Finding the sponsorship for your college fest is a hell lot of work and can be very frustrating if you’re not getting the potential sponsors to sign on the dotted line, but here’s the great thing: you can improve!
Look, it’s not a rocket science.
If you can convince the potential sponsors that they can benefit from being a part of your college event, then they may sponsor your college fest.
Now the big question arises. How do you convince them? Well, that’s what you’re about to find out.
1. Define Your Audience
Define your college event’s target audience. Get yourself crystal clear on the demographics of your visitors. Ask yourself the following questions to define your event demographic:
- How many visitors are expected to visit your college fest?
- What are the expected males/females count?
- What is their background?
- Where do they live?
- What are their dreams & aspirations?
- What are their hobbies & lifestyle?
2. Don’t Lie
Don’t ever lie to your potential sponsors. “Fake it until you make it” never works while getting event sponsorship. Those are the smart people so don’t try to fool them with an exaggerated visitor count.
Under-promise & over-deliver should be your mantra.
Give the real demographic to them. You may feel that your demographic numbers are not big enough to excite the potential sponsors, but in the real world, sponsors want more than the masses.
Sponsors demand the value of their money. The specifically defined demographic & the creative ways to give visibility to your potential sponsors are of a greater value than just thousands of visitor count.
3. Provide Value
Are you offering just a bunch of banners to the potential sponsors for their hard earned money?
If so, then get yourself prepared to listen to the rejection.
Do you read banners when you visit an event? Be honest with yourself. You know the answer. We don’t read.
Provide value to the potential sponsors; find some creative ways to give visibility to them.
You may offer contests or games related to the potential sponsors product or service & give sponsor’s vouchers to the winners. This approach can give them the required exposure and brand awareness.
In this era of digital marketing, sponsors prefer the channel where they can see the results. Smartphones & social media are becoming an integral part of every student’s life. We, Crefix Technology has incorporated these technological trends & introduced “Event Apps Solution” in late 2014. Many popular colleges in Mumbai have joined the revolution.
With Event Apps Solution, you can sell in-app sponsorship where the sponsors can get uninterrupted attention. Additional to standard ads, event app solution offers hot deals section where the event organizers can display deals from their sponsors helping them to get direct sales.
4. Do Research
Now keeping your event demographic in your mind, brainstorm about the potential sectors or industries that might be interested in your event demographic.
For example, a demographic of college students between the age of 18 to 20 years, living in Mumbai can be a target customers for youth appealing businesses like lifestyle brands, fitness centers, sports accessory showroom, instant messaging apps, fast food chains.
After the initial research, jot down the names of companies in each shortlisted industries. Research their websites & social media accounts.
- Have they sponsored some events before?
- Are those events related to your event demographics?
- Which problems are they currently facing?
- What is their marketing strategy & key marketing channels?
Browse through the websites of the other college fests with the similar demographic & get the names of companies that had previously sponsored the similar event.
5. Be proactive
Through LinkedIn, find out the people in the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) department or marketing department of those companies & try to reach out to them.
Craft the sponsorship proposal based on their needs. Try to address their problem & provide the solution to them with your creative ideas to give them desired exposure.
Don’t reach out to all the companies in the same industry all at once. Sponsors demand exclusivity. No one likes to sponsor the event where their competitors are also sponsors.
Many times you will not get any reply from the potential sponsors but, don’t assume it as a rejection. Send emails, get into call. Don’t stop following up until you listen NO.
Don’t be annoying, but just keep your conversation going. Try to get the reason behind their rejection.
7. Show the Results
After your college fest, show the results to the sponsors. Share your visitor numbers so that sponsors will know that you haven’t lied to them.
Send them photographs of their sponsored contests, games. Send them the photos of visitors using the sponsor’s product & service.
You can also send them your event’s balance sheet to show them where their money went.
If you use our Event App Solution, then we send your event app’s in-app analytics to you which you can forward to them.
8. Build Relationships
Many college fests miss on to this. After the college fest, the core committees stop the conversation with the sponsors. Some event organizers even fails to send a simple thank you note to the sponsors.
Don’t that sound a selfish act, but many event organizers do exactly that.
Nurture relationships with the potential sponsors that haven’t sponsored your college fests this year. Event sponsorship is not a one-time act. A good relationship with the potential sponsors can help your college to get the sponsorship for the years to come.
Getting your college fest sponsored is never easy. You will have to send a lot of emails, do a lot of cold callings & meet many sponsors one to one, but with proper research, planning & some creative ideas you can win this game.
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