Writing an event sponsorship proposal is hard, yes. However, it’s also very rewarding – literally (because it gets you money) and figuratively (because it’s an academic exercise turned love letter to your event.)
But to get down to brass tax, sponsorship is crucial to the event industry at both ends of the spectrum, from week-long international conferences to local community centre fundraising afternoons. Big and small, all event planning is futile without it.
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to do this. We can do it for you. Getting event sponsors is part of our services here at Spacehuntr.
But if you’re up for the challenge yourself, we respect that, and we’d like to help all the same! So get reading and good luck!
1. The Event Sponsorship Proposal Template
Here is a template of what an event sponsorship proposal could and should look like. Remember, you can chop and change it as you please. And if it doesn’t seem clear just yet, read our advice below, and it will all become crystal clear!
- Sum it up: Briefly explain who you are and what the event is.
- Say it in numbers: Use numbers to explain why your event is worth an event sponsors time.
- Make the offer: Explain clearly what you can offer would-be event sponsors.
- Say it in words: Sign off with a flurry. Tell them why this is an opportunity that can’t be missed.
2. Tips For Writing a Sponsorship Letter
Event Sponsorship Proposal via Venngage
- Know Your Event Targets and Goals
Before you start going around asking people for money, it’s crucial in your role as an event planner to know your event targets and goals.
As well as being good standard event planning practice, it’s a fundamental aspect of writing a sponsorship letter, without which, you are lost.
Writing an event sponsorship proposal when you don’t know what the event is about will be aimless and unconvincing. What’s more, when making the proposal in complex numbers and dollars, you need to know how much you’ll need – and, therefore, what you’re asking for.
- Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is crucial in executing a quality event sponsorship proposal. Knowing this does two primary things. Firstly, it gives you a clearer idea of which sponsors to target. And secondly, it demonstrates to them that your event is worth their sponsorship. As a bonus, it also shows your thoroughness and aptitude for business.
Knowing your audience can be a complex and academic process. But it can also start with simple questions such as:
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What is their occupation?
- What do they like?
This is such a crucial element of any sponsorship letter as it says one thing loud and clear to prospective event sponsors: we will have the people you want to reach at our event, and we’d like to offer you exposure to them. And that, friends, is a big hook.
If you’re at all daunted by this task, don’t be. We’ve made it simple with our handy article on 10 ways to understand your target audience.
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- Make a Dream List of Event Sponsors
So now here’s a fun part. Making a dream list of event sponsors. By now, you already know how much money you need to raise. Now you need to start thinking about culture fit, about matchmaking, so to speak.
For instance, you wouldn’t have L’Oréal Paris sponsor a Dirtbike exhibition. You need a brand that complements what you’re trying to achieve, an event sponsor that gives you credibility to your audience.
There are several reasons why making up a dream list of event sponsors is helpful for your sponsorship letter. Primarily, suppose you’re enthusiastic about the prospective sponsor. In that case, it not only motivates you to write it well, but the enthusiasm will express itself on the page and endear yourself to the recipient.
And more widely peaking, the right sponsor could actually increase your volume of registrations and attendees. If the event sponsor is a prized name in your field, it could build the prestige of your event. Others could even see it as a good networking opportunity.
For an example of how you can tailor event sponsor targets to a specific event theme, jump to the sponsorship section in our guide on how to host a blockchain conference.
- Don’t Take The Easy Money
This is not so much a piece of advice on your event sponsorship proposal but a supplement to our last point. And it’s this, don’t take just anyone’s money. As much as you don’t want to turn down money for your event planning, sometimes it’s just not a match.
Your sponsor reflects directly on your event and your brand. So if you are associated with a brand that has a bad reputation in your field or for unfavourable business practices, you could allanite potential attendees or even damage the image of your brand long term.
Conversely, getting a respected partner on board can do wonders for your brand and could even be a pull factor in raising your attendee numbers. The underlying point here is that an event sponsor isn’t just a means of covering costs and boosting your ROI. They are an integral part of the event and the catering or the venue, so treat them with the same respect.
To learn more about finding the right sponsor, we might be able to help you here: read this guide on how to get good sponsors here.
- Illustrate the Benefits of Sponsor Partnership
Now we’re getting into the meat of your argument. And even though this could be the section that brings you the yes – or sadly the no – we’d like to stress that this section is where you want to keep it short and sweet.
The number of attendees: This is straightforward – the more people attending means more people for an event sponsor to be exposed to. Make your numbers work for you.
What kind of attendees: It’s one thing to make your numbers work for you, but you can also exercise your attendees’ knowledge. Are they investors, students, entrepreneurs? Use their profiles to show that they’re who your investors would like to engage with.
Your track record: If you’ve run successful events before, now’s your time to say so. This will build trust with prospective event sponsors. For example, if you can say in previous events you had a turnover of (x) dollars or (x) number of attendees, you’re stating your credibility with greater conviction.
Even better, if you can offer case studies with testimonies from previous sponsors who endorse your event planning and their satisfaction as an event sponsor, you’ll really start to build a strong case for yourself.
Who else has done it? Yes, you can actually lean on other people’s work to validate your own strength. Say your field is in cryptocurrency or blockchain. You can use data to illustrate the popularity and success of blockchain events. If your event is in a particular city, show how it’s a leading location for these types of events.
- Offer a Diverse Range of Sponsorship Packages
Here’s where you can show depth in your event planning: offer a diverse range of sponsorship packages. It’s not all about landing that big marque event sponsor.
Offering tiered sponsorship opportunities will allow many other event sponsors with smaller budgets to participate in your event. Just remember the old British phrase, if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves.
For example, at the top tier, a company could pay to have their company present the event. On the lower end, you could have specific talks or micro-experiences branded. But slow down just a second. We have some ideas of what these tiers can be comprised of just a few paragraphs down the road.
To learn more about growing event sponsorship opportunities, just take a peek at this expert article.
- Show Off Part 1: Why Is Your Event Great?
Now it’s time to do some storytelling. You’ve already impressed would-be event sponsors with your numbers. Now it’s time to win their hearts.
Tell them what your event is, why it’s essential, and why it can’t be missed. Why would someone else’s brand benefit from being part of this event?
Here is the time to tell you that your proposal doesn’t have to be exclusively in writing. Images and videos of past events will go a long way.
And what about your venue? Is the location worth showing off? In our world, it absolutely should be. A showpiece location is part of your sale. And don’t forget, we can help you find the perfect one. Just tell one of our experts what you’re looking for, and they’ll come back to you with a curated list of gems for you to choose from.
- Show Off Part 2: What Are Your Unique Selling Points?
All event planners need to learn that event sponsors have come to demand more sophistication in their branding opportunities, and so should they. The days were a simple logo stuck on a poster won’t cut it. The modern event sponsor wants to be a part of your event, not just its benefactor.
To really catch the worm, you need to offer explicit, engaging activities that they can be associated with. Any time you can guarantee, exposure through meaningful hands-on engagement will get event sponsors, and that’s a fact. Check out some of these fantastic ideas for your next event sponsorship proposal:
Gamification: Gamification has become a massive part of the event industry, and that makes perfect sense: It’s known to improve attendee engagement by 44%! Now that is a fantastic selling point to include in a sponsorship letter.
Tell your would-be event sponsors that you’re incorporating gamification techniques in your event – it could be anything from games, quizzes, or hands-on challenges – and that they can have their brand name put on it.
As well as just being good exposure, it could be a great way for event sponsors to disseminate critical messages through these immersive techniques.
Swag: Everyone loves free things. From something as small as a pen to a free trial, discount codes, coffee cups, keychains, and more. If you have some unique ideas on gifts to dote upon your attendees, offer your event sponsors the chance to have their name on these items they take home. Now that’s exposure that is worth paying for.
Sponsored Content: This could be as simple as an old fashioned Q&A session – for added value, it could be with a special guest – “brought to you by [INSERT EVENT SPONSOR NAME HERE].”
Alternatively, if you’re planning a captivating competition to draw in hesitant registrations, a brand could be tempted to sponsor it.
Perhaps the prospective event sponsor is someone who makes something of value. That product could be donated as a prize. This is something definitely worth asking in your event sponsorship proposal.
A bonus selling point could be to offer them sponsored content that is accessible even after the event. So even after the lanyards and brochures go in the bin, there’s still something with the event sponsors name on it that will be of use long after.
Influencer Marketing: One final unique selling point for an event sponsorship proposal is influencer marketing. It’s a hot trend and for good reason. Statistics show that 49% of consumers consider influencer recommendations, and as many as 70% of millennials trust influencers over traditional celebrity endorsements.
This could gain you quality event sponsorship as the right influencer can increase the revenue and kudos of your event. Plus, if they engage with the event sponsors brand or products, you can directly sell some quality exposure in your sponsorship letters.
If you need help finding the right influencer for your event, then don’t worry. This is something that is part of our services here at Spacehuntr.
And to learn more about how influencers can organically grow your event attendance, read this actionable article right here!
3. Writing Style Guide For Your Event Sponsorship Proposal
Make it Personal: Now, as we said, an event sponsor should be a partnership, not just a handy cheque. So avoid sending out generic sponsorship proposals. Readers can spot them a mile away; when you copy and paste a different name on a hundred of the same letters.
To win over prospective event sponsors, make it personal. Why are you writing to them specifically? What about them do you admire, and why would their brand fit your event? Make a point of showing that you’ve considered them specifically.
Tell a story: A single sentence of copy can captivate someone. Of course, you’re not writing poetry here, but there is room to be poetic. Don’t be afraid to show your passion!
Use bullet points and bolding to emphasise key stats: Essential figures in your event sponsorship proposal need to be made literally unmissable.
No fluff: we’re all busy, and we’re all making our way through hundreds of emails and messages a day. Respect other people’s time – and avoid the risk of losing their attention – by avoiding unnecessary fluff.
(N.B. One example could be to take out explanations of well-known concepts to people in the same field as you.)
Visualise: If you can use photos, videos, or infographics, you’ll be able to convey your key messages more effectively.
So there you have it. No two event sponsorship proposals are the same. However, the best ones all share the same traits, all of which you’ll see articulated above.
While we’re here, we’d be fools not to let you know about our incredible venues. We are a platform for unique corporate venues, after all.
And one final bit of expert advice, if you’d like to learn more about increasing your event revenue – if you’ve read up here, then we’re sure you are – then make sure to check out our guide to monetising your virtual conferences.