Event 101: Sponsorship Outreach
If you’ve been keeping up with our Event 101 series, we’re back with more insight - this time on sponsorships. Reaching out to companies and asking for money can be a daunting task. It can be extremely uncomfortable, however, it is an incredibly crucial part of corporate event planning. As a corporation, your goal when throwing events is to create a memorable experience while staying within your budget. Typically, the best way to do this is by trying to attain vital sponsorships from other companies. You can get monetary sponsors, as well as food, drinks, activities, swag bags, music, decor, and so much more. We’re going to quickly walk you through the three basic steps of how to secure sponsors - just as we did for our debut event through tactful communication and proper marketing.
Step 1: Prepare a Pitch Deck.
In order to show your sponsors what your event is all about, and why they should invest in it, you need to make sure you have created a pitch deck. This should be visually appealing, include company statistics, projected statistics of the event, a mission statement, a brief description of the event, and what the sponsors receive in return for their partnership. We created different packages for different sponsors, ranging from $500-$5,000. Each package was listed in the pitch deck, so the companies could see exactly how much they wanted to invest and what their ROI (return on investment) would be in detail.
Step 2: Craft a Message
Send a simple and straightforward message to the desired sponsor. A good method of reaching out to sponsors was through Instagram direct messages before reaching out through email - it’s about to be 2020, so times are changing. Companies get flooded with emails every day, and if you send them a lengthy email detailing your event, chances are it might get overlooked. On Instagram, they can get more of an insight into your character and personality, which we believe makes them more partial to you and therefore more inclined to respond. We conducted outreach through our personal and business accounts.
Our go-to message read something along these lines:
“Hi there! I have a unique event partnership opportunity that I would like to discuss with you. Who would be the best person to contact? I look forward to hearing from you!“
The results were in our favor. It’s short, friendly and to the point. Most companies would then reply with the right point of contact for this specific need, and you would proceed by sending over the pitch deck with a short email description.
Step 3: Get Them on the Phone.
As previously mentioned, companies are more likely to invest in you if they can get a feel for your personality. Once you get them on the phone, you should be polite, courteous and genuine. Assure them that you want them to benefit from this partnership as much as they do. Ask questions around what they desire so expectations are set leaving no room for miscommunication. Then, show them how your package meets their requirements, or see if you can tweak it a little in order to compromise. Being genuine and transparent about this will speak volumes. It could be the deciding factor in whether or not they choose to sponsor you.
We know outreach can be an intimidating task, but if you make sure that you are offering your targeted companies beneficial perks while being genuine in your pursuit to make sure all parties leave fulfilled, then you know you are trying your best. Persistence is key, and since you are asking for free money or products, realize that rejection IS part of the process and don’t let it get you down! Out of 100 people, you might hear back from 10 or 15, and then you might only secure 2-5. However, know that the relationships you build will open doors for future opportunities!