Sponsorships are the backbone of most events. Whether it’s a trade show or a conference in New York, partnerships with brands are important not just because of its financial benefits, but essentially, the added credibility and publicity it brings to the event.
Pitching to sponsors, however, is a challenging task, not to mention a frustrating undertaking when you can’t get a yes. The good news is that there are tried-and-tested principles that make a sponsorship plan more appealing to brands. Here are some of them:
Many sponsorship proposals get turned down because they lack information about the event. Your would-be-sponsor needs to know the event’s objective, program flow, date, venue, attendees, etc. So, have these things properly laid out on your presentation.
One thing that sponsors would want to see is your venue rental, as this gets the biggest chunk in your budget. Depending on the type of event you’re doing, you may check out hotels, convention centers, or a corporate event space in NYC. The Manhattan Center is a good example and is one of the most sought-after venues in the city.
Do note that the profile of your attendees matters to sponsors as well. They will likely say yes to your sponsorship proposal if you’re targeting their market.
Champion past events
Remember that sponsors determine their decisions by weighing the risks and benefits. One of the biggest and obvious risks in sponsoring a big event is its tendency to become a flop. While you can’t give them that 100% assurance that your event will not be a flop, there’s always a way to reduce those sponsor anxieties. A good strategy is to give them your track record.
If you organized an event last year or in the past decades, do include photos and attendees’ quotes on your deck. Highlight the numbers: how many attended, how much money it generated, how many brands sponsored, etc.
Give them options
The more flexible sponsorship packages are, the more likely you’ll get a yes. Arrange for different levels of sponsorship and define the benefits they can get for each.
There should be categories for exclusivity as well. For instance, you may want to have only one beverage sponsor. Remember that sponsorships are the lifeblood of your event, so make your proposal count.