It’s a real shame that money doesn’t grow on trees. If it did, you could just plant a few seeds, water and care for it diligently, then pluck the greenbacks you need to finance your next conference. Sadly, since money trees only exist in our wildest fantasies, sometimes we must seek financial assistance from other companies in order to pull off an event.
As someone who has seen hundreds — no, thousands — of sponsorship decks, I’ve compiled 15 (yes, fifteen) things to remember as you are putting together your sponsorship deck and pitching potential sponsors. Buckle up, let’s get down to business!
1. Format matters. Be respectful of the inboxes you’re hitting, and don’t send a huge Powerpoint presentation. Turn that bad boy into a PDF, please, or better yet — send a link to where the deck lives on your website or a link to a Box.com file or other file-sharing service.
2. Include your logo. Include your website. Include your contact information (email address, social media profiles, etc.).
3. Do your homework first. Be smart about who you are approaching and research what type of organization is likely to be a fit for your event.
4. Be as specific as possible about your conference. What is the point? Where is it happening? What are the dates? Why are people coming? Who are your speakers? Why should you be considered credible?
5. Be as specific as possible about your attendees. How many people are you expecting? Age? Location? Income level? Interests? Really drill down — this information is really interesting and valuable to potential sponsors.
6. If there was an event last year, include photos from last year’s event.
7. If there was an event last year, include quotes from last year’s attendees or sponsors about how great it was.
8. If there was an event last year, include notable numbers. Number of attendees, number of speakers, the person who traveled the furthest to attend, if funds were raised, etc.
9. Include a glossary or a bulleted list of terms/facts that will be helpful to have on hand before reviewing the deck.
10. Offering different levels of sponsorship? Create a different deck for each level and determine which level you’re asking for. Only send that deck when you’re soliciting a company.
11. Offer category or level exclusivity. For example, make it clear that there can only be ONE silver level sponsor, or there can only be ONE breakfast sponsor.
12. Add tickets/hospitality benefits to each sponsorship level. Comped registration to your conference or a special sponsors dinner are great ideas to start with. You’d be shocked to see how many times people ask for money or donation, but offer nothing in return besides your logo on their marketing materials and a mention on social media!
13. Are there benefits to being a sponsor outside of the event itself? Many conferences now are offering many different types of benefits: marketing, hospitality, onsite, year round, etc. Think about the big picture!
14. Be precise. Keep things as short as possible — do you really think everyone has time to read a 20 page pitch deck? Nope!
15. Be humble. End with a THANK YOU! and be sure to include your contact information, how to follow up with you, and when you’ll be reaching back out to discuss.
To get more tips on event sponsorships, check out our eBook: The New Rules of Event Sponsorship.