Sponsorship Proposal

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How to build a captivating sponsorship proposal for virtual and hybrid events

Posted on 02/17/2021

Find out how to create a sponsorship proposal that captivates sponsors to support virtual and hybrid events.

For event organizers, sponsorship can be incredibly valuable. It can provide the funds to finance an event – which can prove unsustainable without them.

Furthermore, sponsorship revenue can not only sustain events, but empower them to be better. For instance, this revenue can be used to upgrade the event facilities, increase the audience capacity, or boost the event promotion budget.

However, event organizers often find it difficult to attract the right sponsors. And, it is not always clear how to approach them and convince them to take on event sponsorship.

In that context, we have delved into the key elements of a captivating sponsorship proposal.

Brand and Virtual Event

Define Your Brand and Virtual Event

Firstly, at the outset of your proposal, cover the essence of your organization. Provide a summary of your business, your strategic objectives, and your company´s mission and vision.

Also, make sure to capture the brand image of your organization, as well as your cornerstone values.

Then, go on into your event brand. Again, this is about the very essence of the event: its name, its symbol, its visual identity.

Naturally, your event brand is likely intertwined with your organization’s brand, but it can also have its own distinct identity. 

Target Audience

Outline your Target Audience

Further, outline a well-defined demographic of your event´s target audience. The demographic is central to an event´s sponsorship strategy, so describe in detail the audience that attends, follows, or has an interest in your events.

If you are putting together a hybrid event, it may be that in-person and virtual attendees are quite different. For instance, your in-person component could tap into an exclusive VIP audience, while your virtual component reaches a broader and more diverse audience.  

Alongside providing demographic information, consider delving into psychographic information. The lifestyles, personality traits, beliefs, attitudes, and interests of your audience are all valuable information. The more audience data you provide, the better.

For a sponsorship to achieve success, there needs to be a good fit, meaning a strong and logical connection between the sponsor and the event property. The closer an event´s target audience is to the potential sponsor´s target audience, the more attractive the proposal will be.

Assets and Benefits

Identify Assets and Benefits

Then, make sure to draw a detailed list of your assets. Apart from your target demographic, these can be your event brand reputation, your event speakers, your event venue or virtual event platform, the associated media coverage, the database you can reach, the social media following you can tap into, etc.

Added to that, include a list of sponsorship benefits on your proposal. As the success of a sponsorship largely depends on the sponsor being able to derive a commercial return from the benefits offered, you need to clearly identify them and detail them comprehensively.

These can include title sponsorship of the event, posts on social media promoting the sponsor, an exhibitor booth at the event, advertising inside the event sessions, use of sponsor logo in marketing materials, etc.

Again, hybrid events can differ significantly in their sponsorship offering for the live and virtual components.

A prospective sponsor may want attendees to feel, taste, or sample their product in-person, so an experiential live activation would suit them best. In contrast, a brand that takes a digital-first approach could prefer to have a virtual booth at the event.

Commonly, event organizers attach a value to these benefits, and they package them up into sponsorship tiers.  This gives event organizers the chance to reach more partners according to their budgets and objectives.

However, when selling sponsorship, try to be flexible in the benefits you offer. The perspective should always be that of the challenges facing the sponsor and the opportunities that it seeks. As they cannot always be visible externally, engage in a conversation with the sponsor about what suits them best.

Sponsorship ROI

Demonstrate Sponsorship ROI

Furthermore, potential sponsors will be looking for value for money, a clear ROI from the sponsorship. Apart from pricing at a competitive rate, you could share in-depth past events analytics, including the KPIs that determine success.

Additionally, consider including testimonials as well as previous sponsorship case studies. These demonstrate that you have the expertise to activate a sponsorship effectively and will strengthen your credibility. If you have experience with hybrid events, be sure to highlight it as it can be a differentiator.

Personalized sponsorship proposal

Make it personalized and creative

Even if it is tempting to send out a lot of standard sponsorship proposals, it is not an ideal practice.

Each sponsorship proposal should be personalized to the company concerned, including extensive research on its audience and specific market.

Demonstrating a degree of research and knowledge will reassure potential sponsors that you have a genuine interest in their business objectives.

Finally, as you might imagine, brands receive a wide array of sponsorship proposals on a regular basis.

Therefore, you need to be creative and make yours stand out from the crowd. Whether it is owing to an eye-catching design, a personalized video, or an innovative content format, you need to make an impact.

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