Tips & Tools for Venue Owners and Event Organizers.
Working with Sponsors
Cleanup (paper products, bleach, cleaning person, etc), audio/visual, parking, hotels,advertising, transportation, website needs (learn WordPress and buy a template or allow a local design shop to create it and give them a sponsorship in return), t-shirts, lanyards, flyers, posters, banners, tables and chairs. A lot more than you thought, huh?
The best way I have seen that will offset expenses is sponsors. Without sponsors your
ticket prices will likely be too large and your total expected will shrink.
Finding sponsors is all prep work, think of it as the work a restaurant does every morning before they open. This way when you do announce, not only do you have several sponsors, you also have validation to your attendees through sponsors. I recommend breaking down each of your price points into different categories, small medium and large potential sponsors.
For this exercise, please go after those in the small category and before you announce your event.
Let’s say your event costs $10k to put on and you are looking to raise all of that in sponsors, so you can have a smaller ticket price for you attendees.
When looking for sponsors, find the easiest way to achieve that number and go after it.
Example: How much work would it take you to find one person who will give you $10k or would it be easier to find 10 companies at $1k each or maybe a mixture or sponsorships prices.
Whatever it is, go after the easiest and most likely to sponsor first.
Don’t sell yourself short either, you don’t want to undersell a large sponsor. Meaning, if you think there is a chance a large sponsorship is available, do not offer them the simple early bird package.
By gaining a large amount of sponsors at a lower rate, you are validating your event to companies who will give you a larger amount of funds later. I’ve had several companies ask who else is sponsoring and depending on who I say, they will or will not sponsor.
Some are looking at competitors and will sponsor along with them, while others will stay clear.
Are you putting on a business or tech related event. Look for other tech companies in your area or those who may be selling a product or service that your attendees may use. A local hosting company, WordPress plugin, are a great place to start.
What about a fitness related event. You most likely won’t have the same attendee as a tech related event, so you want to make sure that you look for those companies in the fitness field. Corporate giants like Fitness First and California Now are tough to obtain, so go after the local Chamber of Commerce, local fitness stores or bloggers who may live in your town.
You are selling early access and exposure. Because they will be a part of the original announcement of your event, these sponsors will receive the most exposure. The value in the early bird price is huge. Ask your friends who will likely attend your event to introduce you to their marketing team and their company and pitch the early bird sponsor rate. The goal for this exercise is to add value to your event by adding several companies to your sponsorship package.
This shows that other companies value your event and are willing to give money to support it. So, what do you sell to them? A ticket to the event, a logo on your website and an opportunity to get in front of X number of potential customers and clients.!