

Here to help you host your most successful event ever!

— The RegFox Team