Are you planning on having sponsors at your next event? If so, you’ll want to think through how best to attract and satisfy sponsors. Creative sponsorship ideas can get you past the hurdle of financing your event.

Businesses sponsor an event, or part of an event, to receive advertising in return. Sponsorship can be great exposure for local businesses, and a great way for event businesses to collaborate and roll out new features. It’s designed to be a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Competition for Event Sponsorship

These days, though, there’s a lot of competition for sponsorship. Other event businesses in your area are probably looking for sponsors, too. A banner with the sponsor’s logo probably won’t cut it. When it comes to figuring out what to offer sponsors, it pays to think outside the box.

Depending on time and money available, different event businesses will be able to implement different ideas. It’s all about working within your means and choosing something that works with your events. Event sponsorship is about more than just bringing in some cash, though. It also needs to be from a business that will benefit your attendees.

These seven ideas can be used alone, in combination with other exposure opportunities, or as inspiration for your own creative sponsorship ideas.

7 Ways to Wow Event Sponsors

#1. Event Apps

Are you planning on using a mobile app at your next event? If you are, check to see if the app offers advertising space within the app for sponsors.

By advertising your sponsors within the app, you can start showing them off before the event even starts and throughout the entire event.

If you’re not using an app, think of other opportunities during the online registration process, for example, sending an event reminder with some information about the sponsor.

#2. Water Bottles or Refill Stations

Everyone needs water at some point. Why not take advantage of this by making drinking water an advertising opportunity for sponsors?

This can be done through simple labels around disposable water bottles, to promotional reusable water bottles, to sponsored refilling stations.

#3. Silent Auction Baskets

Most people love a good silent auction. If your event is planning a silent auction, think about using it as an opportunity to show appreciation for sponsors.

Silent auction items donated by sponsors can be adorned with the sponsor’s logo and displayed in a basket with the company’s colors. Look for ways to show attendees how grateful you are for the sponsor’s support.

#4. Signature Cocktails

This idea is perfect for evening events such as cooking classes. Consider having a signature cocktail or non-alcoholic drink at your event. Then, advertise that the drink was designed or provided by the sponsor. If possible, try using the company’s colors and serving the drinks in a branded glass.

#5. Photo Booths

Another great sponsorship idea for events looking to expand the fun is a sponsored photo booth. Make sure attendees know the booth or station was provided by a sponsor with signs, branded materials, and a social media hashtag for attendees to use when posting pictures.

Photo booth props like hats and fake mustaches are always fun, so make sure people have plenty to choose from!

#6. Gaming Area

Sometimes event goers may want to take a break from the festivities and just play games with friends and relax. Consider having a “gaming area” at your next event courtesy of a sponsor.

Gaming areas don’t have to be fancy. Set out board games or coloring books. This idea is especially great for events open to children.

Decorate the relaxation area with the sponsor’s colors, sample products, and/or brochures.

#7. Table Centerpieces

Seated events such as dinners or paint and sip often have table centerpieces. Use this as a sponsorship opportunity by creating centerpieces that reflect the sponsor’s brand.

You can even make centerpieces into a fun competition by encouraging businesses to sponsor a centerpiece for each table and having attendees vote for their favorite.

Important Questions to Ask when Working with Sponsors

When considering event sponsorship opportunities, it pays to ask yourself a few key questions before saying yes:

  • How will your business benefit from sponsorship?
  • How will a sponsor benefit?
  • Why did a sponsor choose your business to partner with?
  • Does the sponsor’s affiliation with your events fit with your brand?

You want to make sure both your business and the sponsoring business are getting value from the opportunity. If you’re not sure about a sponsor or whether their affiliation will work with your brand, don’t be afraid to say no.

With the seven event sponsorship ideas listed here, you’re on your way to wowing sponsors and drawing in new, fruitful opportunities.