Step no. 1 IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE PROFILE
Start by thinking about your attendees. Take into account their average age, preferences and consumer profile. Try to address demographis, geographic, and psychological aspects as well as buying patterns. It is important to learn what goods do they buy and what products and/or services might be of interest to them. These are all crucial factors for your potential partners.
Step no. 2 FIND MATCHING COMPANIES
Once you know who is your target audience you may proceed to the next step. A good starting point is to go through sponsor lists at the similar events. After research make a list of potential sponsors and check what is their brand focus. If their strategy is the same, these are your valid opportunities. You can also find acommon denominator of the listed sponsors and track new brands with a given marketing profile.
Step no. 3 REACH OUT TO DECISION MAKERS
If you don’t know who is a decision maker in your target institution, dig into company’s website. In many cases it is possible to find the right email. If that fails, you might make use of the Internet, social media and networking tools like LinkedIn. They are a perfect source of information. If you tried hard but still have no contact details, you may reach out to one of the decision maker’s colleagues and ask for the reference. If you write a dedicated and professional email, there is no other option but succeed.
Step no. 4 PREPARE SPONSOR OFFER PACKAGES AND/OR DEDICATED ONES
Meanwhile it is worth thinking of the sponsor offer packages and levels. Start by gathering all potential benefits and decide what should you offer in a given package. Remember that partners appreciate brand exposure above all. Think of all possible ways for sponsors to grab attendees attention. Propose an on-site promo space and brand visibility via paper materials, radio, newspapers, tv, portals, blogs, your social media channels etc.. In addition, give sponsor passes for their representatives . Your role is to help them shine. Except for traditional ways, you may also promote your partners in the event app. You may offer built-in pop-up adverts and banners plus sponsored posts via in-app networking channels. Check it out here.
Step no. 5 CREATE A MAILING LIST AND START YOUR CAMPAIGN
If you have enough resources, it is advisable to implement two strategies. One of them is time consuming but effective. Choose a list of the most probable sponsors and prepare dedicated campaings. Show interest in their brand and latest accomplishments. Make it as personal as possible. Match the benefits to their brand focus and prove you have the target audience. The other strategy is to send less customised emails with sponsor packages. By using one of the automated email tools you can boost your range and save much time. No matter which startegy you choose remember to write high-quality campaigns and test what works best. Always underline benefits of your offer. It has to be a win-win cooperation.
Step no. 6 NO ANSWERS – DON’T GIVE UP AND SEND FOLLOW UPS
It may take up to 6 emails to get any response. In order to succeed you have to be persistent. If your offer is perfectly balanced, you shouldn’t worry. There are some companies that will see the value in investing money in your event. It simply takes some time.
Step no. 7 GOT AN ANSWER – TRY TO ARRANGE A CALL/MEETING
Congratulations. You’ve made it. Now you have some sponsor opportunities and your next goal is arranging a call or meeting. Live interaction is the best way to test sponsor’s level of commitment and close the deal.
Step no. 8 PREPARE FOR A CALL/MEETING
In order to make such communication fruitful, you have to be prepared. Collect all information on your potential sponsor prior to the meeting. Think what might be the biggest benefit to them and underline this aspect. Ask about their goals and show flexibility. You might need to customize your initial offer so that it is more attractive to them. Try to predict any potential pitfalls. It will help you find the right counter-argument during the conversation.
Step no. 9 BUILD STRONG RELATIONSHIP
You have done your job and received sponsor donations. However, it is not the end. Once you have a given company on board, you have to establish good and stable relationship. Make them believe you are the best partner possible. Remember to promote your sponsors before, during and after the event. Guarantee the best brand visibility by social media, on-site and in-app logo display. You can find more information on building brand awareness here. Your event sponsors will return the favour in future. If they are satisfied, they will support your upcoming ventures.
Step no. 10 LAST BUT NOT LEAST – SAY THANK YOU!
Showing gratitude to your sponsors is a key step. No matter how low is your budget, you should figure out something special. If you look for a low-cost option, you can prepare a dedicated infographic with some warm words, make a customised giphy or personal video that harks back to their brands. You can also include some event analytics. There are options to take out relevant statistics from in-app surveys and users’ activity. Numbers work well with business partners. If you want something fancy, you can organize a posh dinner in a nice location and give them a themed gift.
Good luck in your sponsor hunt 🙂