How do I find sponsors for my business conference?
I am hosting an entrepreneurship conference that will host over 300 entrepreneurs, investors, students, and corporations. I am looking for sponsors interested in targeting this demographic. Is there an efficient way to go about finding and closing these partner deals?
Josh, can you send me more information on this event? I'd like to learn more about it! Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because this is a business conference I assume that you are providing useful, timely and relevant information that will add value to the attendees.
Why are you not just straight out charging to attend the event ?
If you can work out what the added value is to attendees over the next 12 months you can then safely charge them 10% of that.
For instance if I can show you a way to add $100,000 to your business over the next 12 months will you pay me $10,000 to teach it to you?
Savvy business owners will bite your arm off IF you can prove your claims.
If you can't then why are you running the conference?
Hope this helps,
I apologize if this sounds glib but I'd refer to basic sales training. There is no difference selling sponsors on a conference than selling widgets to a manufacturer. There's no shortcuts, you need to follow a quality selling process, the rest is just details...
You can try VC's, usually they are the money makers from startups, and it services both ways. Also you can try to receive it from the chief scientist. Universities are also targets while they send their students.
Make a list of potential sponsors. Chose the ones who are most interested in your audience. Those are their target audience too.
What you're looking for are service providers, especially people with "free to start" solutions. CRMs, CMSs, Accounting Software, etc.
You may also want to think about recruiting people like me (strategy consultants). Or coaches, etc.
Also, consider hitting up some of the A-list schools that are getting into start-up and entrepreneur classes.
A sponsor has to have a reasson to BE a sponsor at the conference so one question to ask is, 'What can you offer a sponsor to induce them to be a sponsor?' What advantagte would there be for a sponsor to so act?
Once you have that question answered you will have something to offer and then marketing and promoting the conference with that in mind would become the order of the day.
The investor will benefit from the projects and ideas for free.
There are many potential sponsors depending upon where you are located. Typically, accounting firms, some banks, legal firms, and other organizations that serve the entrepreneurial community are targets. Sometimes universities with entrepreneurship programs get involved in these type of conferences. For example, I am part of the regional entreprenurial activities where I live and I participate in many of these events as a moderator, speaker, and advisor.
Good question. I would consider some of the online educational companies that offer business and entrepreneurial classes as well as local universities. Both groups might enjoy the affiliation with your event and the ability to reach people who understand the benefit of continuing education. If things work well you may even be able to sign them up for long-term sponsorship.
I would look for groups in your area who share an interest in your seminar, see if they would like to get more involved, maybe as a speaker, look at displays but paying for a prime space, ask yourself what will they gain and what will you gain out it good luck
Research companies who would like to reach and/or contribute to this group.
Create a list of questions to ask them about their own work before you suggest sponsoring the event. Understand in depth all of the ways the event will benefit them.
Only then, should you inquire about their desire to sponsor your event.
I know what you're up against. I run free form business mixer Fryday Warsaw that runs on sponsors. First of all you have to digest simple fact: companies don't want to spend money. With strong previous background in sales I know from experience they get many MANY calls per day with sponsorship offers.
You have to really offer them long term possibility of maximum exposure. If I may suggest: media partners - as many as you can. They only do barter deals but if you can put sponsor's name in the paper and online version as well, they will be pleased. FB event and their logo's, have a photographer during the event, send email invitations with sponsor's logos, offer them product placement, roll up stands or sponsor's wall. Have only one sponsor from each business sector. Linkedin group, if you can get a reporter from TV to come - that's even better. Create a lot of buzz around it.
Start small with regards to money, but offer long term partnership.
Need to look at relevant service providers in the area who can benefit from engaging these populations and from building relationships from it, such as tech firms, life coaches, business consultants, lawyers, cpa. Also, local food establishments, coffee shops that can build foot traffic and showcase their services experientially work well.
Good luck & hope it helped,
When I see event sponsors at events, they are frequently active at the event. Look at the corporations sending representatives. If they are interested in the conference and what it represents, they will pay some money to be associated and gain visibility with attendees. Also consider area law firms interested in corporate work from the high tech sector. You should be able to get a firm or two that wants their name up in front of investors and entrepreneurs.
Your local Linked up group on Linkedin should be a good resource, most areas have one, along with the chamber of commerce.
Good luck to you, I hope it is a success.