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Event Industry Trends, Event Marketing
6 May 2024 

How To Craft Enticing Event Sponsorship Packages

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett
How To Craft Enticing Event Sponsorship Packages

Event sponsorship is essential for event success and sustainability, providing necessary financial support, resources, and visibility. Sponsors contribute funds and services for promotional opportunities, such as branding and speaking engagements, but they also bring expertise, industry connections, and credibility, helping to draw larger audiences and enhance event experiences.

Even still, securing sponsorships is increasingly difficult due to budget constraints, shrinking sponsor dollars, and rising event costs. The solution? Creating compelling sponsorship packages to attract the attention of key sponsors and meet their objectives more effectively.

Continue reading for guidance on building standout sponsorship packages, tips for nurturing sponsor relationships, and strategies to tackle common challenges in sponsorship acquisition.

How To Build Event Sponsorship Packages

The global events industry — which was valued at $1.1 trillion in 2019 — is projected to reach $2.1 trillion by 2032, according to a recent report from Allied Market Research

The main driver of this growth is the surge in event sponsorships. But how exactly can you claim your slice of the event sponsorship pie? Let’s take a look.

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Step 1: Start With Thorough Research

To effectively secure sponsorship dollars, comprehensive research is essential. This involves these key actions: 

  • Analyze past events: Review what worked and what didn’t in previous sponsorship deals. Identify trends in what sponsors appreciated most and what had less impact.
  • Identify your event’s unique selling points (USPs): What makes your event stand out? Is it the audience size, the quality of attendees, unique content, or networking opportunities?
  • Research competitor events: Understand what similar events are offering to their sponsors. This can help you differentiate your packages.
  • Gather audience insights: Use surveys, social media analytics, and attendee feedback to gather detailed information about your audience. This data will be critical in pitching to potential sponsors by showing them exactly who they will reach.

An example of these strategies in practice is a tech conference that leverages its high attendee engagement rates in live demos and interactive sessions to craft USPs. Or, a music festival could highlight its past success stories, such as increasing brand visibility for previous sponsors through branded stages or concessions.

Step 2: Understand What Sponsors Need

Building the right sponsorship packages requires a deep understanding of potential sponsors’ needs and goals. This step includes the following:

  • Direct communication: Talk to potential sponsors directly and ask about their goals, marketing objectives, and reasons for sponsoring.
  • Market research: Look into industry reports and studies to understand the broader trends affecting your potential sponsors’ industries.
  • Tailor benefits to sponsor needs: Customize packages to address specific sponsor goals such as lead generation, brand exposure, or direct sales.
  • Flexibility: Offer flexibility in how sponsorship benefits can be customized to fit the sponsor’s changing marketing strategies.

Here are some event sponsorship packages examples that cater to sponsor needs: 

  • Sponsor focused on lead generation: Offer a package that includes a speaking opportunity plus access to a VIP networking area.
  • Sponsor seeking brand exposure: Create visually impactful branding opportunities at the event — branded lanyards, main stage backdrops, or exclusive sponsorship of a popular evening reception.
  • Sponsor interested in pushing demos: Offer a dedicated booth space in a high-traffic area, scheduled demonstration times, or inclusion in a featured product guide distributed to all attendees.
  • Sponsor wanting to showcase corporate social responsibility (CSR): Include the option for sponsoring a community service project, hosting a panel on sustainability practices, or aligning with a charity that resonates with the sponsor’s mission.
  • Sponsor wanting audience engagement: Develop interactive experiences that involve the sponsor’s brand, such as gamified activities at the event (e.g., a scavenger hunt with branded clues, or interactive polls and contests with prizes supplied by the sponsor).
  • Technology sponsor seeking exposure: Give tech sponsors the opportunity to integrate their technology into the event, perhaps by providing a branded app for the event schedule, charging stations, or WiFi sponsorship. 

Step 3: Craft Flexible, Enticing Event Sponsorship Packages

If your goal is driving as many sponsorship dollars as you can, you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Different organizations have different budgets and priorities, so you’re best off coming up with several unique packages and letting potential sponsors take their pick. As you begin thinking about what such packages might look like, consider these examples:

  • Tiered sponsorship levels: By providing different tiers of sponsorship — Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, for example — you can offer a range of benefits and exposure opportunities, allowing sponsors to choose the level that best aligns with their goals and resources.
  • Customized and bespoke packages: Instead of offering a handful of different packages, consider letting sponsors customize their own experiences, picking from an à la carte menu. That way, sponsors can choose the exposure channels that best align with their objectives and don’t have to pay for something that might not be important to them.
  • Outside-the-box packages: Reinvent what event sponsorship looks like by offering truly unique packages that entice potential sponsors. For example, you might offer a sustainability package that includes eco-friendly branding opportunities and a dedicated sustainability panel discussion. Similarly, you can also offer a thought leadership package that comes with exclusive roundtable discussions and whitepaper collaborations. 

How To Make Event Sponsorship Packages Stand Out

In a world cluttered with events, asks, and information, how can you make your event sponsorship packages stand out?

Start by emphasizing key benefits — like exclusive content access, co-branded merchandise, and unique experiences that sponsors can offer attendees (e.g., with wearable tech). As you begin creating collateral and posting sponsorship info on your website, ensure visual appeal and clarity so potential sponsors can easily understand the differences between packages at a glance. (Look to HubSpot for inspiration.)

Whenever possible, incorporate data and evidence into your collateral, highlighting things like past event attendance and demographic information to make a compelling case for sponsorship value. While you’re at it, include testimonials from sponsors about ROI to showcase the tangible benefits and success stories from previous partnerships. Using this social proof is an easy way to help build trust and confidence in potential sponsors.

HubSpot is a master of making sponsorships standout and providing the “why” to potential sponsors.

How To Secure and Maintain Sponsor Relationships 

Securing and maintaining sponsor relationships requires a strategic approach throughout the sponsorship lifecycle.

Kick things off by identifying the ideal sponsors that align with your event’s audience and objectives through thorough research and networking. Look at similar events and see who sponsored them for some inspiration on who might be a good fit for your event. When it comes to writing sponsorship request letters, be sure to personalize your outreach and highlight the unique benefits would-be sponsors will receive.

Since you’re unlikely to get enough companies to bite right out of the gate, make sure to train your team on effective negotiation tactics and how to get past objections. By making reasonable concessions from time to time, you can deliver more value to sponsors while ensuring the overall partnership remains beneficial for both sides.

After your event is over, follow up promptly to provide detailed sponsorship ROI reports and solicit feedback for improvement. By demonstrating your appreciation for their support, offering early renewal incentives, communicating regularly, and discussing future opportunities, you can cultivate long-term relationships — making it easier to fill sponsorship slots at your next event.

Common Challenges With Building Event Sponsorship Packages & How To Overcome Them

In the ideal world, you’d ask companies to sponsor your event, they’d say yes, and that would be that. Unfortunately, events teams have their work cut out for them when it comes to locking in sponsors. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common challenges organizers face when attracting sponsors — and what you can do to overcome them.

Challenge #1: Budgets Are Already Allocated 

Since companies often allocate budgets at the beginning of the year, engage sponsors early to understand their budget cycles. When you get a company on the line, consider offering multi-year engagements to lock down sponsor dollars for the foreseeable future. Above all else, be flexible. The more you’re willing to accommodate sponsors, the easier it will be to get them on board.

Challenge #2: Budgets Are Shrinking 

For some organizations, event budgets are shrinking due to economic uncertainty. Overcome this challenge by enhancing your event’s value proposition and relaying precisely how sponsors can expect to achieve ROI. 

Think outside the box and devise cost-efficient packages that deliver value at a price point budget-conscious companies can still stomach. At the same time, explore new revenue streams — like merchandise sales or digital advertising opportunities — to help offset dwindling sponsorship budgets.

Challenge #3: Sponsors Refuse To Commit Early

In response to the economy, many organizations are taking a wait-and-see approach to event sponsorship. Events teams need to adapt their approach to this reality. 

Some creative ways to do this include offering special sponsorship packages that cater to companies that are waiting until the last minute to commit, introducing flexible commitment options where sponsors can back out if circumstances change unexpectedly, and using data to demonstrate the ROI benefits inherent in early commitment. 

Get Started: Build Event Sponsorship Packages That Stand Out

It’s no secret that events teams have their hands full when it comes to securing event sponsorship income. 

By studying the market to understand what sponsors want, setting aside time to create unique sponsorship packages, being flexible, and communicating early, openly, and honestly with potential sponsors, you can increase the chances of attracting the perfect partners. 

And once they’re on board, you can continue nurturing the relationship, making it much more likely they’ll continue sponsoring events to come.

To learn more about what you can do to create event sponsorship packages that entice sponsors — and overcome the more pervasive challenges preventing teams from landing sponsors in the first place — check out our free guide: The strategic event sponsorship handbook

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Can’t get enough about event sponsorship excellence? You’re in luck.

Watch our on-demand webinar Show me the money: Navigating event sponsorship challenges in 2024 for even more tips and tricks on optimizing your event sponsorship strategy and further enhancing the event experience.

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