Planning and pulling off an event is exciting – but building the budget necessary to make the event a reality can be a daunting task. Most creators need help from sponsors in order to raise capital and get goods for their events. To demonstrate to these sponsors that your event is worth their time and support, you’ll need to create an informative and enticing pitch deck.
We’ve compiled 15 event sponsorship tips to remember as you’re putting together your proposal and pitching to potential sponsors.
Table of contents
Turn your sponsorship proposal into a PDF
Include all relevant information
Be smart about the companies you’re approaching
Create a different deck for each sponsorship tier
Don’t forget to thank your sponsors
1. Turn your sponsorship deck into a PDF
Be considerate of the inboxes you’re hitting, and don’t send potential sponsors a large presentation file. Turn your event sponsorship proposal into a PDF or send a link to where the deck lives on your website or a file-sharing service such as Google Drive or Dropbox to make accessing it easy for the recipients.
2. Include all relevant information
Include all applicable information that sponsors will need in your presentation. Provide information about your organisation such as your logo, website, contact information, and social media profiles as well as information specific to the event. Try to anticipate the kinds of questions sponsors might have and provide the answers to those questions in your deck.
3. Be smart about the companies you’re approaching
Not every company is the perfect sponsor for your event. Research organisations whose mission, values, and product offerings are relevant to your event and align with your organisation’s goals. It’s a good idea to make a wish list of potential sponsors and then narrow it down. If you’re not sure how to find corporate sponsorship for an event, check out our tips for finding and winning sponsors.
4. Be as specific as possible
Include all of the logistical information about your event in the deck. Make it clear whether your event is in-person or virtual, what the goal of the event is, why people should attend, and why potential sponsors should consider you credible. Make sure to also include logistical information, including the dates, location, speakers, and any specific technology you’re using to broadcast the event such as Zoom or Facebook Live.
5. Give demographic information
Be as specific as possible about the demographics of your attendees, how many people you’re expecting, and how your most valuable attendees will drive success at your event. This information is interesting and valuable to potential sponsors. It’s helpful for sponsors to know if the audience you’re targeting is similar to their customer base, or if it represents an audience they’re trying to target as well.
6. Use multimedia
Use photos from previous in-person events, or stills and video clips if it was a virtual event, to show sponsors what they can expect your event to be like. These visuals can be a powerful sales tool, especially if they show how much fun attendees are having or how successful your previous events have been.
7. Let attendees do the talking
Include quotes from previous event attendees or sponsors praising your event and talking up your work as testimonials. These will add credence to the claims you’re making about your event. If your previous sponsors are aspirational or popular, including their testimonials in your sponsorship deck may encourage potential sponsors to work with you in order to align with those kinds of brands.
8. Include statistics
Notable numbers can make a big impact on potential sponsors. Use data from previous events such as the number of attendees, speakers, and where your speakers and attendees are from. If you’re creating a non-profit pitch deck for a fundraising event, be sure to include how much money was raised at previous events.
9. Include a glossary
Include a glossary of terms or a quick fact list that will be helpful for your potential sponsors to have on hand before reviewing the event sponsorship proposal.
10. Create a different deck for each sponsorship tier
If you’re offering different levels of sponsorship, create a different deck for each level. Before you reach out to a potential sponsor, determine which level of support you’re seeking from them, or which level you think they will be interested in, and only send them the appropriate deck.
11. Offer exclusivity
Offer category or level exclusivity by making it clear there can only be ONE silver level sponsor, or there can only be ONE breakfast sponsor.
12. Add promotional benefits
Add tickets, hospitality, or promotional benefits to each sponsorship level. Consider great ideas such as comped registration to your conference or a special sponsor’s dinner. Pitch creative ideas that will make sure your attendees see your sponsor’s logo and make their investment worth it.
13. Demonstrate the benefits
Demonstrate the benefits of sponsorship beyond the event itself. Many conferences are now offering different types of benefits: marketing, hospitality, onsite, year-round, etc. If you’re working on a completely virtual event, promoting your sponsors’ content on your event pages and social media accounts is a must. After the event, offer your sponsors further promotion. Repurposing video content is a great way to establish an ongoing relationship.
14. Respect your sponsors’ time
Keep your materials as concise as possible while still providing all of the information your potential sponsors need. Remember that they probably receive lots of sponsorship requests so you need yours to be easy to navigate and memorable.
15. Don’t forget to thank your sponsors
Thank your potential sponsors for taking the time to speak with or meet with you. Make sure to include your contact information, how they can follow up with you, and when you’ll be reaching back out to discuss your potential partnership. If and when an organisation does decide to sponsor your event, make sure you’re thanking them in your promotional materials and during the event so they know that their support is appreciated.
Ready to reach out to sponsors?
Once you have a clear vision for your event and a finished sponsor deck, you’re ready to start approaching potential sponsors. Learn more about the types of event sponsors you can work with from our event sponsorship guide.