The biggest challenge associations collectively agree with is finding the right sponsors for their association programs/events. Most newly established or small-scale associations heavily struggle with identifying the right sponsors for their organizations.
But identifying or pairing up with sponsors can be a herculean task. Most if not all proposals get rejected without even a considerable look at them. You may also get ghosted.
Then should you not proceed with your sponsorship plan? You are lucky! The perfect game plan for sponsorships is available at your fingertip. Stick to us to progress your sponsorship program!
Before we dive deep into the discussion of sponsorship tips & tricks, let’s get to know the definition of sponsorships and decide whether you need it or not:
What is Sponsorship?
A sponsorship is a mutually beneficial arrangement between a profit-driven organization and a non-profit or small business to drive more sales and attract customers/leads. It might exude a similar sense as marketing but these two are not the same. Though the ultimate goal of sponsorship is to reach a wider clientele base, it offers a positive sense by tying up the larger organization with a socially responsible cause.
How to decide whether your association needs sponsorship or not?
Sponsorship is essential if your event fits the following points:
- You Lack Funds for Additional Essentials
Boosting brand presence & visibility takes a lot of time and planning. If your sponsorship program is for this purpose only and you do not offer open badges or credentials to the participants, you might lose a chunk of opportunities.
- A Brand New Journey with Limited Resources
Most newly built associations lack the popularity and authority to influence members to trust them. A partnership with renowned organizations establishes the association as a trustworthy source of service, product & information.
- You Want to Team Up with the Industry Experts
Inviting popular personalities from your industry can necessitate a huge investment. Affording the entire cost by a small association often becomes troublesome. Sponsorships can fix the problem while also gaining attention from your desired crowd.
As we are done with the discussion of essentials you need to consider before booking sponsorship programs, it’s time to unwrap the tips to attract the right sponsorships for your association:
Clearly Define the Benefits Your Sponsor Enjoys for A Partnership with the Association
It’s the basic step toward advanced tips. If an organization does not find value in your program/event, there is a very slim chance of bagging a sponsorship from them. So the focus remains on educating potential sponsors on how sponsoring your product/service can benefit them.
Let them know how logo placement on promotional materials, website recognition, speaking opportunities at events, access to your association’s membership base, or exclusive networking opportunities can benefit them as well.
Don’t be shy to brag about your product/service quality. A little bragging can close the deal faster.
Build A Strong, Personal Relationship with Sponsors
Just mailing an organization or calling the founders/managers for sponsorship without any personalized connection will only let your calls go to voicemail.
Don’t make such rookie mistakes. The best way to increase your chance of sealing the deal is by attending industry events, conferences, and networking opportunities where you can establish face-to-face connections. Make your event look compelling by pitching the sponsorship with all details printed on paper.
Invite the Organization Staff to Volunteer in Your Association Program in Exchange of Digital Credentials
It’s a new concept that has proved its efficacy. It inspires your sponsors to trust your association more and also offers tangible proof that is virtually available.
Socially shareable digital badges influence the volunteers to be present at the event and provide them with something to be enthusiastic about. It’s not only a token of their participation, it tells a story. Virtual badges also offer great insights into the popularity of the program. You can monitor who has shared the badges online and how many social impressions they have collected. The badges help them appear as enthusiastic volunteers who are happy to participate in an exciting event. It promotes both your association and the sponsoring organization for supporting a good cause.
Data is Powerful, Utilize It
We live in an era where data collection and drawing action-driven insights from them is hassle-free. This data also helps associations to demonstrate how valuable their concept is.
Showcasing foolproof information that enables the sponsors to witness the bigger picture plays a critical role in attracting the right sponsor programs for you. Prepare a report to let the sponsors know the attendee list and how they can turn into profit-driven leads for the organization.
Simplify the Sponsoring Solution
An unclear sponsoring process can be stressful for sponsors. Make it seamless by supporting them throughout the program. Make the sponsors feel comfortable by offering streamlined event information that can deliver them a clearer understanding of the event and its benefits.
Follow Up is the Key
Don’t feel shy to follow up with the potential sponsors at regular intervals. If you already had a call set up with them and it went well, drop a message to check their decision progression. At times, organizations sponsor multiple associations at once. Thus, they might forget about a call with you. Regular follow-ups work as a reminder and represent you as someone genuinely interested in partnering with them.
Appreciate the Good Work
If you have already established a sponsorship partnership, be appreciative of the support. Building further sponsorship associations after a successful one becomes easier when you nurture the existing one/s. Deliver value to your sponsors by showcasing yourself as a valuable resource for them.
Finding sponsors for an association can be a tricky move but nothing impossible. Statistics showed the global sponsorship program cost around $60 billion in 2018. Experts and investors believe the cost will only increase as time passes by. Thus, it’s safe to say sponsorship programs are nowhere to go. Your association can exhibit beneficial outcomes by collaborating with sponsors. Just don’t be discreet with your event benefits and demonstrate how to make the most out of a program.