If you run a local business with a solid presence in your community and are looking to expand your reach through a sponsored event, seeking sponsorship from nearby companies can be an excellent strategy. Local businesses are often more willing to support community initiatives, making it easier to secure sponsorship for your event. In this guide, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step approach to garner support from local companies, from setting clear goals to making contact with potential sponsors.
Set Clear Goals
Whether you’re looking for sponsorship from small local businesses or larger companies, it’s crucial to start with clear objectives in mind. Define what you aim to achieve through sponsorship. Your goals could range from covering event expenses to attracting a larger and more engaged audience. Knowing your organization’s needs and objectives is essential for establishing a mutually beneficial partnership with sponsors.
Discover Local Companies That Sponsor Events
Identifying local businesses that offer event sponsorship opportunities is the next step. Start by researching companies in your community, checking their websites, and exploring their social media profiles. Platforms like LinkedIn can provide valuable corporate information. If your initial search yields limited results, leverage your local connections to gather information on potential sponsors.
As you compile a list of potential sponsors, consider conducting audience research to better understand your community’s demographics, preferences, and buying behavior. This data will help you tailor your sponsorship pitch to align with your audience and potential sponsors’ objectives.
Consider Getting Several Sponsors Should They All Be Smaller
Local sponsors may have smaller customer bases and limited financial resources compared to larger corporations. Therefore, it’s often necessary to secure multiple sponsors to meet your event’s financial needs. The number of sponsors required will become clearer as you engage with potential sponsors and negotiate funding.
Creating a comprehensive sponsorship program that caters to multiple sponsors is essential. This entails customizing your sponsorship assets for each prospective sponsor, such as different promotional opportunities, signage, or mentions. Be prepared to invest time and effort in securing multiple sponsors.
Research to Define Your Audience
Local businesses often pride themselves on their close connections with their community. However, it’s crucial to have a deeper understanding of your audience beyond just knowing their names. Conduct an audience survey to gather insights into their demographics, preferences, and motivations for engaging with your organization.
Promote the survey through various channels, such as your physical store, social media, or email. Segment the survey responses to create profiles of your audience, which will be invaluable when approaching potential sponsors. This data will help you align your sponsorship offerings with your audience’s interests.
Determine the Value of Your Best Assets
Sponsorship is essentially a trade where sponsors provide support in exchange for valuable assets from your organization. These assets can include logo placement, event space, promotional opportunities, and more. To determine the value of these assets, consider market rates and regional norms.
Collaborate with colleagues in your organization to brainstorm unique assets that you can offer to potential sponsors. Involve the sponsors in the process to understand their specific needs and objectives. Organize your assets into categories or packages, making it easier to present them to potential sponsors.
Make Contact with the Sponsor Company Through Your Local Contacts
Establishing initial contact with potential sponsors can be challenging. Ensure that you have a local contact within the sponsoring company or use your existing connections in the community. Avoid being too direct in your initial communication, as it’s essential to build a relationship before discussing sponsorship opportunities.
Email templates can be useful when reaching out to potential sponsors. Customize your emails to fit the specific sponsor’s context and needs. When arranging meetings, choose a professional setting, such as their workplace, and maintain a respectful tone throughout your communication.
Convene with the Target Sponsors
The first meeting with a potential sponsor is a discovery session where you gather information to assess compatibility. Use a list of targeted questions to understand the sponsor’s goals, expectations, and preferences. Carefully analyze the responses to determine which sponsor aligns best with your event.
Treat the initial meeting as a professional business encounter. Dress appropriately, arrive on time, and focus on discussing discovery-related questions rather than immediately presenting your sponsorship proposal. Subsequent meetings may involve sharing your proposal and further negotiations.
What are the benefits of seeking sponsorship from local businesses?
Seeking sponsorship from local businesses can strengthen community bonds, increase brand visibility, and provide financial support for your organization or event. Local sponsors are often more accessible and willing to engage with community initiatives.
How can I find local companies that provide event sponsorship opportunities?
Research local businesses through their websites, social media, and LinkedIn profiles. Leverage your existing local connections and consider conducting audience research to identify potential sponsors aligned with your community and event.
How do I determine the value of my assets for potential sponsors?
Evaluate the market rates and regional norms for sponsorship assets. Collaborate with colleagues to brainstorm unique assets and involve potential sponsors in the process to tailor offerings to their specific needs.
What questions should I ask during a discovery session with a prospective sponsor?
Utilize a list of targeted questions to understand the sponsor’s goals, expectations, and preferences. Assess their compatibility with your event and organization based on their responses.
How can I make my sponsorship proposal more appealing to potential sponsors?
Customize your sponsorship proposal to align with the needs and objectives of the potential sponsor. Highlight the unique assets and benefits you can provide, and ensure clear communication of the mutual benefits of the partnership.
Local business sponsorship offers both advantages and challenges due to its smaller scope. However, with careful planning and a well-structured approach, you can secure sponsorship from local companies to support your community event. Building strong relationships and understanding the needs of both your organization and potential sponsors are key to successful partnerships.