When securing sponsorship for your concert or event, seek out individuals and companies that are a good match for your organization. This improves your chances for closing the deal and ensures the sponsor is getting good exposure for their investment.
Develop Sponsorship Tiers
Come up with sponsorship packages that will appeal to potential sponsors with varying budgets. For example, a “headline” sponsor might make a significant investment and get top billing on promotional materials, a stage banner and a live introduction by the emcee or concert promoter; a patron sponsor might make a small or in-kind contribution and get a business card-sized ad on your event program. The more levels you have, the more potential sponsors you can solicit.
Include complementary tickets to the concert or event as part of upper-level sponsorship packages. Businesses may use these to entertain clients or reward employees.
Craft a Compelling Message
Your appeal to sponsors should describe the concert or event and define its purpose. For example, if you’re hosting a business exposition event, your message might touch on the importance of supporting the local business community by creating affordable networking opportunities; if your concert is a fundraiser for a scholarship, tout the benefits of educating the leaders of tomorrow. Your message also should include details about the benefits of sponsorship -- for example, tax deductibility, exposure to a particular audience or promotion as a good corporate steward.
Don't waste time reaching out to potential sponsors unless they are a good fit
Revisit Past Sponsors
If you’ve hosted a similar concert or event in the past, go back to previous sponsors and invite them to participate again. These individuals and companies already have a vested interest
Initially invite past sponsors to move up a tier and donate more money than before; if you get denied, you can always suggest a lower-level sponsorship to keep them in the game.
Ask for Referral Support
If a potential sponsor denies your request, ask if they can help you out with a referral to another business, organization or individual that might be interested in getting involved. This approach gives you a foot in the door and helps you avoid the challenge of cold-calling.
Ask your contact to reach out to the referred party on your behalf.
Seek Insider Support
Ask members of your organization to reach out to their personal circles to solicit sponsorships. This can be especially effective if the event is tied into the pursuits of the organization. For example, if you’re conducting an event to raise money for a school, involve the PTA and ask them to reach out to parents and school patrons.
Follow Through on Your End
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.