One common question asked by almost all event organizers is this: how do I attract and retain sponsors for my event? Not sponsors that will give me a flyer for a goodie bag, but quality sponsors that will help me make the event a better experience for its participants and the community?
As a recovering race director and former Texas Field Marketing Manager for Clif Bar, I have been on both sides of the sponsorship aisle. Here are 5 ideas that can help.
- Ask, don’t assume. Ask your sponsors about their marketing objectives so you can help achieve them.
- Create sponsorship levels, and make it clear on your marketing materials which sponsors are at the top level. Not all sponsors need to be mentioned in every marketing piece.
- Introduce sponsors to each other and encourage them to create cross promotions around the event. For example, if you have a beer sponsor and a restaurant sponsor, suggest that they host a pre-event party at the restaurant and feature the beer.
- Create a post-event marketing report that details how you helped fulfill their objectives. It always impressed me when the 3M Half Marathon would send out a binder that listed all the media on which they had placed the Clif Bar logo.
- Host a post-event party and invite your sponsors (as well as volunteers and others who helped on your event). Tell them how important they are to you.
Share what has worked for you in a comment below.