Event sponsorships help your event reach its potential. The dollars invested from a sponsorship add value to your event – without passing the cost on to your attendees. So how do you approach sponsors with a winning proposal?
Step one in writing a winning sponsorship proposal is to do a little digging. That is, you have to dig into your event data to quantify the value you bring to the table. To learn about the specific data relevant to sponsors and where to find it, check out our Ultimate Guide to Securing Event Sponsorship
From there, you’ll compile a list of potential sponsors and research their business goals to understand why they should sponsor your event.
What is an event sponsorship proposal?
An event sponsorship proposal is a written document submitted to potential sponsors for the purpose of securing them for your event. This brief but detailed document should highlight the objectives of your sponsorship, the benefits to the sponsor – including a clear outline of their return on investment – and an overview of the value of your event.
Using an event sponsorship proposal template is important because it helps you craft a concise and engaging letter that can attract sponsors to your event. This first step of the sponsorship process is crucial because it shows your professionalism and your well-thought-out plan to bring in support for your event. Even more, this letter can highlight how the event will benefit both your organisation and your sponsor. Explain that they’ll be able to engage with your audience, build their brand, and even showcase and sell their products and services. Successful sponsorship proposals are the first step to establishing a mutually beneficial partnership.
Read on to learn how to research and write an effective event sponsorship proposal.
Preparation is key
If you hope to win quality sponsors that invest more dollars in your event, personalise each opportunity to their business goals. Here are some steps to understanding a potential sponsor’s goals and unlocking your event’s value:
1. Start online
Look at a potential sponsor’s company website, LinkedIn profile, and social media accounts. Identify any overlaps between their audience and yours. Research the sponsor to find out if they’ve sponsored any other events recently. If they have, compare those events to your own. Is there a way your event can offer more value?
2. Identify the decision-maker
Understand who can say “yes” to your sponsorship proposal. As you reach out to people via email or phone, always ask if the person you’re contacting has the authority to approve your proposal. Once you’ve identified your contact, it’s time to initiate a conversation. Set up a 30-minute meeting in person or on the phone.
3. Ask questions and listen
Your first meeting should be an exploratory one to ensure you understand the potential sponsor’s objectives. If they’ve sponsored events like yours before, ask what worked and what didn’t.
4. Follow up
After you’ve gathered info and verified it from the source, thank your potential sponsor for their time. Keep communication open, reaching out via email with any additional questions you may have. Then, let them know that you’ll be following up with a formal event sponsorship proposal for their review.
This homework may seem tedious, but it’s absolutely necessary to write a winning sponsorship proposal.
How do you write an event sponsorship proposal?
The goal of your sponsorship proposal is to outline what you’ve discussed in your exploratory conversations and demonstrate the value you can offer to a sponsor.
Here are the essential components to consider when crafting the best event sponsorship proposal:
Start with objectives
Begin by outlining the sponsor’s key objectives and any marketing initiatives that you’ve already discussed and agreed upon. For inspiration on ways to market your event sponsor, check out these marketing strategies that spotlight sponsors.
Confirm the measurements of success and briefly mention the value to be gained from this opportunity. This demonstrates that you have their interests at heart and warms them up for the pitch, which should be the next element in any event sponsorship proposal template.
Pivot to the pitch
After reiterating what matters most to the sponsor, it’s time to present your proposal. Your offer should align with the sponsor’s objectives and provide a detailed description of what they’ll be receiving in return – including how they’ll make a return on their investment.
Your sponsor wants to know that your event will be a success, no matter what obstacles you may face. In today’s event climate, you need to show potential sponsors that you can navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and event restrictions and limitations. In your proposal, highlight the ways you will alleviate the risks of COVID-19 through such safety measures as masking and sanitising policies, vaccination requirements, and virtual/hybrid options that can extend your event’s reach.
If you’re hosting a virtual or hybrid event, learn how to wow potential online event sponsors.
The next section of your sponsorship proposal should prompt feedback from your sponsor. Ask what they like or dislike about your proposal, or if they have any concerns about sponsoring. This reassures them that you have their best interests in mind and persuades them to continue negotiating the terms of your proposal.
Ask for a response and give a deadline
Deadlines create the fear of missing out, or FOMO, encouraging sponsors to be proactive about their response. Plus, deadlines give you the opportunity to secure your sponsors early in your event planning process. Conclude your event sponsorship proposal with a clear deadline so that sponsors know they need to make a decision promptly.
Your event sponsorship proposal template
Now that you understand the basics of an event sponsorship proposal, you can tailor this template to suit your needs. Fill this template with information specific to your event and sponsorship needs, and you’ll be ready to send it out to potential sponsors.
Dear [Sponsor Name]:
Thank you for speaking with me about event sponsorship opportunities for [event name]. I’m following up regarding our previous discussion about [insert sponsor’s name] being an event sponsor for [insert event name]. As you may recall, our event [insert an overview of your event, including its date, time, and location, how many people attend, or its reach]. I’m confident that [insert sponsor’s name] would be an excellent fit for this event, and I’ve included important details about this sponsorship opportunity below.
Based on our earlier discussion, it’s clear that as a sponsor, you hope to [insert sponsor’s objectives here]. Sponsoring our event can help you reach those goals. [Insert ways your sponsor can meet their objectives, such as through marketing, having a booth at the event, being a featured speaker, etc.]
Our sponsorship offer includes [insert specifics about what benefits the sponsor will receive before and during the event, with a focus on their return on investment].
You can confidently commit to supporting this event because we’re prepared to overcome any obstacles to ensure it’s a success. [Insert any COVID-19 precautions or information on virtual/hybrid events here.]
Once you review this proposal, please reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I’m happy to modify this proposal to your unique needs, and I welcome your collaboration in designing a sponsorship that maximises the benefits for [insert sponsor name].
Please feel free to reach out to me at [insert your contact information]. I respectfully request your response by [date] so that we can launch our partnership and continue to plan [insert event name]. Thank you for your consideration.
[Insert your name and title]
A clearly written proposal will show potential sponsors that you’ve carefully thought through your event, which can give them confidence in backing it. Once you’ve sealed the deal and secured sponsors, sign up for Eventbrite to use all of its planning and marketing tools to help your event reach its full potential.