How to Build a Winning Event Sponsorship Package in 2022

It doesn’t have to be said, but events are different these days.

Events / How to Build a Winning Event Sponsorship Package in 2022

Every event had to pivot abruptly in 2020. We built up momentum to go back in person in 2021, but most of the world wasn’t ready. In fact, when recently surveyed, less than 20% of event planners stated they felt confident planning in-person meetings and events. So we, as the professional event organizer, continued to navigate the murky waters of virtual events – the necessity of meetings didn’t stop because of lockdowns. Out of our forced adaptations, we found expertise in virtual platforms. Today, in-person, virtual, and hybrid experiences are not a question of “if?” but “when?”- However, conveying our capabilities to event sponsors requires a whole new data set. 

Sponsorship is a Strategic Partnership

How do you show your investors value in a virtual or hybrid event? Your job in pitching a sponsorship package to a business is proving the value that their investment will offer as a return. Think of a sponsorship arrangement as a strategic partnership.

Sponsorship is a powerful marketing tool for businesses that choose to get behind an event. Whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid, each attendee represents an opportunity for the business to be in front of its potential customers. Showing your potential sponsors why your event is one to invest in is a crucial part of your pitch. Your brand and your audience should be honestly and accurately portrayed in your sponsorship materials. Sponsors will also want to know: how many attendees your event will attract, how large your social audiences are, how many people will see their branding at your event, on your website, and through various marketing channels.

But it is not solely about the numbers. An event sponsorship should be a symbiotic relationship for both the event brand and the sponsoring brands. Think of an event sponsorship agreement as your brand publicly joining hands with other brands. Sponsorship with a petroleum company at an environmental advocacy conference might cause more damage than benefit. Keep this in mind as you consider which brands to solicit sponsorships from

Customization Should be the Default

Not all of the companies you approach will find the same value in sponsoring your event. Rather than a standard prospectus you send to every company, event planners should customize the package to match the potential sponsors’ objectives. This allows businesses with different needs/budgets/resources to be part of your event, but contribute differently. 

Let’s talk about some of the types of sponsorship that can be offered in your packages:

Financial sponsorship

  • When people think of sponsors, this is usually what they think of – a business pays money or funds a portion of the event, and in return, they receive pre-determined benefits like logo placements on event materials. Opportunities to present or be part of the educational program are also extremely popular these days for businesses. 

Media/Promotional Sponsorship

  • Partnering with media outlets, such as news stations and radio stations, is a good way for both your event and this partner to prosper. Your event receives media coverage, and the partner gets to have a presence at your event and access to the fruits of the marketing campaigns you will run. Promotional sponsorships work in a similar way. Securing industry influencers in the year 2022 is really just another form of media! Industry bloggers, podcasters, local celebs, executives, and social media gurus often have huge followings and the ability to live stream to their audience base. This can help you to expand your customer/attendee base – these types of sponsors may also be vital components of your show (in some cases), such as speakers or emcees. The right influencers might also be an attraction for other types of sponsors to come aboard! 

In-kind sponsorship

  • Securing some of the major planning components of an event is more difficult than ever with the pandemic. Having a sponsorship option that allows for in-kind sponsorship – think venues, catering, or transportation – can be helpful with securing these components and expanding your budget for other event items. But as mentioned above, make sure that these vendors align with your brand image, especially on issues such as handling social distancing, testing, etc. To ensure success, have your event board determine and outline event precautions and strategies. Be sure to communicate these expectations to your vendors and sponsors alike. 

What types of marketing assets does your event have?

Many businesses consider events to be the main component of their marketing strategy. Some larger corporations have entire “field marketing” budgets! We discussed how sponsoring your event will be mutually beneficial for sponsors, as they will widen their audience and increase brand awareness, due to sheer volume (based on your event size). When pitching businesses, you want to make sure potential sponsors know what types of marketing assets your event will have likes where/when will the sponsor’s logo show up? This is one of the big changes due to the introduction of virtual and hybrid events. Today, the same level of sponsorship might include signage both in-person, but also on the virtual platform. This is a great opportunity to use an event planning tool like OPS or VISION to show sponsors where their signage would be within the physical venue. 

Sponsors might also want to be included on your website and marketing emails. Previously, you might have pitched your event reach based on the number of tickets/attendees expected for the event. This is yet another facet of the event that looks different today. Data you would want to include for sponsors if hosting an event with a virtual component would be: how many virtual attendees do you expect? What is the cap for the platform? How many attendees could the platform hold at the most? Where on the platform would the logo be advertised? Is it possible to buy advertising space – such as banners or video ads before presentations, etc?

If you have the data from previous events, include numbers such as new customers gained for a previous event sponsor, return-on-investment, and previous attendee numbers. Your brand influence and reach from your event should ultimately help your sponsors to increase sales; therefore, your sponsorship marketing materials should clearly demonstrate the value of sponsoring your event to your potential sponsors. 

We’ve highlighted the major points you need to consider in creating your winning event sponsorship package. Stay tuned to to learn more about event sponsorship strategy, how to find sponsors, and how to approach them effectively. 

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