AUGUST 28, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Sponsorship Packages

Finding the right kind of sponsor for your event is often the most difficult part of event planning. In fact, EventBrite’s Guide to Event Sponsorship found that most professional event planners identified actually securing event sponsorship as one of the greatest challenges in the sponsorship element of planning.

This is because many brands have become more particular about how they dole out sponsorships as they seek deeper connections with their target audience. The promise of logo-bearing swag is no longer enough to cut it. Instead, event planners have to figure out how to position event sponsorship as a channel for authentic connection between brands and their customers.

This is where event sponsorship packages can be extremely helpful – moving from a transactional to a relational approach.
What Are Sponsorship Packages?
Sponsorship packages provide brands with clear cut pitch on what event sponsorship can do for them. Brands of all shapes and sizes are acutely aware of how expensive sponsoring an event can become.

A sponsorship package addresses their concerns by providing concrete terms and translating the sponsorship into a relational ROI for the brand. With the right level of sponsorship, events can lead to new sales, new contacts and new awareness campaigns for brands. But that is only possible if you offer an authentic means for brands to engage. “Most sponsors plan to continue to renew their sponsorship…but the most important thing to keep in mind are the types of sponsorships offered,” writes Holly Barker at the Event Manager Blog. “You are placing your sponsors in front of their target audience, so making sure your sponsorship package has unique offerings is a key to creating a successful event not only for you, but for your sponsors as well.”

A great sponsorship package goes beyond logo placement. Instead, the sponsorship package should outline how the agreement benefits the sponsoring brand and specific, unique sponsorship routes the brand can choose from. The more creative, the better! Stephanie Fisher at SpinWeb suggests a digital approach – incorporating brands into the social media campaign for the event, publishing video interviews, or live streaming with the brand at the event.

We jump into the specifics of what great event sponsorship packages look like in practice below – but what are some of the benefits of going this route for your event?
Everything You Need to Know About Sponsorship Packages
The Benefits of Offering Sponsorship Packages
The benefit of offering sponsorship packages goes both ways. The packages can benefit sponsors by giving them a unique way to reach a new audience and build brand awareness without breaking the bank. In turn, sponsorship packages benefit event organizers by giving them a connection to the community and a bigger budget to work with. In a phrase, well-down sponsorship packages provide a ROI for both event organizers and budding brands.

These benefits extend from large corporations and major events to smaller operations and community events. “No longer reserved for large corporations with big marketing budgets,” writes Carla Leible at Zimmerman Radio & Marketing Group. “Small and medium-size businesses are increasingly involved in sponsoring community events that enable them to increase visibility and promote brand awareness.”

Some of the benefit in offering a sponsorship package is not directly related to the ROI. For example, one of the major benefits of offering sponsorship packages for event planning is to provide clarity in the mutually beneficial relationship between event organizers and sponsors. A package avoids the need for event organizers to scramble to figure out how to incorporate a brand into the event, and the unfortunate reality of a sponsor wondering what the next steps are for their sponsorship.

Instead, a well done sponsorship package outlines exactly how sponsors can use an event as an opportunity to communicate a message and delineates a few different options for moving forward.

What Great Sponsorship Packages Look Like in Action
A sponsorship package is a fantastic way to build awareness and financial support for your next event – but not all event sponsorship packages are created equal.

Based off of examples we’ve encountered firsthand and seen online, there are a few key elements any great sponsorship package will have in common:
It is creative
No modern day brand wants to visit a sponsorship page and see the same old, same old. Shake up expectations by offering something truly unique at your event. You can even treat it as an opportunity to have something you otherwise wouldn’t be able to at your event, like a lounge or charging station.
It is specific
As they look for the most promising sponsorships, brands are going to want specific information. In your sponsorship package, be sure to include the details of what each sponsorship level includes – and how benefits take shape.
It gives options
Some major companies will be able to drop $30k on a single event sponsorship. Others are looking for a grassroots way to engage with their local audience, and can’t afford more than a few hundred dollars. Make sure you include a range of sponsorship options in your package. In order to create the appearance of competition, consider making higher levels limited to 1, 2 or 3 sponsors.
It proves value
A winning sponsorship package goes beyond the dollar amount and the list of perks included in the event sponsorship. Instead, a great sponsorship package will detail how the event is a good medium for brands to connect with their target audience – and how event organizers will facilitate this organic connection.
It is flexible
You want to do your best to include all relevant information within a sponsorship package – but sometimes it can act as the foundation of a great partnership that goes further. If a brand has a suggestion for how they would like to sponsor an event, treat the package as a guideline rather than a set of rules!
More than anything, a sponsorship package should help your event stand out from the crowd of marketing opportunities for brands. In order to do that, you have to get creative. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Focus on the digital just as much as the physical
Sponsorship opportunities don’t have to be limited to the day of the event or printed promo materials. Consider doing an interview with sponsors, asking why they want to connect with the community through this specific event. Tag businesses in your social media campaigns, and get people talking about them in the context of your event.
Create a separate sponsor space
If the venue allows, let sponsors set themselves apart – literally. A standalone lounge, WiFi and charging area or kid’s zone would each make a great fit with the right sponsor.
Let a sponsor take over
Maybe a local restaurant wants to provide the sandwiches, a tavern wants to provide an open bar, or a DJ wants to take on the music. If the fit is right, you should be able to let the sponsor run with it – they are the experts, after all
Looking for more ideas of what sponsorship packages can look like in practice? Kathleen Smith at Bizzabo outlines a few winning sponsorship packages that were able to land big brands and helped lead to a successful event for sponsors, attendees and event organizers alike. You can also check out the City of Auburn’s sponsorship package document for a great idea of what a detailed, creative sponsorship approach can look like from the jump.
The Bottom Line: Use Sponsorship Packages to Give Your Next Event a Boost
This brief guide highlights just how helpful a creatively effective sponsorship package can be for your event. The next step is to dive into the creation of the sponsorship package, based off of the relationships you already have with businesses and brands.

For a successful sponsorship, look for ways to treat the partnership as a two way street. In other words, be flexible and willing to work with brands! Sponsorship packages serve as a fantastic foundation for companies looking to partner with you, but they don’t need to be set in stone. Stay open to suggestions from potential partners that make sense for their sponsorship, and actively look ways to add creativity to the sponsorship packages you do offer.
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