What is the best way to get corporate sponsorship for events? — Diane C.
Business Coach William R. Patterson says:
Here is a high-level overview of the fund-raising process we use for helping clients acquire corporate sponsorship through the BARON Business Coaching Program.
There are three primary opportunities for events: selling exhibitor space, product and service sponsorships, and financial sponsorships.
Start with organizations that normally target your audience's demographic.
To identify prospects:
Query your network for warm leads
Start with the obvious choices and those with deep pockets. Larger companies will generally have a section on their website that outlines their criteria and process for handling corporate sponsorships.
Get a copy of the local phone book in the area of the conference and approach the various listed companies in that industry.
Google search similar events and find companies that have previously participated as sponsors. If they only sponsor non-profits, then you will need to partner with a non-profit to pull off the event.
Be clear on the specific benefits for the sponsors
Have a realistic estimate of your promotional reach and expected attendance.
Even if you do not max out attendance for the event, if your promotions will reach thousands or millions of people through print, radio, or television, that can be a strong selling point for your sponsor.
A well thought-out proposal and marketing plan can help make up for a limited track record of promoting events. However, I strongly suggest partnering with those who have significant conference planning experience, resources, and connections.
Here is a Step-by-Step Overview for Obtaining Corporate Sponsorship
Find companies that would have a strong interest in the event.
Identify the proper contact person. Discover if there is one person who makes the decision and or if it happens by committee.
Identify the timing and frequency of their sponsorship awards.
Tell the decision maker, "Did you know there is event happing that is going to bring in over [insert number of conference participants here] that buy or use [insert their product or service here]?" Wait for response and give a little detail about the event.
Follow up with, "We also expect our advertising for the event to reach an additional [insert number here]. I know [insert company] has always had a strong commitment to supporting [insert the community, specific cause or type of event] and I think this event would be a tremendous opportunity to promote your products and services, as well as extend your brand. We already have [insert names] participating in/sponsoring the event."
Tell them you would like to email over a proposal and set up a 10-15 follow up meeting to discuss the proposal in detail.
Create different levels of sponsorship, so that you don't force the decision maker into a "yes" or “no” answer. Always give them the option to give you at the very least a small "yes."
Describe the benefits of the different levels of sponsorship:
"With the 'Platinum Benefactor' level of sponsorship, we will provide you with a booth at the event and we’ll take a picture of the kids holding your banner. We will also include you in our monthly newsletter, and name one of the breakout sessions after you. With the 'Gold donor' level of sponsorship, we will provide you with…"
You can elect to include them in a particular group or area. Tell them, "You will be in our Health & Wellness section, which has prime placement in a high traffic area for the event."
For a certain price, you can also offer an exclusive sponsorship. Tell them, "You will be our preferred insurance provider for the event."
You can also cut costs by having them sponsor products and services, particularly if you have people attending the event that your sponsor would consider VIPs.
VERY IMPORTANT – Whether the sponsor say "yes" they are interested or "no" they are not, ALWAYS ask for referrals of other companies or individuals that might be interested in sponsoring the event.
You success will greatly depend on how clearly you communicate the benefits of participating in the event to your sponsor. Sometimes, it may even be appropriate to point out how detrimental missing the event would be. However, this approach is considered negative selling, so use it sparingly.
Having successfully gone through the process hundreds of times, this is an area where your BARON Business Coach provides a significant amount of value.
Your BARON Business Coach will quickly identify the gaps and constraints in your business model and bring proven turnkey solutions for accessing capital, generating more income, and customers.
There is no better investment for an executive or business owner that can as quickly and easily provide them with the right knowledge, plan, and tools as BARON Business Coaching.
Learn how BARON Business Coaching can help you reach your business and financial goals up to four times faster than other methods and programs or planning yourself. Call (888) 90-BARON or complete our information request form.