#166: Common Sponsorship Mistakes to Avoid

Office Operations

The theme this month is mastering the sponsorship proposal process and if you need to catch up, scroll down to the resources section and you’ll find links to the other episodes.

Let’s talk about one of the most crucial aspects of planning any event – sponsorship. It’s no secret that securing sponsors can make or break an event, but even the most seasoned planners can make some common mistakes when soliciting sponsorships.

In this episode, we’ll go over some of the most common event sponsorship solicitation mistakes to avoid.

Welcome to another episode of Systems Sunday as we wrap up our theme this month of mastering the sponsorship proposal process. If you need to catch up, scroll down to the resources section and you’ll find links to the other episodes.

I am Lisa Wells, your Virtual Assistant Trainer.

Let’s talk about one of the most crucial aspects of planning any event – sponsorship. It’s no secret that securing sponsors can make or break an event, but even the most seasoned planners can make some common mistakes when soliciting sponsorships. In today’s episode, we’ll go over some of the most common event sponsorship solicitation mistakes to avoid.

Mistake #1: Not doing your research

One of the biggest mistakes when soliciting sponsorships is not doing their research on potential sponsors. You should have a clear idea of what your event is all about, who your target audience is, and what potential sponsors align with your event goals. Take the time to research companies that are a good fit, and tailor your pitch accordingly. Sending out a generic email broadcast to all your contacts or every company in town is a surefire way to get ignored.

Mistake #2: Not giving enough information

Don’t assume that potential sponsors don’t want to know specifics. Odds are that they aren’t going to do the legwork themselves to find out more info, so give them all the compelling information they need in order to make a YES! decision.

Mistake #3: Having a poor pitch

Another common mistake is not having a clear, concise pitch that gets right to the point. When reaching out to potential sponsors, keep your pitch short and sweet – a few sentences about your event, what you’re looking for in a sponsor, and what benefits they’ll receive in return. Avoid going into too much detail or providing too many options, as this can overwhelm the sponsor and make them less likely to respond.

Mistake #4: Not reaching out to the right people

Don’t spit out your whole spiel in a Facebook message to a business. Most likely the people managing their social channels have little to no say regarding things like sponsorships. You can however reach out on social media and ask who you need to speak with regarding sponsorship for an upcoming event. Always make sure you are talking to the decision maker or someone who directly has their ear.

Mistake #5: Not planning far enough in advance

Even though small businesses are pretty agile, many don’t make moves very quickly and oftentimes their budget for things like sponsoring events is allocated months in advance. This means you need to start looking for sponsors well before your event is even announced. This will give you the best opportunity to sign as many sponsors as possible.

Mistake #6: Focusing solely on the money

While money is a key factor in securing sponsors, it shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on. Many potential sponsors are looking for other benefits, like increased brand exposure or access to your event attendees. Be sure to highlight any unique opportunities your event can offer, such as naming rights, product placement, or speaking opportunities.

Mistake #7: Not providing value to sponsors

It’s important to remember that sponsors are investing in your event, and they expect to receive value in return. Exposure isn’t a strong enough benefit to seal a sponsorship deal, so make sure you’re offering your sponsors tangible benefits that will help them achieve their marketing goals. This could include social media mentions, email broadcasts to attendees, or exclusivity.

Mistake #8: Not following up

Following up is key to securing sponsorships, yet many fail to do so. Always, always, always keep notes of your communications with potential sponsors and follow up. After sending your initial pitch, be sure to follow up within a week or two to check in and see if they have any questions or concerns. So many miss out on additional sponsorship dollars because they drop the ball on the follow-up. A little persistence can go a long way in securing sponsorships.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll increase your chances of securing valuable sponsorships that can help take your event to the next level. Remember to always provide value to your sponsors, keep your pitch short and sweet, and follow up consistently.

Want to save time crafting your sponsorship proposals? Check out my new Sponsorship Proposal Template Bundle. This template pack will give you a great starting point in the sponsorship proposals process. Includes an insider’s guide chock full of information, tips, and best practices, step-by-step on how to structure your packages and sponsorship levels, lots of samples including reports, terms and conditions contract, proposal outline template, sample post-event fulfillment report, and much more.

You can find the product below or head over to my VA Business Builder Boutique by clicking on Shop by Type in the menu bar and you’ll see a link for Template Bundles.

Join me next time for more Systems Sunday. Bye for now.

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Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Grab this template bundle!

Sponsorship Proposal Templates


Sponsorship Proposal Templates

Getting sponsors for your event (whether it be digital or in person) can be a great way to offset some of the costs that come along with hosting an event. In fact, for many events, sponsorships are what make the difference between making a profit and taking a loss.

But how do you get sponsors for your event? Where do you find them? What do you offer them? Whether you’re new to hosting events or you’ve got a few under your belt, this template bundle will be super helpful.

My goal is to make things simpler for you…to make quicker work of getting better RESULTS from your sponsorship proposal process. With that in mind, let’s look at what is included in this bundle:

Here’s what you get:

  • Insider’s Guide to the sponsorship proposals chock full of information, tips, and best practices
  • Potential Sponsor Research Worksheet – Use the worksheet to list out all the relevant information you find about each sponsor. This will help you narrow the list and also better understand how to structure each individual sponsorship proposal. And because following up is super important, I include a communications log to keep you organized.
  • “What do you have to offer a sponsor” Worksheet – Before you can approach a potential sponsor with a proposal, you must understand what you have to offer. After all, if you don’t understand, how can you explain and sell to potential sponsors? Use this worksheet to gain insight into what you and your team can offer for a successful partnership.
  • Packages Worksheet, Sponsorship Level Worksheet, and Example Sponsorship Level Table – Use these worksheets to flesh out your packages’ benefits to sponsors, I also include an example table showing the different levels so you can get an idea of what could be included in the different levels.
  • Cold Email, Terms and Conditions, and Proposal Outline Templates (Editable) – Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. I’ve got you covered! Included in these templates are a sample cold email template, sample sponsorship terms of agreement that you can edit, and an outline of what you should include in your proposal.
  • Sponsorship Implementation Checklist – Ensure that you have everything you need to properly promote your sponsors, and that they have everything they need to promote themselves to your attendees as well.
  • Sample Post-Event Fulfillment Report (Editable) – Following your event, it’s always good to provide your sponsors with a fulfillment report that provides proof that you delivered on your end of the sponsorship contract. I include a sample report, complete with what to include and sample verbiage.

As you can see, all of the templates included in the Sponsorship Proposal Template bundle will help you with the sponsorship proposal process so that you can grow your business with events.

#166: Common Sponsorship Mistakes to Avoid
#166: Common Sponsorship Mistakes to Avoid


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