Event planning is no easy feat. In addition to a dedicated team of experts and ample funding, it requires skill, preparation, and strategic planning. The best events bring together thought leaders who can provide attendees with unique value. For both large and small-scale events, event sponsorships are a viable way of gaining both funding and value.
In the world of event planning, event sponsorship packages can make the difference between the thrill of success and the agony of failure. While getting sponsors for your event isn’t always easy, the real challenge is structuring your sponsorship package so that it offers real value to your sponsors. If you provide more value to sponsors, they will be more likely to sponsor your event year after year.
In this round-up, let’s dive in a little deeper to uncover what exactly event sponsorships are and what are the different types of event sponsorships that add value to an event.
What are Event Sponsorships?
An event sponsor is a company that provides financial support for an event in exchange for something of value. The value is usually found in marketing opportunities that increase their brand’s exposure. Sponsors are typically companies, brands, nonprofits, or individuals well-versed in one of the event’s themes. In most cases, a company will be interested in partnering with you if they believe your event will provide them with a real opportunity to move their own organization forward.
Why are Event Sponsorships Valuable to Event Planners?
Event planners know what sponsors gain from event sponsorships, but why do they spend time and energy creating attractive sponsorship packages and then contact companies they think will align with their events? For three main reasons:
Creating a memorable event can be expensive! The goal of event planners is to attract large numbers of people by keeping ticket sales affordable. However, often ticket revenue won’t be enough to break even for your event. Getting sponsors for your event is one of the most effective ways of making it financially viable.
Sponsors Lend Credibility
Assume you are able to attend two events. Both events were put on by the same company, featured the same speakers, and focused on the same topic. However, one event was sponsored by Microsoft. Which event would you consider more credible?
Despite the challenge of partnering with a top brand such as Microsoft, securing recognized and respected brands in your industry will give your event instant credibility.
Often, partnering with sponsors results in bonus perks. Depending on whether a local restaurant has agreed to sponsor the event, they may not only provide the food but also allow you to host the event in their space, thereby reducing your event costs significantly.
Additionally, sponsors often provide increased exposure to your event. You can expect your sponsor partner to announce a local event on social media after they sponsor it. Anyone can sign up following their announcement. The benefit of free marketing cannot be overstated!
What are the types of Event Sponsorship Packages?
Organizers often offer a variety of event sponsorship packages depending on factors such as venue size and type, event type (for example, an exhibition versus a networking lunch), on-the-day agenda, and break frequency. Most event organizers are very flexible when it comes to putting together a package that suits your needs and goals, but here are a few examples to help you get started:
01. Financial Sponsors
Sponsors who provide direct financial support to an event are referred to as financial or cash sponsors. This type of event sponsorship agreement involves a company or individual offering money in exchange for promotional or other benefits.
In the case of large-scale events, you can offer individual sponsorship packages to those who agree to contribute.
For an event to reach its full potential, defining the sponsorship level is the first step. Establish realistic but ambitious goals. Following this, you can determine which businesses and organizations to tap and what levels of sponsorship to offer.
02. In-kind sponsors
In-kind sponsors provide goods and services to an event rather than investing money.
- Venue Partner
For an event to be successful, choosing the right venue partner is crucial. In a survey report by Ungerboeck, 82% of event attendees said the location plays a significant role in their decision to attend an event. In addition to planning, you also need to make sure the venue matches your organization’s brand and caters to the right audience.
- Prize Sponsors
Prize sponsors often distribute items branded with their logos to participants for the event. These are a great way to boost brand visibility during an event. Prizes can be awarded based on attendees’ level of participation. Be sure to customize them to fit your company’s needs.
- Food Sponsors
An event isn’t complete without food. It is true that delicious meals can enhance the experience of attendees. Offering free food is yet another way to motivate attendees.
Catering is more expensive due to higher manpower. Therefore, it’s crucial to find a food sponsor for your next big event. This can facilitate mingling between participants and increase event networking.
- Digital Sponsors
During tech-related events, you will usually find digital sponsors. The company offers an app for the event, poll questions, media walls, or live tweets. With the recent change in technology, digital sponsors are becoming more popular in the event planning industry.
People enjoy fast response time and personalization. It is a growing trend to build digital event spaces in the world’s most tech-driven cities, which can benefit venues.
Don’t forget that in-kind sponsorships aren’t limited to these four examples. The right ones that bring value to both the sponsor and the organization can be found in a variety of ways.
03. Media Sponsors
Media sponsors secure advertising for an event. Event organizers benefit by expanding the media coverage of the event and saving money on marketing, while media sponsors get an extra promotion, improve brand recognition and create an association with the event.
Often when media companies sponsor an event, they publish articles about the event and share them on social media. They may also post any other type of content according to the agreement.
04. Promotional Sponsors
Media sponsors are very similar to promotional partners, so what is the difference between them? In the majority of cases, promotional sponsors are individuals, whereas media sponsors are companies and organizations. In most cases, these individuals are well-known social media influencers with a devoted online audience who follow them and trust their opinion.
The popularity of promotional sponsorship is rising steadily today and may soon surpass that of media sponsorship. There are several reasons for that. The first reason is that people prefer social media over TV and radio. Secondly, the event promotion made by influencers looks more personal, so followers are more likely to believe it. Overall, personal promotions are more likely to deliver better results and attract a broader audience.
05. Merchandise Sponsors
It’s no secret that everyone likes merchandise, especially when it’s useful or unexpected. Providing branded merchandise in the form of tools that attendees may need at the event, like lanyards, pens, or water bottles, is a classic sponsorship opportunity. With virtual events, attendees can receive merch delivered directly to their door, giving sponsors the chance to reach their customers in their own homes.
Here are 6 examples of sponsorship packages executed right in the virtual and hybrid world
You may be wondering where to start if you intend to create event sponsorship packages. Here are a few examples of digital and hybrid technology used in large, successful conventions. As a matter of fact, these examples are so great they don’t have to reach out to brands directly; sponsors come to them.
INBOUND is a digital marketing event hosted online. Their sponsorship page is simple, but enticing, promising visibility, conversion, and impact for over 70,000 attendees. That’s true value for many companies, both large and small. They use this tactic because they are already a well-known event and can be a bit elusive with their sponsor inquiries.
GitHub’s sponsorship page is another good example of thoughtful sponsorship packages. On their web page, they include demographic data of attendees, as well as logos of larger companies that they would like to have as sponsors. Using this method can be extremely effective in targeting those who are interested in sponsoring.
FinCon is a hybrid event for money nerds from all walks of life. In their sponsor and partner section, they don’t display packages, but rather review the unique areas of expertise that sponsors can provide. Featuring a short explanation video, the application page is full of useful information, excitement for this niche, and collaborative benefits for sponsors.
Gartner Marketing Symposium
The Gartner Marketing Symposium was held virtually in 2021. Their sponsor and exhibitor pages include statistics about their company, a list of past successful events, and the benefits that sponsors will receive.
Reuters’ MOMENTUM technology event brings together tech leaders to discuss how digital tools can improve the future of humanity. The sponsorship package landing page contains many notable sponsors from past and present events, and it is well-designed and reputable. Additionally, they achieved their main event objectives right away by implementing some of the key points mentioned in the advice above.
Event planners must look beyond logo placement and gold, silver, and bronze sponsorship levels to compete for sponsorship deals from companies in the increasingly competitive event sponsorship market. Organizers are most likely to build long-term relationships with their sponsors today if they are able to think creatively, demonstrate ROI, as well as pay close attention to the wants and needs of their sponsors. For more help on finding, pitching and keeping the event and conference sponsors, connect with our experts today to know more.