Sponsorship provides essential funds and support for event organizers, and gives sponsors the opportunity to engage in a positive way with their target audience. A sponsorship proposal must persuade the recipient that association with the event will provide important brand and social responsibility benefits. It must describe the sponsorship opportunities and set out cost and timing details.
Set Sponsorship Objectives
Clear sponsorship objectives should be set before writing the proposal. You may want funds to cover operating costs, sponsorship in the form of essential equipment or supplies, or association with a prestige brand to enhance the status of your event. A good sponsorship deal is one that enhances the experience for sponsors and attendees.
Promote the Opportunity
Sponsors want to know how their brand values align with those of your event and why your event provides a unique opportunity to reach their target market. Describe the size, composition and interests of your event audience. It's also important to show how the culture of the event fits the potential sponsor’s marketing goals. A fitness exhibition, for example, would open commercial opportunities for sports or healthcare companies. A seminar on taxation would attract accountancy firms or financial advisers as sponsors. A high-profile event that attracts media coverage offers added value for potential sponsors.
Describe the Scope of Sponsorship
Let sponsors know what form the sponsorship will take and what they will get for their contribution. You may offer exclusive sponsorship if you can attract a major player, or you may offer tiered packages that enable a number of smaller sponsors to contribute at different levels and receive different benefits. Listing the packages available shows sponsors how they can engage with the event audience. At a sports event, for example, sponsors might display their logos in high-traffic areas, donate prizes or provide branded sportswear for participants. A conference organizer might offer sponsors the opportunity to present a keynote speech or host a meeting area for delegates. Where possible, customize solutions to meet sponsors’ needs and targets rather than offering standard packages.
Involve Sponsors with Event Technology
Event technology offers sponsors the opportunity to benefit from closer involvement with the audience. By sponsoring advertisements or information on an event app, for example, sponsors can obtain data on the number of visitors using the app. Sponsoring interactive games attracts the interest of participants and gives sponsors additional exposure. Sponsors can also support the event and improve facilities for delegates by covering the costs of broadband or WiFi access.
Set Out Your Media Plan
A detailed media plan in your proposal tells sponsors how you plan to promote the event. Extensive media coverage provides sponsors with additional exposure and demonstrates that you are working to promote their business. Where possible, offer sponsors the opportunity to include information in your promotional material. In your social media plan, give sponsors the opportunity to participate in event forums or post updates about their involvement.
Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.