By Georgie-Ann Getton - Founder of Illicit Mind
Finding a sponsor for an event can be very tricky. You are essentially asking someone else to freely give you a portion of their resources, whether that is time, money, or supplies. One might wonder, how this it even possible to ask for such a thing? Better yet, why would anyone do such a thing?! Well, people actually do this. And often, at that. There are a wide range of reasons why a person or company might sponsor your event. But, how do you find those people in the first place? After planning over 20 events in 2015, and getting more than half of the events sponsored in some way, shape or form, I will share with you three creative ways for finding a sponsor for your next club event.
When you start looking for sponsors, make sure you reach out to everyone and anyone you know that can benefit from sponsoring your event and that your event can benefit from having them as a sponsor. Don’t limit yourself when reaching out - whether it’s your neighborhood small business or large corporate companies such as AT&T. If their sponsorship would be mutually beneficial, go ahead and ask! You never know - you might get lucky! Plus, the answer is always no until you ask, anyway.
Almost every company in the world has some form of social media - such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram , and Pinterest to name a few. The purpose of these social media accounts is to be social with followers and fans. Most companies even hire a social media manager to do the job at its best. Companies want customers, fans and possible clients to interact with them online. Reaching out to companies on social media is a really quick and direct way to get your message up front and center.
From personal experience, Twitter has shown the best results with this method. Why? You only have 140 characters to get your point across, which helps you be more direct and get to the meat of what you need sooner. In addition, Twitter is such a good communication resource because almost every company out there has an account.
Have a Strong Value Proposition
If someone is going to sponsor your event they will want to know WIIFM (Whats in it for me). What can you give the sponsor in return? This can range from items such as: Direct access to your audience, list of attendees after the event, or promotion of their product/ service. It is very important to at least offer companies something in return when you want them to serve as a sponsor. The reason for this is to show that sponsoring your event is a mutually beneficial deal.
On October 24th I held my very first Hackathon. This was, by far, my largest event of the year. It was 12 hours long and we had a total of 75 people in attendance. Using the 3 creative tips above, we were able to secure 10 sponsors, including some bigger names like Startup Institute, Next GenVest , and Dos Toros!