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Get Your Event Sponsored.

Andy Robertson

Very rarely do you see any event that does not have some form of sponsor support. This is particularly crucial for non-profit festivals but equally having sponsors can help you cover the cost of running just about any event too. 

Depending on the nature of your event you can select and target specific companies and approach them for sponsorship. Just conduct some research to discover which companies are actively sponsoring events similar to your own. Companies that actively sponsoring events will usually mean that they have a sponsorship budget along with people who understand this business. It may well be a key element of their overall marketing strategy and budget.        

Before you even consider approaching potential sponsors make sure you fully understand your own event. What is the audience size, what are their demographics and does this audience profile fit the target audience for the sponsor you are approaching? Build a professional sponsor proposal pack that is easy to digest and provides your target sponsor with cost options along with the key benefits to them. 

When you pitch to potential sponsors ensure you have a clear package to offer them. Assuming your audience size and profile fits their requirements, they will want to see what branding opportunities are available, both online and offline. Do you have artists that the potential sponsor company wants to identify with? They will also likely want a branded physical presence at your event, probably in a prime location. If that's the case you will need to weigh up the costs and benefits of selling that space to a vendor or including as a part of a sponsor package. 

For an alcohol sponsor can you get them to run a bar for you or are they just supplying discounted product? For a service provider sponsor, they will probably want a pitch to promote their service, usually discounted for your audience.  

Don’t forget to include media sponsors too as they should form an integral part of your event. Aside from branding expect media sponsors to give your event prime coverage in the run up to your event and in post event reviews. For larger events will you have a dedicated media centre where journalists can conduct interviews with artists and have a quiet area to write and submit their piece to press. You may find that media sponsors will only exchange coverage as a form of payment so don’t expect this as revenue stream 

Once you have your sponsors signed up, make sure you have a contract with them detailing what you will provide in return for their sponsorship. All sponsors will need to logged centrally and as the event organiser you need to ensure that all names are registered for sponsors and their guests. A top F&B sponsor may want to create an exclusive VIP area and invite their business partners so make sure you log the number of guests and that passes have been distributed. Be prepared for last minute changes too as many sponsors can be quite demanding.                

Using an event software solution like FestivalPro can help manage your sponsors as the software already has built in functionality specifically for your event sponsors. Store contracts, schedules and guest lists easily without the need for paper copies. You can also allocate unique login access to your sponsor to give them an element of control, particularly important for the management of their guest lists. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and are performance artists themselves. Using a system like this can help you manage your sponsor arrangements saving you time and effort.  

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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