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In order to ensure a long-lasting, sustainable CommUnity, sponsors are a compulsory part of the ecosystem. In general, one can differentiate between two types of sponsors. A sponsor can support either through in-kind services like catering, venue, furniture and other, or a sponsor decides to support with cash. A sponsor can have two different motivations, altruistic or value based. In any case, sponsors help to increase the quality of an event and they deserve a special treatment. The big question is how to attract a sponsor to your event.
Step 0 - Product knowledge
Know your value well. The value, offered to the sponsor, may vary between event types, though in general it is visibility and active interaction with participants to grow their network and impact. Be clear on how much visibility you can offer to the sponsor regarding stage time, visual communication on banners and more. Keep in mind, that you have a strong CommUnity backing you up.
Following best practices, the access to the talent and challenge solving services, through events, is of interest.
Step 1 - Prospecting
Create a tool, in which you can fill your pipeline with potential sponsors to keep a good overview, to whom you are offering what and at what time. It is crucial to keep a good overview. Then, fill your pipeline! An example of a tool is given in the picture below.
Step 2 - Prepare to contact sponsors
Prepare the information you want to share with the potential sponsor. In most cases, your objective for the first contact to a potential sponsor is to have a second meeting, in which you can present more information. Therefore it is important to raise the interest for the sponsor to be at your event. Therefore, plan the ideal interaction of that sponsor at the event and know what you want from the sponsor. Questions you need to answer are:
1) Who are you? (For example, I am Falko, a local representative for the Community organizing our next local event.)
2) Who is the CommUnity? (For example, The CommUnity is a professional network with the mission to accelerate the energy transition fostering collaboration among passionate members.)
3) What do you want? (For example, For our next event we are searching for partners to increase the experience of our participants.)
4) Why this Sponsor? (For example, I strongly believe that you are an excellent partner on the event, because...)
5) Close with a clear call to action (For example I would like to pass by your office in the next days to explore the opportunity together with you. When do you have time?)
Step 3 - Contact
Make the first contact. Usually calling works always better than writing an email. Remember what you have prepared and listen to your potential sponsor.
The sponsor might already have experience in sponsoring events and knows exactly what he wants and needs.
Step 4 - The ping-pong game
After the first conversations with the sponsor, it is time to come up with a proposal in a written form. This document is a working document with which you intend to find a collaboration both parties agree on.
Step 5 - Closing
Once no changes need to be done to the proposal, the deal is considered to be closed. From here, stay close to your sponsor till the event takes place. Fulfil your part of the agreement with a conscientious attention. The happier the sponsor is with the collaboration, the more likely a future collaboration.
If you need support in the process with some materials or information, feel free to contact the CommUnity Office: