How to attract event sponsors in 2021


Right now you might be doing some forward planning – working out what will get your event back on track after the year we'd all rather forget; and what you can do to attract new sponsors to join you in a COVID-safe event environment.

It's going to be critical that you know your current position; play to your strengths and stay in your own lane. Here's how.

1.Know your current position

We've all been thrown a curve ball with the pandemic with all sporting, arts, charity, and community events having to rethink how to proceed. Some of you may have ventured into the virtual event space; others may have been lucky enough to continue with a physical event, albeit a greatly parred down one, while many event organisers had no other option but to cancel altogether in 2020.

No matter the category you find yourself, there's always a silver lining to every upset or challenge. Knowing your current position requires you to do an assessment of where your event is at now and what you need to do in 2021 to be covid-safe; be financially viable and be sustainable into the future. Who do you need to align with; what support systems do you need in place and what is a realistic goal, whether it be participation numbers, fundraising or other to aim for?

2.Play to your strengths

You want to attract well financed sponsors. To do this you have to build brand awareness. Potential sponsors will be attracted to you because your event stands for something that appeals to their target market. Consumers have basic needs that are being met through their participation and attendance at your events. Find out what these are. As an example, the need to belong is an innate, universal need we all share. Have you created enough of an opportunity for people to belong to your community – whether that be virtually or physically? Are there opportunities to network, to meet others, to socialise, to connect with others who share their same passion? And how can brands tap into these event experience that meet participant's needs and their brand objectives?

3.Stay in your own lane

While knowing what your competition is doing is helpful in terms of understanding market share, looking for innovative ideas and customer retention opportunities, it will be a bigger distraction if it means you lose the focus on your own game. The aim is to make small incremental improvements to your event and its attractiveness for sponsors – concentrating on those things which you can control.

While our connected world gives us round the clock reminders of what others are doing, it requires personal strength to focus on your own game. While it might seem that others are having more success or reaching better outcomes, the truth is we're only seeing glimpses of the real situation – the shiny, happy stuff.

By knowing your current position; playing to your strengths and staying in your own lane, you're going to be attractive to sponsors. Why? Because you're the real deal, you know who you are and what you stand for – it's a strength that will undoubtedly define your future success. Are you a council, chamber or tourism body and are you looking to attract sponsors or for ways to support local business? Book Caroline as a keynote speaker for your next virtual or physical event – email

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