Your organization has a solid plan for a two-day conference. Each detail has been planned thoroughly. As your team is reviewing the budget for the conference, you realize the plans exceed the allotted budget. The planning committee decides to solicit sponsorship opportunities. What steps should your organization take to attract sponsors?
Sponsorship is a form of support for an organization or individual. It occurs when a business arranges to provide money, services or products in exchange for marketing opportunities through the sponsored organization.
Attracting sponsorship for a conference involves strategic planning and building reciprocal relationships with sponsors. In order for a sponsorship to be successful, each party must receive mutual benefits. The goal is not to get money to finance a one-time event. The organization should strive to maintain relationships that will encourage sponsors to provide support for years to come.
If you want to attract sponsors for your conference, there are 8 sure-fire tips that will increase the chances that a business will want to partner with your organization.
Tip #1 Create a Unique Sponsorship Request for Each Sponsor
If your organization has a ‘cut and paste’ sponsorship request form that is sent to every sponsor, get rid of it immediately. Each sponsorship request should be catered to the needs and branding of each sponsor. Generic sponsorship requests show that an organization has not given much consideration to the specific needs of individual sponsors.
Tip #2 Include Key Elements in the Proposal
There are key elements that should be included in the sponsorship proposal. They are the potential sponsor’s logo, a detailed description of your conference’s target audience, concise conference objectives and sponsorship promotional opportunities.
Tip #3 View Sponsors as Partners
Be mindful that sponsors are looking for something in return for their financial support. Typically, they desire as much brand exposure as possible. Each party should have a clear idea of the benefits that will be obtained through the partnership.
Tip #4 Eliminate Sponsorship Competition
A potential sponsor is not interested in competing with a similar brand if they are sponsoring your conference. An organization will be more likely to sponsor your conference if they are offered exclusivity within a category.
Tip #5 Communicate Often and Be Open to Input
Since sponsorship involves partnering with another entity, open communication is always the best approach. During the event planning process, send regular updates to your sponsors. Meet with your partners consistently to get their input. Communication conveys to the sponsor that they are important to the success of your conference.
Tip #6 Provide Relevant Data
We have all heard the phrase ‘the proof is in the pudding’. According to sponsors, the proof is in the data. Gather relevant data for your conference, and be prepared to show it to sponsors. Demographic data is important because sponsors want to know who will be the recipients of their marketing dollars.
Tip #7 Take Care of Your Sponsors
On the day of the conference, make your sponsors feel important. After all, their generous gifts made the event possible. Your goal should be to ensure that your sponsors are rewarded by the event.
Tip #8 Utilize Mobile Conference Apps
Businesses are excited about partnering with organizations that utilize innovative technology. Technology enables people to share information, and sharing creates free marketing opportunities for businesses. An example of an intuitive conference technology is The DoubleDutch Mobile Conference App. This app optimizes the conference experience by engaging the attendees with the content. The data that is gathered can be used to create post-conference reports for your sponsors.
The competition to find sponsorships for conferences is stiff. It is imperative that your organization presents a professional image to proposed sponsors. By using the 8 tips mentioned in this article, your conference will surely attract the best sponsors.