As event planners we are often responsible to create and solicit sponsorship packages as part of an event. Clients will often use the same package from year to year with few changes. Our article What to Include in Your Event Sponsorship Package, explains how to create a sponsorship package and all the basic information that you need to include. But perhaps it is time for a change! No more gold, silver and bronze packages. No more logos on the website. No more looping PowerPoints. It’s time for some fresh ideas! Below are some ways to freshen up your sponsorship package that will pique the interest of your sponsors and help you to gain new ones.
1. Partners not Sponsors. Making the shift from referring to sponsors as partners is a powerful change. A partner can be defined as, “a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, especially in a business or company with shared risks and profits” where as a sponsor is, “a person or organization that provides funds for a project or activity carried out by another, in particular”. A partner is a true collaborator and shares risks and profits, where a sponsor just provides funds. Think about changing the language you use. Potential sponsors partners will appreciate being seen as more than just contributor of funds, but as true collaborators of the event.
2. Always keep your potential partners in mind. Put yourself in their shoes. If you were sponsoring an event what would be most important to you? Typically reasons why someone decides to sponsor your event are: exposure for their brand, to create new relationships and gain new contacts, and general support for your event. When creating your sponsorship package and your offerings ask yourself if your offerings fit into those categories.
3. No more generic sponsorship levels. We are all tired of the generic gold, silver and bronze sponsorship levels. Why not brand your sponsorship packages to your event. For example, let’s say you have a Gala dinner in support of a sports organization. You could name your packages, Grand Slam, Home Run, Touchdown and Hat Trick. Get creative! Your potential sponsors will appreciate the thought you put into it and it will capture their attention over other sponsorship packages they have received.
4. À la carte. Create more of an à la carte sponsorship package. This way your partners can pick and choose what is important to them. Try separating them into the areas suggested above like exposure for their brand, creating new relationships and contacts, and general support for the event. For example you could put all of your signage under exposure or all events/meals as creating new relationships.
5. Make your sponsors part of the planning. If your partners are sponsoring a dinner, breakfast, lunch or break, why not make them part of the planning process. Perhaps you could help them to create a branded martini or breakfast item that goes along with their brand. They will appreciate being part of the process and this will definitely get them more bang for their buck.
Don’t let your sponsorship package go stale. These are just a few ideas to help to bring new life into your sponsorship opportunities and your event is sure to reap the benefits!