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A Comprehensive Guide to Securing Event Sponsorships

A Comprehensive Guide to Securing Event Sponsorships

Nov 07, 2023 Sapna Singhal

Ever wondered why some events resonate more than others? Why do they stand out with better facilities, impressive line-ups, and even stunning goodie bags? The secret often lies in robust event sponsorships.  

A well-matched event sponsorship can redefine the whole event experience. Yet, 90% of B2B event organizers consider securing event sponsorships as their biggest challenge. The reason behind this is there’s a lot of competition in getting event sponsors’ attention. Also, the complexities of aligning with their brand’s vision and goals are equally daunting.  

So, how do you get event sponsors? And how can this relationship be leveraged for maximum mutual benefit? 
This complete guide to event sponsorship deciphers it all.  

Let’s dive in!

What Is Event Sponsorship? 
Event sponsorship is a collaboration where a company or individual provides financial or in-kind support for an event in exchange for brand exposure and promotional opportunities. This partnership benefits both parties: the event gains resources for execution, and the sponsor gets visibility and access to a targeted audience.

Why Event Sponsorships Are Important?
Event sponsorships are more than just funds—they are game-changers that can propel your events to new heights. Here are some benefits of event sponsorships that make them non-negotiable for top-tier events:

  • Boosting the Event's Profile and Credibility 
    When major brands or influential figures sponsor an event, it’s like getting a five-star rating before the event even begins. Think about it: When Apple sponsors a tech summit; its presence alone can turn an overlooked event into a must-attending one.  
    Moreover, attendees often perceive events with reputable sponsors as more valuable. The endorsement from renowned names not only builds anticipation but also instills trust.  And this built-in trust factor can lead to increased registrations, better engagement, and positive word-of-mouth. 
  • Supplementing the Event Budget 
    Hosting an event comes with a list of expenses, from venue costs to marketing efforts. That's where sponsors step in. They're the financial backbone that helps transform event blueprints into real experiences.  
    Securing sponsorships also means you can dream bigger and aim higher for your event. With their support, you can offset costs and even introduce elements that might have been out of reach.  
  • Enhancing Attendee Experience 
    You know those events that people can't stop talking about? Often, sponsors play a hidden hand in creating that buzz. 98% of consumers engage with brands through event sponsorship. 
    After all, attendees don't just want information; they're after unique experiences that they can share and remember. And while the venue and speakers play their part, the added layer of sponsor-backed attractions often becomes the cherry on top. It's not just about making your event bigger but also richer in content, interactions, and memories.  
  • Offering New Avenues for Networking and Collaboration 
    Attendees love networking opportunities almost as much as the main event. And with the right sponsors on board, the networking potential of your event can multiply exponentially. 
    Sponsors bring their industry force, connections, and collaborations to the table. With their involvement, an event can attract a diverse group of professionals, each bringing unique perspectives and opportunities.  

What Are the Different Types of Event Sponsorship Packages?
An event sponsorship package is a set of offerings that an event organizer presents to potential sponsors. It includes the benefits they will receive in exchange for their support. These benefits can vary widely and often include marketing exposure, opportunities for brand engagement, access to attendee data, speaking slots, and VIP treatment at the event. 

A good sponsorship package is all about presentation, precision, and personal touch. It should reflect a deep understanding of what a sponsor seeks and provide real value in return. It's not about a one-size-fits-all approach. Tailoring each package to the unique needs of different sponsors can significantly enhance the appeal.

Here are the three common types of event sponsorship packages and what they typically entail. This will help you select the perfect sponsorship package for your event: 

  • Platinum Sponsorship: 
    Platinum tier stands at the top of the hierarchy of event sponsorships. This level promises sponsors the most visibility, with the prime placement of logos on event materials, banners, and digital platforms.  
    Such sponsors frequently get coveted speaking opportunities, be it presenting at the event, conducting workshops, or engaging in panel discussions. Additionally, Platinum benefits often include VIP accesses, such as early entry, exclusive networking sessions, or dedicated seating areas. Also, these sponsors often receive special shoutouts in press releases, social media campaigns, and email communications.

  • Gold Sponsorship: 
    Gold sponsorship offers a combination of premium and standard perks. In terms of visibility, the logos of Gold sponsors remain dominant but are usually positioned secondary to their Platinum counterparts.  
    Engagement-wise, they might get chances to host smaller sessions or roundtables. They enjoy access to specific networking events, although they might not enter into the exclusivity Platinum sponsors enjoy.  
    And when it comes to promotions, they'll get their brand mentioned across various materials, not as prominently as the top-tier sponsors.

  • Silver Sponsorship 
    For events seeking a broader range of sponsors, Silver sponsorship is a go-to choice. While the logos of Silver sponsors might be placed less prominently compared to the other two tiers, they are still visible and recognizable. They usually do not get the stage to speak, but they can look forward to participating through booths or stands.  
    Their networking opportunities are generally broad, allowing them to socialize in common areas. Promotionally, their mentions might be more limited, yet they're assured a spot in the event's communication channels.

3 Common Mistakes Organizers Make When Reaching Out to Sponsors
Getting sponsors on board isn't a straightforward process, and event organizers often make some mistakes along the way. Let's dive into the common mistakes to avoid while reaching out to sponsors so you can build stronger relationships with them.

  • Lack of Research on Potential Sponsors 
    Reaching out to sponsors without doing the groundwork is the gravest mistake you can make. It's highly essential to understand a potential sponsor's values, audience, and goals. Without this insight, you're not only risking a declined proposal but also potentially harming your event's reputation.  
    Always remember: a well-matched sponsor isn't just about the money; it's about aligning visions and values for mutual success.

  • Sending a Generic Proposal Rather Than a Tailored Approach 
    No two sponsors are the same. Sending a general proposal to every sponsor lacks a personal touch.  If you're eyeing a specific brand, dig into its ethos and values. Show them you've put in the effort to understand what makes them tick.  
    By customizing your proposal to their unique needs and objectives, you not only increase your chances of securing them but also lay the groundwork for a fruitful, long-term relationship.  

  • Overpromising and Under-Delivering 
    Making big promises might seem like a good way to attract sponsors, but not delivering on them? That's a trust-breaker.  
    When finding sponsors, it's essential to be transparent about what you can genuinely offer. If you can't deliver what you promised, not only does it risk the current collaboration, but it also harms future opportunities with other sponsors. Thus, always promise what you can deliver and then strive to exceed those expectations. 

5 Tips to Choose the Right Sponsors for Your Event
Choosing the right sponsors is about finding partners who can elevate your event. 75% of event sponsors are actively looking for new partnerships, and it is your time to shine through. Let's explore the effective strategies for event sponsorships and identify sponsors who align with your vision and amplify your message: 

1. Understand Your Events 
Before seeking sponsorship, you must have a clear understanding of your own event. Knowing its core values, target audience, and unique selling points can make a difference when pitching to potential sponsors. Here's what to focus on: 

  • What's the main goal of your event? Is it a networking, showcasing, education, or entertainment event? 
  • Who is going to attend your event? Consider demographics like age, profession, and interests. 
  • What makes your event stand out from others in the market? 
  • What is the size and format of your event? Is it a local workshop, a national conference, or an international expo? 
  • If it's a recurring event, what were the previous attendance rates and feedback? 
    Having these details at your fingertips will not only make your pitch more compelling but will also help identify sponsors whose goals align with yours.

2. Identify the Right Sponsors 
As mentioned above, when choosing sponsors for your event, a true partnership goes beyond just financial support. Think about sponsors as collaborators who bring added value, be it in the form of industry expertise, tools, or marketing reach.  
For instance, a tech company might not only sponsor but also provide the latest gadgets for hands-on sessions in your events. Or a renowned brand could boost your event's prestige just by being associated with it. So, while funds are essential, remember to look at the bigger picture.

Here's how to identify the best sponsors for your event 

  • Ensure the sponsor's ethos aligns with your event's purpose and message. 
  • Both your event and the sponsor should cater to a similar audience for maximum impact. 
  • Research the sponsor's track record in previous collaborations. 
  • The sponsor should be reliable when it comes to financial commitments. 
  • A sponsor willing to communicate and collaborate is ideal for tweaking details to perfection. 

3. Directly Engage with the Decision Makers 
Targeting is key in seeking sponsorships. It's important to approach those who actually have the authority to make decisions.  
Start by pinpointing the person responsible for sponsorships in your prospective company and then tailor your approach to resonate with their specific interests and concerns.  
Mutual connections can be a goldmine; a warm introduction often carries more weight than a cold call or email. And once you've made that connection, don't just stop at the event's horizon. Think long-term and nurture the relationship, as this will pave the way for successful collaborations in the future.  

Use Online Platforms to Find Sponsors 

Finding the right sponsor isn't restricted to traditional outreach. The internet offers a plethora of platforms and tools to connect event organizers with potential sponsors:

  • Sponsorship Marketplaces: Websites like SponsorMyEvent or SponsorPitch allow you to list your event and match it with interested sponsors.
  • Social Media: Leverage platforms like LinkedIn to identify and approach companies that align with your event's niche.
  • Industry Forums and Blogs: Join forums or read blogs related to your event's theme to spot potential sponsors. 
  • Competitor Analysis: Check out similar events and identify their sponsors. It’s a good starting point, and these sponsors may be interested in your event, too.
  • Event Directories: List your event on platforms like Meetup, where sponsors often look for opportunities. 

By leveraging these online resources, you can streamline your search and increase the chances of securing mutually beneficial sponsorship. 

Some Other Event Sponsorship Best Practices 

  • Collaborative Marketing Opportunities
    Collaborative marketing is about combining your event's reach with a sponsor's established audience. As a result, your event gains visibility while the sponsor taps into a new, engaged audience. This synergy not only increases ticket sales but also enriches the attendee experience. 
  • Opportunities for Lead Generation Outside of the Event
    Event partnerships can be more than just a one-off collaboration; they can open doors to an ocean of potential leads even outside the event's timeframe. A sponsorship can provide access to the sponsor's network, clientele, and platforms, offering ample opportunities to tap into new audiences. For example, a sponsor could introduce your event or brand in their newsletters, webinars, or workshops, paving the way for a whole new group of potential attendees or customers. This extended reach can supercharge your event's visibility and lead generation.  
  • Exploring Affiliate Marketing with Sponsors
    Affiliate marketing can transform the event-sponsor relationship. When your sponsors promote your event on their channels, they can earn commissions on ticket sales or registrations. 
    For event organizers, this means tapping into a wider audience without extra advertising costs. And for sponsors, it's a chance to monetize their support. It's an approach that ensures both parties benefit beyond the usual sponsorship dynamics, strengthening the partnership while boosting event reach. 

7 Steps to Create a Standout Event Sponsorship Proposal

When it comes to securing sponsorships, a top-notch proposal can set you apart. Here are 12 tried-and-true strategies to ensure your proposal grabs attention and convinces potential sponsors of the value you offer: 

1. Deep Dive into the Potential Sponsor 
When crafting your proposal, start by understanding your potential sponsors. A well-researched and tailored pitch can directly speak to their needs, goals, and preferences, increasing your chances of partnership. 

  • Identify the key individuals and their personality types. Know whom to approach. 
  • Ensure you have the correct contact information for seamless communication. 
  • Understand their marketing objectives and the challenges they face. 
  • Determine how your event can help them achieve their marketing goals. 
  • Assess if they have the budget to sponsor your event at the desired level. 
  • Understand the unique value they'd bring to the attendee experience. 
  • Anticipate any roadblocks or concerns they might have about partnering. 

For instance, if a brand's target is enhancing its eco-friendly image, highlight your event's sustainability efforts. It's all about making them see how partnering with you fits perfectly into their broader strategy.

2. Present Them Clear Demographics and Event Statistics
Sponsors want assurance that your event audience aligns with their target market. Make your proposal resonate by highlighting key demographics and event stats. 
If you know that 70% of your attendees fall into the age bracket most coveted by a lifestyle brand, share that! Other than that, include details like: 

  • Age, gender, location, and interests of your attendees. 
  • Provide metrics from previous events, like attendee counts or engagement rates. 
  • Offer estimates on how this event might grow based on past trends. 
  • Discuss anticipated interaction levels, from social media buzz to live event participation.  

This not only validates your event's potential for exposure but gives sponsors a clear picture of who they'll be reaching. Remember, data-driven insights can play an important role in building trust and excitement. 

3. Offer Exclusivity Options
Sponsors love standing out. By offering exclusive rights within their industry at your event, you can give them a clear path to shine brighter than the rest. This uniqueness boosts their brand presence and ensures they get the maximum return on their investment. For many companies, the advantage of being the sole representative of their niche can tip the scales in favor of a collaboration.

4. Highlight Marketing and Media Coverage Opportunities
Visibility is everything in events for sponsors.  It's crucial to outline how your event can amplify their brand. Talk about the media partnerships you've secured, the range of promotional activities planned, and the channels you'll be leveraging. This isn't just about a logo on a banner; it's about press releases, feature articles, social media shout-outs, and perhaps a spot in a promotional video. Make them see the vast potential for brand engagement and recognition.

5. Tailor Packages to the Sponsor's Industry or Niche
We have already said that a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works in sponsorships. Instead, tailor your offerings to the specific industry or niche of a potential sponsor. Understand their audience, their goals, and the type of exposure that would benefit them most. If they're a tech company, perhaps they'd value a demo booth. A fashion brand? They might love a runway segment. By showing that you've done your homework and can provide value within their domain, you're more likely to spark genuine interest and partnership.

6. Use Compelling Visuals and Professional Design
First impressions count, especially when you're pitching for sponsorships. A well-designed proposal with compelling visuals speaks volumes about your professionalism and the quality of the event you're organizing. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about effectively communicating your event's potential. Imagine a brand seeing its logo on a mock-up stage or during a highlight reel of your event. By giving them a visual taste of what's possible, you're not just selling an idea; you're offering a concrete vision of the future. So, invest in a good design—it can be the difference between a 'maybe' and a 'yes'.

Provide Testimonials from Previous Sponsors
The power of word-of-mouth cannot be understated when it comes to event sponsorships. Including testimonials in your proposal serves a dual purpose: it reassures potential sponsors of your event's value and demonstrates previous successes. 
To effectively use testimonials, choose feedback that highlights specific benefits the sponsor enjoyed, be it increased brand visibility or robust attendee engagement. Authentic words from satisfied past sponsors can be the final nudge a potential sponsor needs to get on board.

6 Ways to Ensure Sponsor Exposure Translates into Foot Traffic
Ensuring your sponsors don’t just catch eyes but also compel your attendees to engage and interact on the ground is crucial for the success of your event. Here are some tips to make that conversion happen: 

1. Interactive Sponsor Booths or Kiosks
Everyone loves a buzzworthy booth. Usually, in every event, attendees are flooded with visuals, so making a sponsor's booth stand out is essential. By incorporating hands-on demos or interactive tech, you can make sure attendees don't just pass by but stop, engage, and remember your sponsor's brand long after the event ends.

2. Sponsor-Led Sessions or Workshops
When sponsors share their expertise, everyone benefits. It's a golden chance for sponsors to showcase their industry knowledge while attendees get a mix of learning and brand exposure. Such sessions not only offer value but also position the sponsor as a thought leader in their domain.

3. Exclusive Offers or Discounts Linked to the Sponsor
Exclusive offers or discounts tied to sponsors can be a magnetic draw to increase booth visits. Attendees feel like they are getting an exclusive perk of the event, enhancing their overall experience. And for sponsors, it's a direct way to demonstrate their product's value and foster goodwill. Integrating these deals ensures both engagement and a unique brand touchpoint.

4. Gamification or Contests Involving Sponsor Products/Services
Friendly competitions make the events extra memorable. By integrating gamification or contests around a sponsor's products or services, attendees get a chance to engage in a playful manner while getting familiar with what the sponsor offers. It's not just about winning a prize; it's about the excitement, the challenge, and the hands-on experience with the sponsor's brand. This approach turns passive observers into active participants, creating memorable brand interactions.

5. Collaborative Branding on Event Essentials: Lanyards, Badges, Bags
Event essentials like lanyards, badges, and bags are always in plain sight, circulating throughout venues and leaving lasting impressions. Collaborative branding on these items is a brilliant way to keep your sponsors' logos and messages continuously on display. Every photo snapped, handshake exchanged, or swag bag slung over a shoulder amplifies the sponsor's presence.

6. Engaging Attendees Pre-Event Through Joint Webinars or Teasers
Before the curtains even rise on your event, there's a golden opportunity to grab your attendees' attention. Joint webinars or teasers featuring sponsors aren't just promotional tools—they're anticipation builders. These engagements offer a sneak peek, setting the stage for what's to come while simultaneously highlighting the sponsor's pivotal role.  

Ready to Unlock the Ultimate Potential of Sponsorships for Your Events?

Throughout this ultimate guide to event sponsorship, we've delved into the complexities of identifying the right sponsors, crafting standout proposals, and ensuring the exposure translates into real, definite benefits. Remember, the essence of a fruitful sponsorship lies not just in the numbers but in the synergy and alignment between the event and the sponsor.  

It's crucial to keep an open line of communication with your sponsors, continuously seeking their feedback and iterating on your approach. Each event, big or small, offers a learning curve. Your dedication to fostering better sponsor relationships will not only enhance the quality of your events but also establish your reputation as a reliable and forward-thinking event organizer.   

So, gear up, take the insights from here, and propel your next event to greater heights! Connect with our experts 24*7 - https://bit.ly/3R9bkuP

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