There are no two ways about it. Sponsors are a great way to bring in much needed resources to your event. But how do you make sure that everyone’s objectives are met?

Firstly, think of sponsor acquisition as a relationship-building exercise rather than a transactional process. Building genuine relationships based on mutual trust and understanding can increase your chances of securing long-term sponsorships. Check out our responsible exhibitors/sponsor guide for sustainable events here.

If your event is hosted on a regular basis and you have traditionally always had sponsors, do not be afraid to approach them asking if they would be interested in sponsoring the next one. They will have knowledge and experience of your event and are more likely to want to be involved again. You could also ask them to help you shape future sponsorship packages, so they feel even more invested in the event or offer an early bird rate for a quick sign up.

Do not be afraid to approach new organisations and think outside of the box. Is there an organisation who has released a new product/service that would be of interest to your attendees? Do your research, are there organisations that would complement the themes of your event or who might work closely with your industry? Or indeed, organisations that may want to break into a new field...

You could also approach the city’s Convention Bureau (CVB) or Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) and ask if they can connect you with potential local sponsors.

Do create a sponsorship package and be specific about what you are looking for and what you can offer (see our list of ideas below). Do not forget to include a call to action and add deadlines if appropriate. Make sure you offer different levels of costs and benefits to accommodate all budgets. Factor in questions such as:

  • Are there any packages that could be exclusive? For example, the gala dinner; recordings of the sessions; the welcome address etc. The more exclusive the package, the more the potential income.

  • Is there a package for organisations who may not be able to attend your event in person either due to cost or logistics but would like to show support?

It may sound obvious but keep a record of which organisations you have approached; your confirmed sponsors; what package they have chosen and what you have promised them. It is essential to follow up promptly and consistently communicate with sponsors throughout the event planning process. Keep them informed about event logistics, promotional activities and any changes that may affect their involvement.

Ideas for Sponsorship Packages

When you are looking at the benefits, think beyond monetary value and their logo on a web page or on your social channels. What could you offer sponsors that they would not get anywhere else? We have compiled some ideas below to start you off:

  1. An equity, diversity and inclusion scholarship where sponsors could have the opportunity to meet and network with those awarded the scholarship
  2. Hosting a lunchtime talk or session which could take place in either a meeting room or at an exhibition booth. You could highlight the talk in the event programme for additional exposure
  3. The opportunity to address attendees with a 60 second pitch at the welcome reception; they can say who they are and what they can offer delegates - ideal for anyone who is new to your conference. To ensure everyone sticks to the time limit and to make it fun, offer this to all your sponsors on the understanding there will be no slides. Have a bell handy to signal when time is up so no one goes over the allotted time!
  4. Offer a content collaboration. If you ensure all these are hosted on your website, they are all a great way to help drive more traffic to your site. Some of our ideas include:
    • A guest blog
    • An opportunity to write a white paper or report
    • Shooting a vlog or video
  5. Naming rights – offer your sponsors the opportunity to have their name attached to an award, social event or workshop.
  6. The opportunity to attend some, or all, of your conference programme. This could include the gala dinner but do be specific about what they would gain from attending
  7. Access to delegate data pre and post conference subject to data protection laws
  8. The possibility of a reciprocal arrangement if they too host conferences -they sponsor an element of your conference such as an award or dinner and you sponsor an element of their conference, for example a workshop

Post Event

Do not forget to make your sponsorship packages measurable. Providing post-event reports highlighting key metrics, successes, and areas for improvement can help you build your case when you approach sponsors for your next event.

Finally, deliver exactly what you promise and if you can do more, do it! Do not forget to follow up and always ensure you thank your sponsors pre, during and post event as this will help you to gain support for your next event!


If you are planning an event and considering engaging with sponsors, please do get in touch. We have a bank of contacts and resources to help you save time and money.

Check out our responsible exhibitors/sponsor guide here.


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