Everyone in the event industry knows that one of the hardest parts about hosting an event is figuring out how to fund it. Booking a venue, hiring entertainment, and promoting an event are all extremely costly. Thus, you need to have a plan in place to finance something of this magnitude. That is where event sponsorship comes in. Event sponsorships are vital to the event industry. Partnering with recognizable brands that will not only help fund your event but also attract attendees is of the utmost importance.
Ismail Sirdah has been in the hospitality and event industry for most of his life. Currently, he is a businessman and entrepreneur at the helm of Lulu Promotions, otherwise known as the largest promotion company within the Hispanic and Latino market in Georgia. He provides his insight into landing event sponsorships.
Create a Sponsorship Proposal that Stands Out
If you want to land event sponsors, then crafting a thoughtful sponsorship proposal is a must. Ismail Sirdah of Lulu Promotions recommends treating your proposal like you would a great cover letter. All great cover letters are written specifically for the job you are applying for, as should be the case with sponsorship proposals. A good chunk of each proposal you create should be tailored to the sponsor you hope to land. Drafting a sponsorship proposal that is broad and vague is not going to attract anyone. In addition, all sponsorship proposals should include the following information: the story of your company, what makes your event different, how your event demographic is in line with an/or builds upon the prospective sponsor’s demographic, and finally, the funding you need. For this last point, it’s best not to beat around the bush and instead be straightforward in your proposal about how much funding you’re looking for.
Know How to Incentivize Sponsors
Almost no event sponsor is going to agree to a sponsorship deal where they’re providing their brand, money, and possibly even gift bag items, without getting anything in return. That is where incentives come in. Ismail Sirdah, founder and owner of Lulu Promotions in Duluth, Georgia, claims that the best way to incentivize sponsors is to offer them marketing in exchange for their sponsorship. Marketing materials are key to attracting customers to any business. Make marketing a key part of your sponsorship negotiations. For example, in exchange for being an event sponsor, you can offer to put their name or logo on all professional banners and flyers, mention the event sponsor in all blogs, social media posts, or e-mail blasts about the event, or even give the sponsor a free both at a future trade show or exhibition. There are lots of different types of incentives you can offer, but marketing perks are generally the best way to go as they will look enticing to the event sponsor, but won’t cost you too much to follow through on.
Be Prepared to Partner Up
If you’re a small brand, then you’re likely going to have more trouble landing event sponsors, especially if you’re looking to get a few more established businesses on board. When Ismail Sirdah first founded Lulu Promotions in Georgia, he scoured all of Dekalb County looking for event sponsors and it wasn’t always easy. However, along the way he learned that one trick to land yourself a major event sponsor is to team up with another company in the industry. One small company on its own likely will not be attractive to a major brand, but partnering with a medium-sized company in your industry can totally change this. More established brands ultimately instill more confidence. So, if you can get a well-known brand on board to host the event with you, you will be much better off during your hunt for event sponsors. Ismail Sirdah recommends looking for companies that are within your industry but that aren’t your direct competitors. For example, if you’re a health foods brand, look for a popular yoga, athletic wear, or exercise equipment brand to partner with. Ideally, you want to partner with a company that shares your overall vision but that can bring something new to the table.