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Six tips for finding a sponsor for your conference

Sponsors can help you increase the profitability of your event and your brand exposure, by giving you their ‘seal of approval’ and sharing your event with their network. But how do you go about finding conference sponsorship? Here are some tips to help you.

1) Be clear about what you do (and don’t) want

The first thing you need to consider is what you’re prepared to offer a sponsor (and what you’re not), and what you want from them.

For example, a sponsor may want exclusivity, a say in your speakers and marketing, their branding in key positions and preferential treatment at the conference itself. Meanwhile, you might want financial support, promotion to their network and autonomy in how you plan and run the event.

So before you even start making a shortlist of potential sponsors to approach, be clear about what you’re prepared to move on, and what you’re not when negotiating.

2) Know your target market

One question a potential sponsor will always want to know the answer to is, “Who will be attending?”.  So, make sure you clearly outline your target market and include it in your approach to them.

3) Research your sponsor

Before you approach a sponsor, do some digging around. Do they work with other brands? And if so, what types of companies and in what context? Do they already sponsor events like yours? And if so, what do they do?

The more you find out about them, the more thorough and informed your approach will be. It may also save you time approaching brands who already sponsor your competition.

4) What can you offer them?

Think about creative ways you can add value to your proposal. Research what kind of relationship other conferences and sponsors have. Are there any ideas you can copy? Particularly consider any ideas that will make your offering more attractive to your sponsor, without costing you much money.

5) Think big – and small

Do go for the big, ambitious brands, but don’t forget the smaller companies too. Creating lower budget options can help get several smaller sponsors on board, and help you begin to grow relationships that can become mutually lucrative over time.

6) Make it personal

And finally, when you’re ready to approach your chosen sponsors, make each request personal. Sending an obviously cut-and-paste generic request to dozens of sponsors won’t make them feel special, and is unlikely to pique their interest. So take your time with each approach, adding their current logo and explaining exactly why you think they’re the right brand for your event.

Planning a conference?

Contact the Imperial Venues team to assist in organising your event.

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