Person securing event sponsorship

How to Get Sponsors For an Event? — A Comprehensive Guide to Event Sponsorship

Virgil Wadhwa
• March 3, 2022

2400 words

(10 min read)

Securing sponsorship is good for your event’s ROI. It can help you deliver better attendee experiences and cater to a larger audience. But how do you get sponsorship for your events? Let’s explore…

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Events are a great way to boost reach, get a business noticed, or establish thought leadership. Thus, there are surprisingly many companies looking to sponsor events. However, finding event sponsorship can get tricky at times. You need to know how to write emails asking for sponsorship, and what value to offer to sponsors?

This fail-proof guide teaches you how to get sponsors for an event, answers frequently asked questions related to event sponsorship, and presents some helpful event sponsorship templates. 

So you might want to stay tuned till the end. 

First things first – What is in-person or virtual event sponsorship?

In simple terms, event sponsors are the ones that pay for a space in your in-person or virtual event with the hopes of capitalizing on the footfall of the event. This way, event sponsors can multifold their reach and acquire relevant leads for their business. 

No matter the type of events that you host, be it in-person, hybrid, or virtual events, your sponsors need some value in return.   

Finding event sponsorship is good for your event ROI. Moreover, roping in event sponsorship helps you elevate the overall event experience for the attendees and cater to a larger audience. Thus, a win-win for everyone. 

However, virtual event sponsors like to gauge how much ROI they can get by investing in an event. You can rope in better sponsors if you can offer great value in return. 

Wondering how to get event sponsorship? Well, just keep in mind that event sponsors like to have some value in return. So be prepared with questions while pitching your event to sponsors. 

Further in the blog, we will explore the different types of event sponsorships and ways to ask for event sponsorship. 

Then, we will discuss the fail-proof event sponsorship proposals.   

What are the kinds of event sponsorships?

1. Financial Event Sponsorship

Here, a sponsor offers money to the event organizer in exchange for some space in the event to set up booths, advertise their brand’s logo, deliver their brand’s message, or host product demos.

You may need to offer some other perks as per the sponsorship agreement. 

With this kind of sponsorship, you can raise capital to host large-scale events, onboard a quality team, market your event, and even offer a superior experience to the event attendees. You should look for financial event sponsors when your event budget is low.  

2. In-Kind Sponsorship

Here, the sponsors may offer some services or goods instead of monetary incentives. 

In-kind sponsorship allows you to reduce your event’s budget as sponsors take responsibility to offer services or goods to your guests.

3. Venue / virtual event sponsorship

An incredible venue or a virtual event platform drives higher attendance. Almost 72% of the attendees consider the venue or the virtual event platform as a leading factor influencing their decision to attend the event. 

Thus, a hard-to-reach location or an off-putting venue might lead to decreased attendance and even affect the overall engagement and ROI of the event. 

Some virtual event platforms like Airmeet offer superior features like dedicated network spaces, network lounges, Q&A, live chats, polls, stunning visuals, branding capabilities, and more that make your events interesting for the attendees. 

Keeping these factors in mind, you can choose the right venue and virtual event platform for your audience. 

4. Prize sponsors

Distributing prizes, badges, and recognition to the attendees is an age-old technique to incentivize attendees to attend and stay engaged during an event. 

Plan to host a few games or activities to keep audiences engaged. With the features like gamification, you can gamify your virtual events with the platforms like Airmeet. 

You can also invite sponsors to distribute prizes for the winners. 

For example, you may invite an airline to sponsor tickets to an exotic destination as a prize or a product-based company to offer their coveted products. A sponsor might also distribute swag boxes with their logos to increase reach. 

To learn more about gamifying your virtual events, you can refer to this blog to know more about Airmeet’s gamification of virtual events

5. Promotional sponsors

A large chunk of the budget is spent promoting the event via multiple social media channels.  Seeking promotional sponsorships from influencers and media houses might save you time and money.

If you don’t have a budget for marketing and promotions, a promotional partner would be one of your ideal sponsors.  

How to get sponsors for an event? What to offer to event sponsors? 

– Offer them undeniable value, period.

How to get sponsors for an event is a million-dollar question. However, finding sponsors for your event is not rocket science. Let’s find the simple answer to this question. 

Sponsors just need to know the answer to one question before they associate their name and resources with your event, and that is: “What’s in it for me? How much ROI would the event bring? ” 

How do I offer undeniable value to my potential sponsors?” is the question you should be asking at this point. 

Well, there are some great ways to offer your event sponsors an undeniable pitch that helps them see your event bringing them great value. 

Let’s look into these sponsorship tips to unravel how to get event sponsorship. 

1. Offer dedicated booths to get sponsors for an in-person or virtual event

Sponsor booths are a must at virtual events such as trade exhibitions and conferences. This is because they allow potential sponsors to interact with participants one-on-one. 

Dedicated virtual booths offer amazing value to sponsors. Your online event sponsors will be able to have fun interactions with virtual guests and have more face-to-face engagement time. 

2. Offer sponsored tracks and sessions

Tracks and sessions are vital components of any virtual event. Offering your prospective sponsors a piece of the sessions or a separate track would allow you to make compelling proposals.

Overall, it would increase your chances of getting event sponsorships. 

Sponsors would like the opportunity to share their content during the main track or in a dedicated session. Providing the sponsors with the space would offer a more excellent value and boost the mutual ROI of the event. 

3. Offer sponsored entertainment breaks to get virtual event sponsorship

Entertainment breaks to get event sponsorship
Bring sponsors to the limelight with branded entertainment breaks

Breaks are when audiences are relaxed and open to new inputs. Attendees are also willing to explore new things and engage with different set-ups. 

We’re sure that your sponsors would love the attention they will get during breaks. 

Thus, offering sponsors branded entertainment breaks is a great way to add value to your offer to the event sponsors.

You can arrange entertainment during breaks with performances from artists and musicians or even host a fun, informal quiz. Set-ups like this would open up a chance for marketing for your sponsors. 

4. Offer branded waiting rooms to your virtual events sponsors

Branded events to get event sponsorship
Offer customer virtual spaces to your sponsors

Your audience often waits between two sessions, and there is a need for filler content. You can offer sponsored content or branded video ads to fill in the gaps.

The moments just before the next presentation are the sweet spots that could attract maximum eyeballs to the sponsor branded content

People are also very receptive a few moments before the next important presentation. It also offers sponsors a chance to be the first thing people see after a virtual break. 

How to ask for virtual event sponsorship? – Here’s how to pitch your event to potential event sponsors

When you’re pitching your event to sponsors, it all boils down to how efficiently you can prove your worth. 

Your potential event sponsors will be interested in footfall estimates, demographics, and other data from an analytics standpoint. 

Here are some tips for writing proposals asking for event sponsorships. 

1. Prepare a data-heavy proposal to get virtual event sponsorship

Technically, your event is a platform for advertisements and finding prospects. Thus, your event sponsors would be interested in the figures and data

Include estimates of footfall or the number of attendees at your event. Share the registration data and back your claims of providing value with performance reports of your previous in-person or virtual events. 

You could also include event-specific information like click-through and sit-through rates, along with the numbers that you may derive from the intelligent analytics systems from your virtual event platform like Airmeet. 

If you host events on virtual event platforms that offer dedicated interactive virtual booths to the sponsors, you can also present booth analytics from your previous events. 

2. Present demographics insights from your previous virtual events 

Presenting data about your attendees and demographics can also help substantiate your pitch. This data can help evaluate if the audience at your event aligns with their target demographic or not. 

If event sponsors see potential in the demographic of your audience, then they might be more willing to associate themselves with your event. 

With virtual events, it’s easier for event organizers to attract a wide range of audiences from different demographics. This way, you may even be able to achieve your sponsorship goals while bagging sponsorship from several event sponsors that find value in your audience.

More than 80% of the event sponsors are more willing to sponsor a virtual or hybrid event because of the greater reach. 

3. Present attendee testimonials 

What could be a better way to prove your events are loved than your event attendees coming out and vouching for it. If your attendees had that “it was amazing” moment during your previous events, then those testimonials would work wonders. 

Watch Mike Alton, head of strategic partnerships at Agorapulse talk about how Airmeet, a virtual event platform, offered a superior experience to Mike’s attendees. 

Mike believes that the unique networking tech that offers networking lounges and dedicated virtual spaces in a virtual event leads to more engagement and attendee satisfaction. 

How to write an email asking for event sponsorship?

Writing a stellar event sponsorship proposal is an essential step. A standard framework for a sponsorship letter has the following: 

1. Introduce yourself, your organization, and your event

Don’t include a long and tedious paragraph about yourself. Instead, offer a concise, crisp, and brief introduction of your organization and yourself. Remember the tip–” Less is more” here.  

2. The reason to approach them

If they followed through with your introduction, then now is the time to explain why you are reaching out to them. 

Don’t start by presenting the amount of money you will need. Instead, you can explain why you chose to approach them in particular. 

This letter would be a great place to include any mutual contacts or references. 

In a nutshell, let them know that you have done your research and care about what they get in return from your event as well. 

3. Include data about your previous events to make a strong ask

Now that you have explained why you care for your event sponsors. Present some data from your previous events to build trust. Share essential information like headcount, sit-through and engagement rates, audience demographics, and more. 

You can also share sponsor booth analytics from previous in-person events, virtual events, or hybrid events to build credibility. Paint a picture about what their return would look like in a future event you organize. Give them an estimate or a ballpark figure. 

4. Mention the kind and scope of sponsorship you need

Briefly explain what kind of investment you are looking for from the event sponsor. Are you approaching them for financial sponsorship for your event or in-kind sponsorship? 

Specifically, mention the sponsorship scope and what you are seeking to cover for you.

5. Mention a follow-up

Lastly, mention that you intend to follow up. This increases the chances of you getting a reply. 

Sample letters for event sponsorship (Works for in-person & virtual)

# Event Sponsorship Letter Template – 1 (Works for both virtual events and in-person events)

Hi there [Mention name of your contact or SPOC at the sponsor organization], I hope you’re having a good day. 

I was just in contact with XYZ concerning an upcoming event that I am organizing, and they suggested I contact you.

My organization is planning an event and would like to hear your thoughts. 

We are confident that we can attract an audience [provide audience data] and looking for sponsors to take this event to the next level. Our projected footfall is [mention a number and present event analytics from data] based on previous events we hosted. 

If you help us host the event and take it to the next level,  you could tap into these massive returns and opportunities with our event. [list all the perks of the sponsorship opportunity].

We are partnering with Airmeet, a leading virtual event platform for this event. The good news here is that the platform offers features like virtual attendee booths, booth registrations, booth analytics, and more to help you get more reach and ROI and calculate it.  

Do you have time on [date] [time] to discuss this opportunity further? Please let me know.

I would like to follow up with you by next week. Thank you for your time. 

Sincerely,

[your name]

It seems you’ve learned how to get sponsors for an event

This blog discussed the types of event sponsorships and touched on topics like finding event sponsorships and developing a pitch for sponsors. 

The virtual event industry is young, making it interesting and challenging to develop virtual event sponsorship schemes. 

While finding event sponsorships, or writing event sponsorship letters, be open to out-of-the-box ideas, listen to comments from your virtual sponsors, and return to the “virtual drawing board” with an open mind. 

The future of virtual events is thrilling. Virtual events are evolving rapidly, offering a superior experience to event audiences. Moreover, virtual events make event planning easier.

Airmeet is leading innovation in virtual events. Our platform recently secured $35M in funding that we’re using to fervently innovate and bring unique experiences to event organizers across the globe. Book a demo now.

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