Wanted: Sponsors

Sometimes, finding Sponsors for your event can be the most complicated activity your steering committee can perform. In this age of technology, Sponsors might be looking for something more than a mere mention in the event program or their logo on the website. Simply put, events need to start thinking outside the box and incorporate Social Media into their Sponsorship offerings and strategy. In this post, I’ll give you some ideas to help make your offerings sexier and give you a few Social Media Sponsor Level ideas.

REVAMP YOUR OFFERINGS

General Sponsorship Changes:

  • Rename your levels. Creative names that go along with your theme (such as animals, colors, area attractions, etc.) can help give a creative lift to your Sponsor listings.
  • Ask your Sponsors what THEY want. Especially when you’re turned down, find out WHY they’re turning you down – did you ask at the wrong time of year? Are you asking for too much? Are you offering too little recognition? Do they not believe in your mission? By asking the harder questions you can find out how to grab their attention in the future.
  • Don’t “discount” your in-kind sponsors! Just because they didn’t give you cash does not mean their contribution isn’t as great! Consider how much it would cost if you had to pay for the venue, entertainment, food & drink, website, transportation, auction items, etc. Find out the value of their services or products and place them in the appropriate Sponsor level.
  • Offer more exposure the higher the cost. Offer company descriptions and logos to the highest levels, links to mid-levels and just names to lower levels. Level offerings can also be spread across Facebook, Twitter, email and website mentions.

Website & Email Changes:

  • List Sponsors on your website. And not just the high-levels! All Sponsors should be listed, from your Presenting all the way down to the smallest in-kind/auction donor. Consider having an area on your homepage where the higher-level Sponsors scroll or rotate to bring a fresh, moving piece to your site.
  • Send a Call for Sponsors email to your full email list. Don’t limit your asks to past Sponsors.You never know which of your past attendees works for a new company (or started one of their own) and could be a new Sponsor.
  • Consider a “Thank you” email just to list your sponsors. Send an email to all your current and past attendees asking them to give year-round patronage to your Sponsors; include their logos & links to websites if possible.
  • Offer “Official Sponsor of…” images. Not all companies will use them, but send your Sponsor contact an image to use on their website, emails, and social media pages to show their support of your event. If they’ve sponsored for multiple years, add that to the logo, such as “10 Year Sponsor of [Event]!”

Social Media Changes:

  • Mention your Sponsors in individual Tweets and Facebook updates. You can lump together lower levels, but your top two or three levels should be individually recognized in separate updates with links.
  • Create a Facebook page to list Sponsors. Using certain Facebook apps, you can easily create a page to list your Sponsors just as they are on your website.
  • Like and Follow your Sponsors. From your event accounts and your organization accounts, like your Sponsors Facebook pages and Follow their accounts. And, reciprocation at its finest, Ask your Sponsors to Like & Follow the Event.
  • Create a Twitter list of your Sponsors. You might need to revisit this each year, but a list of your Sponsors is a quick way to share them with your event’s followers.
  • Offer Facebook Cover images to Sponsors (and attendees!) With this new timeline addition in Facebook, offer images your Sponsors and other followers can add to their own Facebook pages.
  • Create a Facebook Cover Collage. Using your higher level Sponsors’ logos (with permission) create a collage with a simple “THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS” across, above or below the logos and use as your event’s Facebook Timeline Cover image for a week or month. You can’t link them, but you can give them extra recognition.

SOCIAL MEDIA SPONSOR LEVELS

Consider offering Sponsor Levels revolving directly around social media. With a plethora of options, you can offer Sponsorships for companies that help you with viral activity and monetary donations alike. For example:

  • Tweet Sponsor: a company that will donate $ per tweet or retweet of a certain message or #hashtag (typically $1 or 2 per unique update)
  • Like Sponsor: a company that will donate $ per like of your page or their page (typically $1 or 2 per)
  • Contest Sponsor: a company that will offer a prize for entries of some sort. The prize could be tickets to your event for pictures of them using the company’s product or a product for pictures of them at a past event.
  • Sponsored Tweeter: a high-traffic tweeter or celebrity who uses Twitter to your benefit. Although there won’t necessarily be money or a donation involved, just one message from one of these high-level tweeters could increase awareness about your event and gain momentum for ticket sales. Consider local sports figures, radio personalities, or celebrity from the area for this type of sponsorship.
  • Mobile Sponsor: based on a typical Sponsor level package, but provides special recognition on your mobile site homepage or in the frame footer for this Sponsor. Can also offer an Email Sponsor with the same basic idea (their logo included in every email you send for a year). These two Sponsor Levels can off-set any cost of adding a Mobile site or Email the first year.
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2 comments on “Wanted: Sponsors

  1. Pingback: Top 12 Posts « Extra-Special Events

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