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How to Get Sponsors for Your Event

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

sponsor_moneyI have had several people come to me asking how I birthed utopYA, the conference and awards that celebrate women writers of young adult and new adult fiction, because they want to create their own conference or event and would like to replicate its success.¬†For them, I held a special podcast a year ago, where I shared how we did it. I’ll probably be sharing that podcast recording again soon in some way.

I can even count a handful of these events that were created by women who attended utopYA, and wanted to bring that same opportunity and spirit to their own towns. Let’s stop right here, and take a minute to celebrate that. Let’s celebrate that more opportunities for writers to connect with fans and each other are popping up all over creation [insert happy dance here].

To honor one of my mission aims — thoughtful collaboration with like-minded entrepreneurs — I thought I’d pull back the curtain on sponsorship for those looking to attract them to your own events.

Here are my top tips on the steps needed for successful event sponsorship:

Set your goal(s)

How much money do you need? What is it you need or want to accomplish with the help of sponsors that you can’t do on your own or in a different way? Be specific.

Create your hit list

Who do you want to sponsor? Do your homework. Find companies sympathetic to your audience and to you. Find companies active in sponsorship, but who aren’t over extended. Find companies who can help promote.

Determine Audience — both yours and theirs

Find sponsors who want the audience that is attracted to you.

Know what you have to offer

What can you offer them in exchange for sponsorship? What can you do for them or create for them or offer them that will make saying yes to you a no-brainer?

Cultivate Relationships

Sometimes this means starting local — know any business owners, friends or family members who can help?

Use Twitter, Facebook and other social sites to not only do homework, but to talk with your potential sponsors. Get to know them way before you ask them for anything.

Create Proposal

Put together a nice-looking and well thought out document outlining your event mission, purpose, facts about your audience, facts about your industry, any press you have received, and your sponsor opportunities.

Work with rock stars

I recommend working with someone who has this as their ONLY task for your event. Getting sponsors is not a job that is easy to juggle along with the 50,000 other things on the event “To Do” list. I say this from personal experience. Then bring your team in to help execute.

Be tenacious

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. At the very least, you want to be in their minds when you come a-callin’ next year.

 

Creating successful events is extremely rewarding, but definitely full-time work if you want it done right and well. I see a lot of entrepreneurs trying to juggle events with other hobbies and passions. I’m not saying it’s impossible to do both, but, undoubtedly, there will be times when one or the other will suffer because you aren’t 100% focused on one. Be kind to yourself when this happens. It’s in our nature to beat ourselves up when our desire to be superwomen who do it all gets challenged. Know in your heart what you’re meant to do, and go for it with every cell of your being.

Hope these tips helped. Here’s to success for all of us!

Tags: event marketing, event sponsorship, how to get sponsors, how to write a sponsor deck, sponsor proposal
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