Sponsorship proposal is one of the most important pieces of document that you can have for your event simply because it can help you generate money. There are so many proposals that I’ve seen that seems to be google searched for a set of generic benefits that an event or project can offer. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that but there are other factors that you need to consider while putting this document together which is:
A deep understanding of your targeted sponsors
The creativity of allowing your event to be used as a marketing or promotional platform for your sponsors
I’ve seen this in far too many sponsorship proposals that I had taken on to review and edit and here are some of the top sponsorship mistakes that you should definitely avoid:
Not having premium benefits for Diamond or Platinum package
Sure, you can give naming rights and plaster their logo a million times more than the Gold and Silver packages but is that what your sponsor really needs? If your sponsor has the $30,000 or $50,000 to sponsor your event, chances are, their company is big enough and maybe even well-known. Perhaps their brand already has a huge local presence especially if you are approaching banks, multinational companies or famous brands. Usually, these companies are not looking for people to just know their brand but want to position themselves as the leader in the industry and have the budget to use your event as a platform that fits their needs perfectly.
In the case of the million dollar food festival project that I was a part of, we partnered with Citibank who gave us a huge chunk of money. Yes they have naming rights but more than that our event gives 20% discount to all Citibank card holders as an exclusive benefit (which means an increased use of their bank card). We also had a private dinner event featuring 3 Michelin Star Chef with wine pairing for their group of selected high networth clients which serves as complimentary perks for their membership department.
Do you think they want their logo everywhere? No, because if they have the $30K, they can probably do all that marketing by themselves.
So the question you need to ask is - how can your event uniquely help your sponsors?
Personally, I love to recommend brand activations to be included in the highest sponsorship tier. This means you are giving them direct access to either your audience, the performers/speakers or programme.
Not having enough data and value proposition in your benefits
I particularly see this mistake in so many sponsorship proposals for new events with no track record which is just a big no no. Let me tell you a secret. When you are looking for sponsorships while being part of a company that had been around 10 years or longer, you can get away with less than stellar sponsorship proposals because the company reputation and history speaks for itself. When I was part of a manufacturing association with 80 years of reputation, I could ask for sponsorships with just one email or phone call. Why? Because the connection to our company is already there. But when I was part of an event or company with no track record, I didn't have the luxury of trust or reputation that precedes me.
Which means that you need to rely on your proposal to do the heavy lifting for you by outlining the value your event can offer which means… numbers and more details.
Here are some of the actual benefits I had seen in proposals from my clients:
Can you spot where the important numbers and value propositions should be included?
To boost the value of your proposal, consider adding:
- Exactly how long your sponsors have on stage to present to how many pax in the audience
- When you state social media channels, on what platforms exactly and how many views or subscribers do you have? (include whichever number is higher)
- How much space or logistics exactly are you giving them?
After the changes, your sponsorship benefits will look something like this:
20 minutes speaking slot to position your brand as a leading brand in emerging financial technology
A dedicated promotional exhibition booth structure of 3 metres by 3 metres designed by our experienced booth designer to help you create a creative space to directly interact with our attendees
Complimentary VIP seats for 8 of your company representatives to attend our event
Access to the contact database of over 400 event attendees to expand your sales leads and opportunities to generate revenue
Exclusive coverage and mentions on social media with over 16,800 followers on Facebook and Twitter
Not painting the best picture for your event
Sponsorship proposals are like a resume for employers. You have one portion to tell your sponsors how freaking amazing your event is. Like ohmygod, so many people love this event and it’s going to be the best thing everrrr. And if the tone is anywhere less than that, why bother? This is important because your sponsors are looking at your event as a solution and they are participating as your partner. I’ve seen sponsorships proposal that just list facts after facts instead of compelling the sponsor to be part of their event. If you looked at the events with the most sponsors, they ALL think they are the best event ever in that industry/niche/category. I mean, its subjective right?
So take your time to create a sponsorship proposal that sing praises for your event, exude enthusiasm for your vision & impact, while highlighting massive value propostions your partnership can offer.
I hope you find these tips helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line and I'll get back to you as fast as I can (: