Your team spent countless hours putting together tiered sponsorship packages. But then you send your proposal to prospective sponsors — just to get no response.

Event sponsorships are won (or lost) by how well you can demonstrate the value of sponsoring your event. If your sponsorship prospectus isn’t making a splash, it’s time to revisit the what you’re including — and how you’re presenting it.

And with so many events competing for a limited amount of sponsorship dollars, it’s critical to create a persuasive pitch.

Here are four common reasons a sponsorship prospectus fails to resonate with sponsors, and how to fix them:

1) You Forgot the “Why”

Sponsors have a limited amount of limited time to evaluate hundreds or thousands of proposals. If your prospectus doesn’t immediately align with their objectives, they’re likely to toss it in the recycling bin and move on to the next one.

It’s important to establish credibility immediately and give prospective sponsors a reason to continue reading. Don’t waste their time by starting off with every detail of your event. Instead, you need to quickly convey the “why” of your event: the primary reason your event exists. Is it to educate an audience on a new technology? To ask for donations? Whatever your “why” is, make sure to clearly state it in the opening paragraphs of your prospectus.

Then make sure to let them know how long your event has been around, how many people attend each year, and what challenges you help attendees solve.

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Example: This fictional event establishes credibility by describing the potential value to prospective sponsors.

2) The Data is Meaningless

Sponsoring your event is a business decision. If your prospectus doesn’t paint a vivid picture of how your prospect will see a return on their investment, they’ll be quick to consider the next offer instead.

You may think your data clearly communicates the value of sponsoring your event, but numbers alone can’t tell a compelling story.

When you visualize your event data, make sure to choose the proper visualization. For instance, let’s say you wanted to communicate the average revenue of the companies and organizations your attendees represent. A bar chart might seem like a great idea at first, but a pie chart can communicate the purchasing power of your attendees more effectively.

Test different types of data visualizations and layouts to find the clearest, most compelling way to communicate your event data. A sponsor should be able to glance at your data and see a rich, vivid story. Consider showing your data to someone unfamiliar with your event to test your assumptions. If the message is clear to them, it will definitely come through to sponsors.

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Example: The data visualized in pie chart on the right is more succinct and easier to understand than the bar chart on the left.

3) You Offer Packages, Not Menus

Sponsorship packages have been the gold standard for decades. But as the rules of event sponsorship are rewritten, their ability to help you win sponsorship is diminishing.

The chances of you selecting the perfect mix of sponsorship assets for a sponsor are slim to none. So instead of offering sponsorship packages that limit your prospect’s choices, consider giving them a menu that allows them to mix and match assets to their liking.

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Example: Listing the assets available for sponsorship allows higher value sponsors to craft a package that fits their objectives.

That said, there are situations where providing sponsorship packages can be helpful. For example, they can help you sponsors know if your event is within their budget — which can help get smaller sponsors to commit quickly. But if you decide to include packages, make sure to let interested prospects know that custom sponsorships are also available.

4) No Call to Action

Let’s say your sponsorship prospectus won over your prospect — now what? Without a call to action, your sponsor won’t know how to take the next step. And after all of that work convincing them of your event’s value, you risk frustrating them and losing their interest. So tell them what you want them to do next. Should they call you, email you, or fill out a form? Don’t let them wonder. Be explicit about what they should do — and mention it often throughout your prospectus.

Give them a sense of urgency, too. Early bird pricing can encourage your prospects to take action sooner rather than later. And no matter what, always give them a deadline.

Download the Sample

Now that you can spot these common mistakes you can easily avoid them. Check out the Sample Prospectus: How to Write a Winning Event Sponsorship Prospectus for more insight on creating a prospectus your sponsors can’t ignore.

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