To hold an impressive event, you’ll need sponsorship and prestigious partners to collaborate with you, help convey your message, and raise money.

Your job is to convince potential sponsors that your partnership will afford them exposure, profit and a positive outcome for everyone. This means organizing an informative, beneficial and glamorous event, that leaves people feeling enriched – and get them interested in supporting all businesses involved.

Now: how do you find likeminded partners, get them enthusiastic about your proposal, and confident in your ability to earn them revenue?

Here’s a winning strategy to help you gain excellent sponsorship for your event, even if this is your first time playing the game.

1. Know Your Demographic

Firstly, identify who will be interested in your event – then you can identify appropriate partners. For example, if you’re holding a business conference, your audience will likely be small-business people who are looking to expand their business skills, customer base and revenue.

Pitch your event to large, successful businesses and the experts within them, who can share their expertise and how your audience can achieve what they have.

2. Network, Network, Network

You should already have an idea of businesses and brands who share your values. The next step is to approach them, and make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Say you’re holding a charity event in aid of whale conservation. You’ll want to contact Greenpeace, PETA, and ocean charities for sponsorship. These are all large organizations who have event kits and sponsorship deals – for example, Greenpeace have ‘greenspeakers’ available for events.

Build a rapport, and illustrate how their involvement will benefit them. Provide a desired outcome for your sponsors. Remember they’ll be asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’. Specify that your event’s audience is their business’s audience. Great sponsors will get an increased volume of business from your attendees who are now aware of their services and/or plight.

A huge benefit of using the MeetApp event mobile app is that your sponsors can be advertised within the app with banners and push notifications, encouraging your audience to find out more about them.

What’s more is that the networking features available within the app (like the activity feed) will introduce attendees and sponsors, and promote conversation.

3. The Perfect Approach

Before you pick up the phone, be mindful of these dos and don’ts for pitching for sponsorship.

  • Practice your opening lines. Introduce yourself and get to the point of your call within 20 seconds. Conciseness is key.
  • Remember that large companies (especially charities) get calls like this all the time, so you need to make it sound worth their while. Include the main benefit of taking part in your event (this will mainly always be revenue. Include a financial forecast, if you have figures).
  • Specify the event size and emphasize how their business appeals to your demographic. Eg: ‘Our event has a guaranteed 200 attendees so far, all between 25 and 30 years old – your main customer base!’
  • Be clear with what you’re asking for. It doesn’t have to be money – you could be asking if they are interested in providing a speaker, a venue, catering, etc.
  • Flattery goes a long way! Tell them you need THEIR expertise and help, and without them, your event won’t be half as great.
  • If you don’t get a solid response, put your request into an email. Include all your main selling points, and follow it up every few days.
  • If you’ve hosted successful events before, let them know! Include the actual benefits to your previous sponsors.

4. Promoting Sponsors During the Event

Like we said before, assure your sponsors they will be promoted digitally via the MeetApp event app. But, here’s a few ways you can advocate your sponsors on the day.

  • Dedicate a segment of the event to each sponsor – follow the name of a workshop with ‘sponsored by ___.’
  • Place event banners with all your sponsors’ logos on them around the venue, especially as a stage backdrop.
  • Print their logo on all your marketing material/adverts/leaflets/etc.
  • Place their marketing material on tables and boards around the venue.
  • Include some of their promotional material and donated products in your event goodie bags.

Following these steps will see your event gain prestigious sponsors and therefore increased revenue. The better-quality sponsors you collaborate with, the more your tickets will be worth, the more money your attendees will spend on the day.