Always describe the possibilities on the level of visibility (f.e. sponsor will have a page in the membership magazine, logo on flyer, website, magazine, press release, posters,billboards). Does your event also gets the attention of the ‘above the line’media such as radio and television, then you definitely need to mention this aswell. Of course you can give your potential sponsor the opportunity to bepresent during the event in a physical way by offering a booth place or advertisement space with banners or visuals in the field, on the venue itself. (flags, info screens, etc.) This part of the return in a sponsor package we often call the “Soft Return”, it’s the return that the sponsor at least will expect to receive around visibility.
In your sponsor package it’s also preferable to mention the “hard return” (especially for the more expensive packages). The “Hard return” is being used –most of the time- when attendees or visitors have to pay for their entrance or buy a ticket for the event or project (we call it ‘paid entrance’) because of the simple fact that they get a really nice experience in return like a concert or a line-up of artists. This creates the possibility –next to the visibility and media value - to give back a real financial value to the sponsor in the form of an amount of ‘free’ entrance tickets (with their logo of course) which they can use to drive attention via their own internal and external marketing campaign channels.
A small example : you’re organizing a small music event and you pay some artists to perform on stage during this event. Based on these artist fees and other operational costs you will determine the price for an entrance ticket. Suppose that a ticket would cost 10 EUR, then you could offer a hard financial value towards your sponsor of 100 free entrance tickets, which has the value of 1000 EUR.
Of course, as an organizer you will have lots of other costs to pay for (stage, lights, sound, logistics,etc), so it’s advisable to be careful with offering this kind of hard return. A good economical, credible and reasonable hard return in your sponsor package would be 30% (not more) hard return of the amount of your sponsor package itself. If we look at the example of the small music event and you would want to sell a sponsor package of 3000 to 3500 EUR, 100 free tickets with a value of 10 EUR would be perfect.
But, … you can consider also to limit the hard return towards 10% or even less if (and only if) you’re visibility and media value antes up, because of the fact that your event already has a very big and engaging audience for several years. Especially when you know upfront that the tickets will be sold out in a short amount of time. In this case, the sponsor will consider this as a big advantage because they are sure that you will have a customer ‘ambassador’ based audience even before and after the event and that being a sponsor of this event is an honor already! In this case you can create sponsor packages with larger amounts (up to 10.000 EUR and more) and less hard return.
VIP-arrangements : these belong also to the hard return of a sponsor package. If you are already familiar with the organization of your event and you know how to enthuse your audience upfront to be part of your event, then you could consider to offer VIP-arrangements as well. In this way you can also offer VIP-tickets and/or arrangements towards your sponsor as well. This might give the sponsor the opportunity to invite very important customers or prospects to your event. Before you even think of organizing VIP-events, make sure these arrangements are more than perfectly organized, because VIP’s like to be treated with higher standards of course and you can not let the customer (that is invited by your sponsor) down!
And last but not least … Exclusivity! Offering “exclusivity” can mean an enormous added value towards the sponsor . Actually, it’s ‘not done‘ to sell one and the same sponsor package towards different sponsors in the same vertical sector. So if you’re aiming to gain higher sponsoring amounts, please make sure to clarify this towards your potential sponsor that he will receive “exclusivity” for his brand/product or services in his sponsor vertical. F.e. you can not sell Coke and Pepsi at the same time during your event or have a booth space for HSBC and Barclays Bank. So if you want to work with an exclusivity clause, you better make only one sponsor package per vertical sector. (vertical sectors like : banking and insurances, Softdrink beverages, Alcoholic beverages, Telecom, Energy –Oil and Gas-, etc..)
If your project is new to the public and not so big and you want to attract more ‘little’ sponsors, you can work with different kinds of levels of sponsoring packages like Bronze – Silver – Gold packages … the level of the package will then depend on the return you want to give to those sponsors. It’s obvious that you will give a higher return on investment towards the gold sponsor than towards the bronze sponsor. Also the exclusivity clause will be most likely added to the highest and most expensive sponsoring level. This way potential sponsors can choose for themselves if they want have company (or not) of their friendly competitors during this sponsor project. Local merchants have no problem with their friendly competitors most of the time and they also often sponsor for a small amount out of sympathy in order to obtain small visibility of their logo on the poster or website. For these sponsors you can create “out of sympathy”- package.