Acquiring Sponsorship For Conferences and Events Space in Manchester
01 Sep 2017
Sponsorship plays a huge role in events of all types and sizes. As an event planner, you may find that today, most event sponsors generate new sales leads, meet new contacts and raise awareness of their brand, products or services as a result of attending and sponsoring a trade show or conference year over year. Therefore getting initial conversations started and heading in the right direction can determine a successful conference or event in Manchester not only for you, but for your sponsors as well.
With a sponsor at your side, you receive not only the necessary financial support, but also access to the marketing channels of the partner. Through this, you can increase your reach and open up to new target groups. In addition to this, there are many advantages for the sponsor when participating in a relevant event; such as developing relationship with current consumers/service users, and enhancing the image of its brand to win new customer groups.
Searching high and low
In order to find the right sponsor, an extensive search is necessary via online platforms and utilising your professional network/connections. A good starting point is to look into the sponsors of similar events, and in particular the press release - which usually includes the partnered sponsor's logo. This will help you identify companies that are open to sponsorship of specific event types that match their target audience. Another option is to sign up to be part of a sponsorship network used by event organisers and sponsors. Notable platforms include the ESB Marketing Network and Cultural Brands; in which 18,000 potential sponsors are registered.
When seeking the right partnership it is important to be open to all types of sponsors, and do not dismiss those that at first you think are too big (as even if you are not successful you may be pointed in a better direction); or too small (as smaller sponsors often work in partnership and "join forces" with each other).
Point of contact
Once the list of potential sponsors has been drawn up, the next step is to win over the sponsoring partner. A lot of preliminary work is necessary at this stage. First, you should find out who is the right person to contact. In large companies, there is often an event manager who makes the decisions for new sponsorships; whereas in smaller companies it makes sense to turn directly to the managing director or marketing manager.
The best option, rather than just simply sending an e-mail, is to arrange an introductory phone call, in which you briefly present yourself, the company and the planned project; then followed up with a concise proposal.
The Pitch - Explaining The Concept
Decision-makers have little time and often an overflowing inbox; therefore, the proposal e-mail should provide all relevant information and the event's concept at a glance. If possible, list the facts about the event in bullet points and add a document that provides the following information:
• The advantages for the sponsor
• Details and figures about the target group
• The various possibilities of support
It is important to address the company in detail and not write a general advertising text.
After the e-mail has been sent to the potential sponsor the work is not yet done. After a certain time, contact the individual to acknowledge their decision. Offer the opportunity to have a personal conversation, where further details can be discussed. This means you have almost one foot in the door of the company and the opportunity to build a personal relationship with your counterpart.
A common practice is to have a graduation of the possible sponsoring services/opportunities; with a so-called bronze / silver / gold system and various sponsor packages with fixed services and prices. The company has the opportunity to be the main sponsor or just for individual aspects such as drinks and meals, merchandise items or the location can be sponsored.
Be creative in designing your sponsor packages and try to offer ideas that fall beyond the classic frame. Offer not only the representation on logos, flyers or banners, but also social media mentions and in-app advertising.