Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Can I Get That in Print?

20 Ideas for Supporting Your Sponsors

It’s generally understood that businesses offer sponsorships in order to show community support and ultimately to gain brand exposure which leads to more sales or greater customer loyalty.  Therefore, a sponsorship is an agreement between the donor and the receiver to help each other grow in a mutually beneficial relationship.

When the sponsorship benefits both parties, it can go beyond simply honoring a pledge and lead to a strong partnership, ensuring long term support for both sides.

So, your goal is to make sure your event promotion leads to increased exposure for your sponsors. The question is: How do you make sure your sponsors feel valued and appreciated? How do you develop loyalty and commitment with your sponsors?

Whether you already have sponsors for your event or you’re trying to figure out how to get in the door to present your plan, we have several ideas to help you turn your sponsorships into lasting relationships.

Here are 20 ways to support your sponsors so they’ll support you.

  1. Make sure you honor their brand identity. Use their official logo, slogan, and company description whenever possible. Be careful not to spell their name wrong or include incorrect contact information! Many companies have strict guidelines for how their brand should be portrayed. Sticking to that guideline shows them you care about who they are as a company. Know your sponsor’s goals as a company so that you can maximize exposure in the right places. Asking for this information in the beginning will instill a higher level of trust in you.

  2. Send a personalized thank you card. Once a company has agreed to sponsor you, make sure you send a personalized thank you card that’s worthy of being displayed. Include information about how their donation will help you and your community. Add a hand-written note for that personal touch.

  3. Take every opportunity to include information about your sponsors. Designing a flyer? Include your sponsor’s logo in the corner. Writing a blog post about your event? Include a link to your sponsors in the article. Printing a program? Include an ad for your sponsors. Your sponsors will never complain that you had too many mentions of their company.

  4. Send traffic to their website. Whenever possible, use your website to drive visitors to your sponsor’s website. Most companies track where their web visitors are coming from and seeing your website as a major contributor will definitely help your sponsors see the benefits of sponsoring your cause.

  5. Offer ad space on your website or other promotional materials. In addition to a logo and link, offer a space for digital ads from your sponsors on your website. Obviously, not every website is set up to do this, but if you can, it adds a lot of value to your sponsors. If you’re purchasing billboard space, offer your sponsors a place for their logo or ad.

  6. Use social media to promote and thank your sponsors. Tag your sponsors in every tweet, post, and update. Link to their website or their social media pages. Encourage likes, follows, and shares. Encourage your sponsors to link to your event page, too and you’ll both receive a boost in traffic.

  7. Encourage your patrons to sign up for your sponsor’s email newsletter. During event registration or ticket purchase, include a link or sign up sheet inviting guests to sign up for your sponsor’s newsletter to receive more information about their company. Often a company can provide you with a snippet of code to place on your website for easy newsletter sign up. Or include a link in your own email newsletter! Providing your sponsors with a list of potential clients is a valuable service.

  8. Include sponsors in press releases. When writing for online media outlets or printed newspapers or periodicals, include mentions of your sponsors. This kind of exposure is significant for your sponsors.

  9. Invite sponsors to your event with complimentary tickets. It’s a simple way to show your gratitude to your sponsors and ensure a memorable experience that will stay in your sponsor’s mind when it’s time to sponsor again next year. Give them front row seats, VIP passes, or custom name badges with their logo on it. Consider giving them a t-shirt, branded water bottle, or other gift of appreciation, too.

  10. Involve your sponsor’s employees. Invite your sponsor’s employees to attend your event and participate in the activities. The more people who enjoy your event from their company, the more likely they are to want to do it again next time.

  11. Single out your sponsors during the event. Most companies will appreciate some kind of announcement over the PA, a chance to give an award or even a chance to say a few words about their company during your event.

  12. Create promotions with your sponsor’s products. If you offer giveaways, auctions, or raffle prizes as part of your event, include products from your sponsors. They will often give you something to use as part of their sponsorship and it’s a really great excuse to mention and promote their brand. If you’ll be playing games or having competitions, make sure the prizes are products from your sponsors.

  13. Introduce your sponsors to potential business partners. You add incredible value to your event when you take the opportunity to introduce your sponsors to other people who might be interested in their services or products. It’s all about networking!

  14. Offer a place to display information during your event. Offer your sponsors a table or booth to hand out company brochures, flyers, or business cards. Some companies will want to contribute to a swag bag, hand out promotional products, or hold a contest. Help them to brand their booth by offering branded banners, tablecloths, or back drops.

  15. Go big with their branding. An enormous banner or poster placed at the entrance to your event will ensure that every participant knows who your sponsors are. Sponsors will feel appreciated when they see you honoring them in a big way.

  16. Offer exclusivity in their area of business. It’s important to your sponsors that they aren’t promoted right next to their biggest competitor. If possible, make sure they know they will be the only sponsor in their particular area of business.

  17. Make sure your whole team shows their appreciation. Encourage your team members to follow or like sponsors on social media, express a few words of gratitude in person or online, and give their business to the companies who sponsor you.

  18. Use video to promote your sponsors. Video is a powerful promotional tool that gets attention. Show your sponsor’s commercial at your event. Post a video to your social media pages talking about how amazing your sponsors are. A video showing your successful event branded with your sponsor’s logo will be an excellent tool for motivating sponsors for next year, too!

  19. Take pictures with key members of your sponsor’s company. You can post photos online or even print a custom canvas or poster for your sponsor to hang in their offices. If your sponsor has a photo on the wall showing their pledge to your cause, they will be more likely to continue that sponsorship.

  20. After the event, send a report of how the sponsorship worked. Don’t stop showing the love once the event is over. After everything is wrapped up, send another letter expressing thanks and reporting on how successful the project was. Include event photos or videos if possible. Since you can’t usually prove that the sponsorship directly increased sales in your sponsor’s company, it’s best to focus on how many times the sponsor was promoted or acknowledged. For example, attendance at the event showed that their corporate banner was seen 2,500 times, your social media post received 5,000 hits, and 3,000 people visited the link on your website.
Take advantage of every opportunity to express appreciation to your sponsors and you will build loyalty and trust and ensure continued support for your efforts. Together, you can both grow your brands and further your causes.

At McNeil Printing, we can help with your printed promotional materials! We offer affordable options for printed flyers, programs, posters, and more. Ask us about our top quality banners and display graphics. We can assist you in visually promoting your sponsors in the best way possible.