Are you ready to hit your goals for event sponsors? Then you need the right plan, long before your event begins. Fortunately, good communication can go a long, long way here – but we’re ready to get more specific: Here are several ways to win the sponsors you want, and keep them coming back to your events afterward.

1. Manage an Updated Contact List

Winning sponsors begin with a strong contact list. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to build up a healthy sponsor contact list these days: LinkedIn, Facebook, blog followers, email lists, and referral programs are all excellent sources. However, it’s important to keep your contacts updated and focused on high-quality leads. Older and uninterested contacts should be carefully pruned from the list during event planning, and additional contact info (Twitter handles, email addresses, etc.) should be added when it becomes available. In other words, don’t let your list grow static!

2. Focus on the Value You Can Offer

Asking for sponsorship isn’t just a matter of phrasing your request carefully: You also need to talk about the right things. Instead of focusing on what the sponsor can do for you, talk about what you can do for the sponsor. Mention the number of attendees they can count on, the venue amenities available, the technology they can use, and the opportunities to make sales or acquire new leads of their own. In short, treat this like the marketing project it is – amp up your value offering and thinking of yourself as a brand representative.

3. Practice Good Communication Throughout the Planning Stage

Keep your contacts updated throughout your event planning process, include those sponsors who haven’t given you a firm yes yet. Good communication has won over many an unsure sponsor, especially when you provide useful facts and information. Remember to be honest and personal in all your communication efforts. It’s often worth it to create individual messages for each lead to discuss their particular needs and opportunities – an effort that can make a big difference for many sponsors.

4. Make Room for Them (Literally)

Don’t just ask sponsors to show up – have a plan for where they can set up in the venue, how much space they can reserve, what tech options will be available to them, and more. Some of this may fall to the venue itself, and your planning team may decide some. Either way, know where the sponsors will be, how much space they will have, and how many will fit in your venue…preferably before you start signing sponsorship contracts.

5. Set Aside Some Staff

Sponsors have signed on – but that doesn’t mean you can ignore them! Try to set aside staff to help out sponsors, answer their questions, organize their movement, and help them out. There’s no guarantee that the venue will do this for you, and taking the extra step will mean a lot to your sponsors. Also, having a few points of contact will allow your team to monitor sponsor moods and worries

6. Share Your Tech and Analysis

If you are using apps or data analysis for your event, think about sharing that information with your sponsors. They are probably just as interested in the data as you are, and they can use many of the attendee-focused features to get around the venue, learn more about the event, and participate more actively.

For more information on event planning, outreach, and winning sponsors who will stick around, talk to us at McVeigh Global Meetings and Events and see how we can help!