How to secure a sponsor for your event: A complete guide

Securing a sponsor for your event is a tricky, but not impossible, task. Follow these steps and you'll be on the right track to a sponsorship deal in no time.

Updated on 22 November 2022 • Written By Ellie Donnell

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How to secure a sponsor for your event: A complete guide

Trying to secure a brand sponsor for your event but not sure where to start? We’re here to help. Our complete guide to event sponsorship includes everything you need to know about how to bag one, including the benefits of working with a sponsor, different types of sponsorship and the best way to go about approaching a potential partner.

But first, what is event sponsorship? Event sponsorship is when a brand or company provides financial services to help cover the cost of hosting an event. It’s a great tool if you don’t have enough budget to fund your event, and can be used to help pay for both small and large events. It’s also a mutually beneficial agreement which offers both parties promotional opportunities, whether that’s by opening up new audiences or raising brand awareness. Essentially, it’s a very powerful marketing tool that offers a range of benefits for everyone involved.


Of course, finding and securing an event sponsor isn't the easiest thing to do. Asking a company to invest a large amount of money, as well as lending their name and brand image to an event, is a huge ask, which is why you need to make the opportunity as attractive as possible. In our ultimate guide to how to attain a sponsor for your event, we've included top tips and helpful advice for every part of the process. From how to choose a sponsor that’s right for you, to writing a killer proposal that’s impossible to say no to, you can find plenty of useful information right here.

So, if this is the first time you’ve considered working with a sponsor, or haven’t had much luck with securing one in the past, keep on reading. This handy guide contains all the tools you need to make event sponsorship a reality.

What are the benefits of a sponsor?

Event sponsorship is a two-way partnership which means that both players need to benefit in order for it to be worthwhile. However, you, the event host, and the sponsor might enter into a partnership for slightly different reasons. Here are some of the main benefits of event sponsorship for both parties.

Benefits for the event organiser:


This is one of the main reasons people look for support from sponsors. Especially if you’re hosting a large event, budget can be a hugely limiting factor and you may need to bring on extra support if other revenue streams (such as selling tickets) don’t quite cut the mustard. It could be the difference between breaking even and making a profit which, depending on your event goals, is a huge deal.

To reach new audiences

If your sponsor has a large audience, or speaks to a different demographic with their brand, an event organiser might like to harness their sponsor’s audience to reach more/new people with their event.

Increased credibility

Working with a big-name brand is likely to enhance your credibility, boost trust and, especially if you’re a smaller company, put you on the map.

Benefits for the event sponsor:

Brand awareness

Companies with enough budget will always be on the lookout for event sponsorship opportunities in order to get their product, message or brand image out there. Working with brands on an event is a relatively efficient way to do this, as it allows them to display their brand to lots of people in one go.

To reach new audiences

Similarly to an event organiser, sponsorship opportunities allow a brand to reach more people and new audiences. This is why it’s really important for marketers to find the right match, in order to maximise their visibility.

What types of sponsorship are there?

There are four types of event sponsorship to be aware of. When used strategically, each one can have significant benefits for both the sponsor and the event planner.

Financial sponsorship – this is when a sponsor offers money to an event organiser in exchange for promotional coverage and marketing opportunities.

In-kind sponsorship – rather than offering financial help, in-kind sponsorship provides goods or services to an event, such as a venue, prize or food and drink.

Media sponsorship – if budgetary constraints are an issue for an organisation, they can instead offer media sponsorship by promoting an event through their channels. Social media is one of the most popular ways to do this.

Promotional sponsorship – this one is similar to media sponsorship, but focuses solely on using individual people to promote an event, such as an influencer or public figure.

How to choose a sponsor

Finding the right match between you and your potential sponsor is crucial. If it’s not a good fit, you’re going to have a hard time convincing them to sponsor your event. Before you start your research, make sure you’ve narrowed down exactly who your target audience is and what you can offer brands by way of promotion to help them reach new audiences.

Worried about something going wrong? That's why we've put together the ultimate contingency guide for event planners.

Have a think about how much investment you need to ensure you go after brands who are likely to have enough budget to cover your event. It’s also helpful to find companies that fit with your event and company’s ethos, and that have some correlation to the event’s niche e.g. if you’re hosting an event to market restaurants, then a food brand could be a good way to go.

You should already know who your target audience is, so try and find brands that they already follow or engage with. It can be really exciting for an attendee to see a brand they love at an event, and they'll be much more likely to show their support.

Have a look around to see who brands have worked with in the past, and in what capacity. You can use online resources to find sponsors, such as SponsorMyEvent, SponsorPitch and SponsorPark.

Finally, you might want to consider the following questions before going ahead:

- What is the overall aim of your event?
- Why is your event powerful/useful?
- What sort of people are attending your event?

How to approach brands to sponsor your event

This is the crucial bit: the pitch. Get this part wrong and it’s game over, which is why we’ve put together a few points to ensure you nail the proposal.

Keep it personal

Make sure you do plenty of research on the company before approaching them. That way, you can make your proposal really specific and clearly outline what’s in it for them. Everyone likes to feel valued, and showing you’ve done your research and put a lot of thought into why you want to work with a specific brand is going to really help lay the foundations of a strong relationship.

Know your worth

Your event is an incredible opportunity for brands to market themselves. Remember that. You want to be really clear from the off with what you can offer a brand, and one of the ways you can do that is by singing your own praises. Explain clearly and succinctly who you are, the purpose of the event and the opportunities to the company if they sponsor your event.

Explain your assets

It might help to be specific with what you can offer on the day. There are lots of ways you can promote a brand, but this depends on the event. Banners, prizes, exhibiting opportunities, social media mentions, placement on your website and special speakers are just a few of the ways you can offer promotion.

Be confident

Nailing your tone of voice is a fine balance. You don’t want to be too pushy and scare them off from the outset, but it’s important to be confident in what you’re offering and to know what you’re talking about. Be clear with what you’re asking, and sign off your letter or email with a clear action at the end. What do you want them to do after reading your proposal?

Package it up

To make your offer as appealing as possible, you’ll want to offer multiple packages that allow sponsors to choose how much they invest for varying levels of exposure. The simplest way to do this is with a Gold, Silver and Bronze tiered approach. For each package, make sure to explain exactly what the sponsor will gain from each one, for an associated cost. Obviously, the Gold option will offer the most coverage, but for a higher price. Remember, you can always go after multiple sponsors. In this case, you might like to offer your main sponsor exclusive perks over others to make the opportunity more attractive.

When should you secure a sponsor?

Securing a sponsor for your event can be a fairly long process. From striking up initial conversations and building a relationship to getting that ethereal ‘yes’ from the brand, the whole process can be pretty lengthy. Make sure to give yourself a decent amount of leeway before the event itself. We recommend anywhere between six months to a year prior to the event.

How to make your sponsorship work harder

Extend the length of your partnership beyond the event itself. This is where you want to be really clever and think about how you can re-purpose sponsorship content for another day. Think about hiring a photographer or videographer to film the event, which you can then use as marketing material for future commercial opportunities. If your event is one that occurs annually, for example, it will help to have a showreel of the event for when it comes to approaching new sponsors next year.

Want to increase the reach of your event? Check out our guide to how to use social media for your event, with tips for before, during and after.

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