Sponsors are a critical part of your event strategy. Their financial support can take your event to the next level, increase total revenue, and be a resourceful presence for your members. But, finding the perfect sponsor can be tricky. A sponsor that’s mission doesn’t align with your members’ needs can actually be a distraction. Your members are there to learn, network, and grow as professionals – they are not there to be sold to.

So how can you find a sponsor that understands your goals and can genuinely connect with your members? Below, we’ve outlined 4 ways you can successfully pick a sponsor that adds value to your event and increases your total revenue.

Evaluate members needs

Before you draw up the sponsorship contracts, it’s essential you suss out what your members want to see and how a sponsor could enhance their experience. Consider their main pain points and find a company that can help. We help leaders solve problems every day – through technology, consulting or additional resources. See our list of the top requested items that could be helpful to your members:

  • Contact management software
  • Financial consulting
  • Automation tools
  • Event space / equipment rentals
  • Website design
  • Content marketing

No matter your industry, each item listed above could be useful to your members. Use member’s pain points as a source for your research.

Determine your budget

Now that you know exactly what members want, establish a financial goal for sponsorships. Do you need $10,000? $50,000? Picking the right number can be tricky. To help find the right range, consider the number of attendees, food, event space, and activities.

How to attract the right sponsors

Instead of waiting for the “right” sponsor to come to you, research groups that fit the ideal role. Create sponsorship packages they can’t resist and reach out early. Share your association’s mission through stories that evoke an emotional response. Catch their eye with unique benefits and always offer customization. While the standard options like a logo on promotional material or their company name on a banner are great, think outside of the box. Check out some ideas from Dan McCarthy at Venueseeker, an event management company based in the UK.

  • Mention the sponsor’s company in passing in your blog posts or email newsletters.
  • Provide incentives, such as freebies or discounts for customers that purchase the sponsor’s product or sign up for its service.
  • Include the sponsor’s logo in all of your promotional gear
  • Encourage your social media followers to “like” or share the sponsor’s content

Continue the momentum after the event

You’ve just wrapped up a successful event. Continue the momentum by thanking both your attendees and sponsors. Strengthen relations with a survey. Did the sponsors feel like their time spent at your event was worth it? Use their feedback to improve and make your next event even better.

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