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How to Turn an Event into Money – Part 3

Tips & Tools for Venue Owners and Event Organizers.

Later Birds: Start reaching out to folks in your immediate networks who could be sponsors, and let them know about the event. You are not selling them the package at this point rather educating them on the event.

Sample Example Email:

Hey <name>,

I hope you are doing awesome. It’s great seeing how much <name of company> has grown over the years and I’m so glad you are a part of our community. As you may know the fourth Start Norfolk is just around the corner, April 18-19.

Start Norfolk has grown fast, 400% growth fast. We’ve seen over 160 ideas pitched, over 700 attend and a real push for startups in our region. Recently, Entrepreneur Magazine named Norfolk to its top new tech cities and Virginia Beach as a top spot to do business. We need to have a constant pipeline of startups in our region to continue to grow and be competitive nationwide.

Start Norfolk fills that void and allows our area to meet or exceed what other markets are doing across the US and Asia.

Attached, you will find a sponsorship package for Start Norfolk. Please take a look and let me know if one interests you. If the attached isn’t of interest, we can also do a smaller scale of $500-$1000 bucks which will give you company a sponsorship presence online and mentioned throughout the event.

Would love to chat more if you have any questions. Please call my cell anytime.

Take Care!

Sales is something that takes time and all too often the sale is lost because those 
interested are not ready to buy, yet feel pushed to buy now. Instead, break it down into a few stages, this can be through a few emails, phones calls or in person meetings.

If time is critical, you can release all at once but be sure to heavily educate and show value before you push the sell. You must show the value your sponsor is getting or else they will not hand over the check.

Educate people on the basics. This is one of the first times, people will be hearing about the event. You must create hype. Say who will be there, why they are important and any key takeaways. What others there are doing.

Show what their competitors are doing, how they’ve grown and the ROI that your event can help them with. Show that it is not just about leads, but can also be about new employees, community leadership and becoming an educational resource.

Educate the with real samples, previous events, why your event is critical for them to be a sponsor Hard Sell, Wrap everything you have shown them into one thorough email with the package attached. This is your best chance to get the sale.

By the time you get to the hard sell, there shouldn’t be any questions remaining. In each message or interaction you have with each potential sponsor, be sure to let them know that if they have any questions to ask you at any time.

The stronger your relationship with the customer the better chance you have to get the sponsorship.

Sponsorships are just like sales and it’s a process, sometimes longer than desired, but following a pattern will maximize your returns.


Finding Attendees

Create an event website, using your own website or a third party (eventbrite, or facebook)

List the important data

Name of Event (Catchy Easy to Grasp Name)

Where: The Location and any additional information for attendees on where to park, etc.

When: Date and time, add a rundown of events if possible

About: Why should people attend your event?

For those not interested in signing up at that point, collect an email address and follow up at a later time. (some third party sites won’t allow you to do this)

Reaching Out to Your Network

At this point, you have targeted your event topic and have created your marketing.

Now, you will need to tell people about your event. Before you go and tell the whole world, think about 10 people you know that would be interested in attending.

Email them and invite them to the event. If you event has a charge, offer them a discount or free ticket.

Sample Email:

“Hey Charles,

I hope you are doing well. I am kicking off a new event called New Tech Meetup, which brings together the best founders, startups and investors in our area and features 2 local companies each month. It’s free and I’d love to have you attend. If you can come, please RSVP here (use link). Feel free to invite those in your network that are looking to learn about local companies.

If you have any questions, feel free to call me or email me.


Your objective is to get people talking about your event before you announce.

Announcing Your Event

The time has come to announce your event. Up to 80% of organizing an event happens before you announce to the group.

Your goal here is to get people talking and ultimately signing up to attend. The best days to announce events are Tuesday at 10am.

Simple Social Media

If you believe you event will be long term, create a facebook and twitter page for both. You will also want to create a universal hashtag for your event.

Example. If your event is called Norfolk Tech Meetup, create a hashtag #NFKTech, which is an abbreviation of Norfolk and using tech.

If you are organizing a one time event, like Ignite (City) Produce a hashtag,


Event Logistics

Prep the Venue

Be prepared at your venue at least one hour before the event is supposed to start.

Often people will show up early to talk with organizers.

Test out your audio/visual.

Tweet Out Your Event Hashtag

Make it easy for people to know the # for the event and encourage attendees to tweet often during meetup.

Watch the Clock

If you say your event will be one hour, stick to it. There is nothing worse than an event that runs over. Keep quality control up and if something happens and continues to run on, stop it.

Thank Attendees

When the event is complete, thank attendees and invite them to your next event or some sort of Call To Action on upcoming events. If you did not collect an email during signup, have a sign in sheet at the door and collect email, name, etc.

After Event Sponsors

When you event is over, be sure to follow up with you sponsors. You can do this by simply emailing them about how the event went along with some of the basic statistics, attendees, tweets, etc. If your attendees tweeted or mentioned specifically about your sponsor be sure to send them that information to. The data you can quantify for them, the more likely they will see an ROI and sponsor in the future.

We hope you got some useful information for your next event and turn it into money.