Putting on an event can be costly and there are almost always incidental expenses the planners forget to add in to the overall cost. One way to combat these costs and increase your profit is to seek corporate sponsors. Here are some tips for gaining top sponsors for your event.

Plan the Event for Sponsors

When planning an event, most organizations look at elements such as where workshops will be held and how attendees will be accommodated. While these are important considerations, you can attract big name sponsors by also thinking ahead to how you can meet their needs.

For example, if you’re going after a beverage company to sponsor your event, look for a central location where the company can set up a booth offering taste testing and where banners can be clearly displayed.

Do Your Research

Don’t just blindly approach companies and ask them to sponsor your event. Instead, take the time to research what the company stands for and their mission statement. Choose those companies who most closely match what you are trying to achieve with your event.

If you do your research, you’ll be in a position of power to approach companies and explain why you and their company are a good match.

Evaluate Your Pros

Take the time to look at what you have to offer. Are your attendees loyal to sponsors and start using that product? Do you offer a lot of good will PR that you’ll include the company in?

What is your specific audience that the sponsor will reach? If you’ve done your research, you already know the sponsor’s marketing needs. How can your event meet those needs?

Create an Impressive Proposal

Do you have a plan for your sponsors? Creating a detailed and custom proposal for each sponsor who agrees to a meeting shows that you’ve thought through not only how to get their money but what you can offer them.

At times, you’ll be at the mercy of a committee that decides which sponsorships are worth the company’s time. A written proposal allows your contact to take that information into the meeting and be your voice. This can sometimes mean the difference between getting the sponsorship and not getting it.

Network and Knock on Doors

First and foremost, you need to network with companies in your niche. Attend meetings and spend time getting to know executives. If you have a point of contact, it makes it easier to pitch your proposal.

After the initial contact and pitching your idea, also be sure to follow-up. Executives get busy and it’s easy for them to forget your proposal while dealing with the daily tasks of running a company. A gentle reminder via email or voice mail can get the ball rolling again on sponsorships.

Entrepreneur estimates that companies give out $17 billion a year in corporate sponsorships. Getting even a small bit of that total can make a huge difference in how professional you can make your event and whether people will want to attend next year.

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