Tips for NY Event Planners to Attract Event Sponsors

April 16, 2018 Susan Serena

NY Event Planners should know that administrations spend approximately $6.8 billion each year to sponsor major events which include major events like the Olympic Games, Indianapolis 500 and Kentucky Derby. Companies also sponsor smaller events, starting from live shows and conventions to luncheons and fundraisers. Sponsors normally pay a premium, however sponsorships also may come as a trade for items or services, advertising or publicity. Finding a sponsor for your upcoming event makes perfect business sense, for both you and the sponsor.

Why Companies Sponsor Events

So, why do companies decide to sponsor events? Well, it:

  1. Boosts the reputation and brand image of the sponsor through association.
  2. Gives product brands high visibility among key audiences.
  3. Provides a focal point for marketing efforts and sales campaigns.
  4. Generates publicity and media coverage.

How NY Event Planners Should Create Their Sponsorship Plan

Before you create your sponsorship plan, you must understand the advantages companies will gain through sponsorship, recognize the target audience the event will reach and what brands typically target the precise marketplace. Now, you can create a sponsorship plan with the types of sponsors these areas will benefit. Here are two questions to keep at the forefront:

  • What value will the sponsorship offer potential sponsors?
  • What makes your event sponsorship a better match for the brand than other proposals they’ll receive throughout the year?

The sponsorship plan should also highlight the advantages provided in return for sponsorship. Sponsor benefits can include:

  • Ads in programs or show materials (ranging from small black and white ads to full-page color ads)
  • Tickets to your event (e.g., two tickets, a full table or a dozen tickets)
  • Booth space at a expo (ranging from a single 10×10 standard booth to a large island booth)
  • A foursome for a golf tournament
  • The company’s name mentioned in news releases
  • Featured company logo on event Web site/Web page, etc.

The size of the benefit should reflect the sponsorship level. For example, a sponsor that gives $50,000 should receive considerably more benefits from NY Event Planners than a company that gives $5,000.

Sponsorship plans also need to show the value of benefits being given. For example, if tickets to a formal gala cost $150, a table of 10 tickets would have a value of $1,500. If the company gets 10 tickets for a $10,000 sponsorship, they will feel as if they’re getting $1,500 back in goodwill services. But don’t give away the farm. There’s no need to try and “balance out” a sponsorship with giveaways that equal their sponsorship payment. Make sure you value the benefits your event offers and price them, and sponsorships, accordingly. For example, if this is the fifth year of an industry conference, use the history of attendance you have to base advertising, ticket, booth and sponsorship costs on for the upcoming conference.

How many sponsors do you need?

What is the total cost of your event? NY Event Planners will use that to determine the number of sponsorship dollars needed to make the event profitable. Typically, different sponsorship plans have different names, such as platinum, gold, silver and bronze. If it is possible to relate sponsorship levels to your industry, be creative. For example, sponsorship plans related to a theater/movie event may be named: Director’s Circle, Producer, Playwright, Actor and Designer.

You also can have separate sponsors for separate activities during an event. For example, think of all the components you have during one conference and break them into areas companies can sponsor. Here are some potential sponsorship areas:

  • Registration
  • Web café
  • Opening and closing receptions
  • Casino night
  • Coffee break
  • Shuttle buses
  • Meal functions

As long as the sponsor benefits match the dollar value, all sponsors are recognized, and communication is clear, you can create as many types of sponsorship levels as you need. NY Event Planners can create different price points for sponsorship, so a wide range of companies may be able to sponsor your event. Not every company will be able to afford to be the platinum sponsor, but several may be able to sponsor a table at a dinner or afford your coffee break.

To go exclusive or not

When creating sponsorship plans, also consider creating levels of sponsorships that have some exclusivity, either completely or by industry. Why is that a good idea?

NY Event Planners can avoid potential sponsor conflicts and charge a premium by giving only one industry-specific company sponsorship of an event or making different levels of sponsorship exclusive. How far you restrict sponsorship will depend on the event’s needs. It may make things easier for you if you offer multiple-year sponsorship plans to major sponsors — assuming the sponsor is not too high-maintenance and the size of the sponsor plan is enough to make sense financially.

So, now you have a rough draft of your sponsorship plan.

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