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Finding sponsors for your design events

Finding sponsors for your design events

This article talks about how to find companies to sponsor for your design event and how to convince them join your side.

It is usually hard to find sponsorship opportunities for your design events, especially in the times of economic turmoil, however it is not as hard as you would imagine. The philosophy is acting. But before you act, i.e. by contacting them, you will need to prepare a presentation of your event and how it can benefit the sponsors. Only after this presentation, which should also indicate the logo / brand placement of the sponsors , their benefits, and potential costs, then you could find sponsors. I would suggest you to make a research on how to prepare a presentation and do a good and clear presentation before taking any action at all.
For the time being, let’s assume that you have already prepared your corporate presentation of the event, so the question now is how you could contact them. The first and natural step is to find the companies. Finding companies is easy, and you might have some names already in your mind, however lets’ assume that they said no or you were unable to contact them, you will need a Plan-B.
Plan-B: Now, to find other prospective sponsor companies, what you would want to do first is to check similar design events where there are sponsors, these sponsor companies are companies who have already seen the value of sponsoring a design event, therefore they will be more likely to sponsor your event too. Do not just focus on design, check companies that are already providing sponsorship to other non-design events too; if your target demographic of the event matches or similar to that of the target consumer of the prospective sponsor company, that there is a highly chance that they will be interested in your event.
Now, that we have a list of companies, we should contact them. For sponsorship, you need to contact the right people, these are: Public Relations - PR People, Advertising Departments, Marketing Departments, and also the Export Departments in Smaller Companies (as they usually do the advertising especially abroad). You can find these people by; checking Press Releases (for PR People), and visiting company websites and browsing departments, and also through their contact details from other events.
Once you find the email addresses of these people, write a brief email that clearly explains your cause and attach your presentation. Do not wait, after sending the email, immediately do a follow up by phone and try to talk to the person who would receive your email, you might need to talk with several people among the chain, explain your event, explain why it is prestigious, with patronages etc, mention why it is credible, talk about numbers i.e. expected number of participants among the way, especially if you have thousands of them, it will be relevant to companies as they always do search for ways to reach a further audience, and state how it would benefit the company, always talk about benefits not the costs at these steps, if they ask costs, it is in the presentation and you can say that.
Now, let’s assume you get connected to the person who has the right authority for sponsorships, if she or he is in your city, or a city nearby, ask to set-up a meeting, otherwise talk with her again, also you can bargain from your sponsorship costs, it should not be fixed, tell companies that you could do more with more money, or less with less money, give them the feeling that they will be in control.
As a note, it is always a good idea to start with smaller companies, as you can practice the way you talk, and improve your ability to convince. If you already get sponsors, even smaller ones, it can be beneficial to mention them as well, you could mention in your presentation who sponsored your event before and how good the returns were for the company.
Sponsors do not need to pay just money, you could also create a barter of benefits, i.e. they can supply goods, services, communication, advertising, equipment, products, awards and prizes. Tell them that the money amount can be changed with an equivalent amount of products or services, which will be preferable by the companies.
It is a good idea to prepare a spreadsheet file and contact them by following this file, because sometimes some of them will not be available at the time of calling or email, so you will want to contact them later and also keep a track of the ones you have contacted. Finding a sponsor can take time, but once you follow the steps aforementioned, you will succeed.
Another thing worthy to mention is knowing the companies you are going to talk with, when identifying prospective sponsors for your design event, for instance make small notes about the sponsoring institutions i.e. what do they do, who do they sell, what is their best products or services, what have they done before in terms of marketing and how your event relates to them.

This article was added on Monday, 27th of January, 2014 at 05.26 am by author Onur Cobanli Tags: event sponsor, event sponsorship, design event. Read our copyright policy here.


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