In an ever more challenging marketplace, the success of every show, ultimately, is predicated upon sponsorship. The biggest artists and largest tours all have some form of sponsorship and/or product endorsement tie-ins.
Promoting a show with a profit motive is high-stakes gambling, pure and simple. Counting on the sale of hard tickets as the sole source of revenue is A FORMULA FOR DISASTER!
We have produced thousands of successful shows. Our experience over the years shows us that the events which truly understand the following concepts are the most successful and the fastest growing.
In order to get the odds more aligned with the success factor, sponsorships and/or underwriting are compulsory pieces of the puzzle. Ideally, the sponsorship dollars would cover the costs of the show (talent, production, lodging, promotion, labor, building costs – everything) so that the entire ticket revenues becomes your profit, or in the case of a fundraising event, your charitable contribution.
Sponsorships need to be connected to tangible benefits for the sponsors to make a positive decision. They should be viewed as legitimate, marketing, and promotional strategies. The sponsor attaches his company with positive and well branded events to maximize their brand to the community. Many of their clients – and more importantly – their potential clients are likely to be exposed to this promotion. Many of them will no doubt attend the event. You must come up with creative and worthwhile benefits for your sponsors. Here are ten examples of tangible items that you can provide to your sponsors.
1) A chance to market their brand to each person in attendance
2) On-site branded retail space for public branding and education
3) Opportunity to entertain their best customers in a VIP space with their purveyors and colleagues
4) Opportunity to have a photo-op with an acclaimed performer
5) Print and media exposure (positive impressions) on all marketing assets
6) Opportunity for banner and video exposure
7) Recognition from the stage from the event Master of Ceremonies
8) Can use tag-line “A proud supporter of EVENT NAME” in all advertising
9) Preferential seating for the concerts
10) Good will within the business community
In order to make a presentation to potential sponsors you must clearly define your event and your goals. It is best to provide as much data as possible to a potential sponsor. How many people attended your event last year? Who are some of your past performers or who are you looking to have this year? If you want the potential company to come on board as a sponsor ask them for their opinion. Who would you like to see at our event? Get the prospect excited about the possibilities and then most importantly, follow up.
If you have a stack of applications with you (don’t attend a meeting without them) by all means ask them to fill one out and then fill in their level of sponsorship for the level they are comfortable with. Under each level should list all the benefits that they will receive, the due dates for their donation, and a place to sign and date the form.
Well, the company owner says, we aren’t really looking to sponsor any more events this year…….That is fine, would you like to purchase a pack of bulk tickets for our premiere seating area to hand out to your clients or employees? Could we get on your list and count on your support for next year’s event? There are always ways to create custom packages and ideas to enable your colleagues to support your event. At the very least leave with the prospect purchasing two tickets to attend your event.
Your committee needs to understand the importance of sponsorship. Look for companies and like minded individuals in your community. Ask each committee member to set a goal of talking to 10 of these people whom they have a relationship with. If they are not in a position to be the title sponsor they will certainly be willing to select another level to help your cause. Additionally there are other sources of sponsorship that we will address in another coming article. These will address tourism resources, county commission resources, and other sources of sponsorship revenue.
It is your responsibility for your success and your event can be taken to the next level with the right national entertainment and more importantly the right sponsors and partners. Talk to your committee, get them excited, talk to your community, speak in person at events, and go out and have fun branding your exciting event.
Article written by Joe Eddins:
Joe Eddins is the Vice President of MPE Entertainment.
MPE provides national entertainment and production services for events throughout the country.
If you would like more information on developing a sponsorship packet for your event we can help. For a friendly conversation just fill out the form below or give us a call at 800-788-4006.