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How to Find Perfect Sponsors for Your Association’s Events

Engagement Audra Hopkins

Having event sponsors are a great way to bring your association’s events to the next level.

Members come to your association’s events after days, weeks, and months of excitement and anticipation. In fact, many of your members joined your association because of its amazing events and conferences.

This is why it’s up to your association to deliver an event that blows attendees away and provides them with valuable information.

But events like this can come with a lot of expenses. This is why association’s seek out event sponsors to cut down the cost of a great event.

Bringing in event sponsors can cut back on expensive events costs while also building a relationship with brads that your association believes in. Think of it as a business deal that benefits your association and its members as well as the sponsoring company.

So, if you’re an association looking to incorporate event sponsors into your future events, you need to make sure you select only the best.

Finding perfect event sponsors will help bring your events from good, to great, and even to fantastic. If you want your event attendees coming back year round, having top notch sponsorships will help make that happen.

Let’s go over a few tips to help your association find an event sponsor that exceeds its requirements.

With this advice, you’ll be able to acquire sponsors that fit your association’s mission to a tee.

 

1. Analyze your attendees

The first step to finding an event sponsor that works for you is to make sure this sponsor first works for your target audience.

Why is identifying your event attendance important? It makes sure everyone is happy with your agreement.

You don’t want sponsors showing up to your event and leaving unsatisfied with their end of the bargain. Your event attendees should perfectly match up with your event sponsors, and vice versa. Bring your attendees extra value and your sponsors potential new customers.

Always remember that working with sponsors needs to be a beneficial experience for both parties. If sponsors don’t feel like they’re getting something out of their participation, they won’t want to work with your association.

Take time to analyze your target audience for your association’s events. Who are they? What products do they consume? What are they like as far as consumerism goes?

Once you collect all of this knowledge, you can make a better assumption of who your sponsors should be.

Not only does analyzing your attendees help you figure them out, it also gives you direction when it comes to choosing sponsors.

 

2. Ramp up your social media presence

Many associations might overlook the importance of a strong social media presence, especially when it comes to event sponsorships.

However, social media plays a big role in the sponsor allocation process. Believe it or not, your association’s events are a great tool for social media content creation.

Many companies will see your events not only as a way to attract and engage event attendees. They’ll also see it as a prime opportunity to boost their own social media presence.

So, chances are many of your sponsors have a social media presence they’re looking to increase. This is why it’s important that your association has a social media presence as well.

You want your events to be a hub for social media sharing. You also want to make sure your association documents its events on social media for audiences to see and become engaged with.

While we have a few tips on social media marketing your association might want to check out, here are some tips that are more specific to allocating event sponsors.

Create opportunities for social media sharing at your event. Whether that’s setting up a section for photo opportunities, creating a social media hashtag, or any other aspect that could enhance your social media presence.

You also want to promote your sponsors on your social media channels.

If companies are promised social media sponsorship that will reach all of your association’s social following, it could convince them to partner with you on events. This is a win-win- promotion for companies at no cost to your association and an event sponsor you trust.

If you have an event that is prime for social media opportunities, sponsors will flock to you for a chance to elevate their presence.

 

3. Define your sponsor requirements

Your association most likely has an idea of what its ideal sponsor looks like: What its brand beliefs are, what type of customer it attracts, how it operates, etc.

So why not express these values right off the bat when looking for a sponsor?

Creating sponsor requirements is a great way to lay out a foundation of criteria for companies looking to work with your association. It shows them exactly where they need to be in terms of performance in order to gain a spot at your association’s events.

Sponsor requirements give your events a sense of exclusivity. It shows companies that you have certain standards, and that you won’t work with just anyone.

However, it also keep the sponsorship process organized and well outlined.

If you have a set of rules in place before sponsors sign on, you then have a rulebook to refer to during the sponsorship. This helps the overall success of your association’s sponsorships- and the event itself.

When developing your sponsor requirements, there are a few questions you need to ask potential sponsors:

How will their organization correlate with your association’s event? Does their mission statement match the needs and desires of your event attendees? This is an important question to know before signing on with any sponsor.

You should also know what a sponsor’s goals are throughout the entire process. You want to make sure those goals can be met by sponsoring with your association at its events.

With sponsor requirements, you can make sure who you sign on as a sponsor is a good match with your association and its members.

 

4. Do your research

One of the best (and most overlooked) ways of obtaining sponsorships that best reflect the needs of your association is to simply do some digging online.

Gather your goals, requirements, and audience information, and hit the internet to search for companies that match your criteria. Actively searching online and going through materials can bring you closer with companies that will fit the bill perfectly.

What should you look for? Well, you want to start by researching events similar to yours. If you can find companies that have sponsored events like yours in the past, you might have a good chance of getting them to sponsor for you.

You can find companies like this by searching for similar events and visiting their event page.

Most event pages have a section dedicated to thanking their sponsors (chances are, your events do too!). This gives you an accurate list of who sponsored this event in order for you to visit the company website and reach out directly.

You can also research companies by looking at social media.

As mentioned before, social media is a powerful tool that often gets overlooked. Most likely, you have a list of companies that your association follows on Twitter, Instagram, or other social platforms. This list can be used to find companies that fit your association’s core values- and therefore would qualify as a great event sponsor.

Doing your research can help you discover companies that are a perfect match for your association and have a history to prove it.

 

Securing event sponsors doesn’t have to be a guessing game. You can find the perfect sponsors by identifying your target event audience, creating requirements, opening up opportunity for social media growth, and doing your homework in terms of research.

By using these 4 tips, you can be sure to find event sponsors that fit like a glove when it comes to your association’s values, events, and members.