5 Steps To Finding Event Sponsors For Your Music Festival, 5K, And Marathon

You’ve got a big dream. You and your team of volunteers are going to put on a major event or festival, and to do so you’ll need sponsors for the event. Here are the five steps to finding – and retaining – sponsors to make your dream a reality.

  1. Clearly define your budget and goals. Sit down together with your team and articulate the goals of the event, because the event’s goals are the key ingredient you’ll need to communicate to your sponsor. You have to know exactly what experience you’ll want event participants to find. For example, if your festival celebrates a specific culture, tap into the community to find volunteers who can help you define what that culture feels like, tastes like, how they socialize and how they interact around communal events.These decisions will define your final budget.
  2. Sponsors want a niche. With your goal clearly in mind and on paper, together with a budget, start approaching sponsors that can cater to your participants. For example, if you’re demographics are mostly teens and 20-somethings, look for businesses that already market heavily towards this demographic. Or if your event celebrates Mexican culture, focus on businesses that already have a large footprint in the Mexican community and cater towards their needs.The more specific you get with your focus on a specific age, community or culture, the more likely your sponsors will want to jump on board with you so that they can maximize their sponsorship dollars.
  3. Tap into existing supporters. Many times, with enough research you’ll find businesses and nonprofits that are already heavily invested in your target group. Take the time to learn everything you can about your audience and you’ll start to find organizations that are already marketing in these spaces, and want to appropriate some of that funding or sponsorship budget to your festival or event.
  4. Partner with an organization.┬áIt’s not always about sponsors that will donate cash; many events are hugely successful at covering their budget by partnering with a business instead.For example, if your music festival has a bar area, look for an alcoholic beverage company to provide the bar, inventory and staffing and you’ve got yourself a fully paid for major attraction at your event or festival. Or, a fitness gym in your area might be the perfect partner to provide apparel at your marathon.
  5. Cultivate your relationship with your sponsors. If your first year is a huge hit, you and your community is going to want to grow the event size the following year. One way to maintain your relationships with sponsors in between events is to throw a toast or party celebrating your sponsors.At the event, show a 90 second highlight reel of the festival featuring the sponsors stage and event banners with their logos plastered all over the event. Look for other ways to remind them throughout the year how sponsorship impacts the event-goers and the city.

Special thanks to Daniel Melo of DRM Solutions for his contribution to this article.