event sponsorship types

8 Types of Event Sponsorships that Bring Value

Event sponsorship continues to be the backbone of many event organizations and is currently the fastest growing form of marketing in the United States. When done strategically, event sponsors offer significant opportunities for both the sponsor and the organization itself, presenting crucial marketing tactics and support for the event. Before we get to the 8 event sponsorship types that we’ve drummed up, you may be wondering, what exactly categorizes as an event sponsorship?

An event sponsorship allows sponsors to give some sort of investment in exchange for marketing at an event. When a pairing between event and sponsor is done correctly, it is a great way to spread the word of an organization without having to actually go through the trouble of planning the event themselves.

On the other hand, event sponsorship allows organizations to host bigger and better events at a lower cost!

It’s a win-win for both parties. 

Financial Event Sponsorship

financial sponsorships at events

Financial, or sometimes referred to as cash sponsors continue to be the leading type of event sponsorship. As the title suggests, financial event sponsors give money to an event organizer in exchange for promotions or other benefits outlined in their sponsorship agreement.

For larger scaled events, you can create individual sponsorship packages for those who agree to contribute to your organization. The Fundraising Authority has an article on how to set different sponsorship levels and the benefits they should be receiving for the amount raised. We found this to be an awesome article with many different perspectives and organization levels that could be helpful for any size organization!

In-Kind Sponsors

event sponsorhips

In-Kind sponsors are comparable to financial sponsorships except they agree to provide goods or services instead of physical currency. The only difference between In-Kind sponsors and financial sponsors is the form in which they are contributing value to the event. Some examples of In-Kind sponsorships would be:

Venue Partners

  • According to IAEE, 72% of event attendees say that the location of an event is a significant factor in deciding whether or not they will want to attend an event. Although planning the event will have a large part in the events success, you want to make sure your destination accurately depicts your organizations brand and caters to the correct audience.
  • Having the right venue partner is a huge advantage when it comes to the overall success of the event. Venue partners will allow organizations to host events at their venue in exchange for either a discounted or completely free rate. Not only does this type of event sponsorship allow for the venue to gain exposure, but it also gives the organization a great location to host their event!

Prize Sponsors

  • Just as the name suggests, prize sponsors are those who choose to donate specific items for event participants. Usually, with the company’s logo on the items, prize sponsors are especially popular when wanting to boost the amount of engagement at an event. These items may be handed out as activity-based prizes for those who answer a question correctly, volunteer themselves as willing to participate in an activity, etc.
  • You as an organization are able to customize prize-related sponsors to fit within your own organization. For example, if you are a local gym membership-based organization, you could see if your prize sponsors want to donate customized weights or various other forms of gym equipment with their logo on it. It keeps your attendees happy while also promoting the sponsor for the event.

Food Sponsors

  • Let’s be honest, an event isn’t complete without readily available food. Even the free samples at Cosco attract hundreds of people a day. But, what’s better than food?
  • Free food. Because of this, it is extremely important to try to find a food sponsor for your next big event. Catering an event can be extremely expensive, having a food sponsor will not only cut down on personnel costs but it also attracts individuals who may just be going to the event for the food. We’ve all been there.

Digital Sponsors

  • Popular for tech-related events are digital sponsors. These sponsors usually provide either an app for the event, the opportunity to supply poll questions, media walls, live tweets, etc. With the recent switch in technology, digital sponsors are becoming increasingly popular in the event planning industry.
  • People enjoy fast response times and personalization, add a digital sponsor to your event to make your attendees feel that much more special! Event Venues can benefit from digital sponsors as there’s a growing trend in digital event spaces popping up across the globe’s most tech-driven cities.

In-Kind sponsorships are not limited to these four examples, in fact they can be anything the sponsor and organization agree on that is worth some sort of set value to the organization and the sponsor themselves! In fact, check out this awesome article by GrantSpace which goes into detail on the perfect tips and tricks for finding the right in-kind sponsor for your organization!

Media Event Sponsorship

The rise of smartphone usage continues to evolve both our global and localized forms of direct marketing. The technological advancements and rise of the usage of these products contribute to the recent shift in appeal of media sponsorships. Ofcom compiled a report on the rise of smartphones which are now used by 78% of the population, compared to just 17% in 2008. Because of this surge in the use of media platforms, companies have chosen to opt for more convenient ways to advertise their events through media sponsorships.

Using the media to promote your events

Media sponsors are like financial sponsors but, they secure frequent advertising for the event on multiple communication platforms. This type of sponsorship is especially valuable for nonprofit/small businesses, considering some of the budgetary constraints that nonprofit organizations and events tend to face. Having readily available media sponsors are key exposure tactics for advertisement and publicity purposes of smaller companies.

When media sponsors are present, the organization spends less time and money on the advertisements themselves, and do not face the difficulty of purchasing the media coverage they often require. Although learning about media sponsorship is one thing, finding the right media sponsor for your organization is key when determining the success of this partnership. Chron has a great article on how to find and create the perfect media sponsor package for your next event!

Want to be your own media sponsor? Check out EventBank’s CRM software that allows you to keep all contact information and activity tracking up to date and in a single location. Through our award-winning event management software, you will be able to send out email campaigns to promote your events with ease!

Promotional Partners

event promotion partnerships and sponsorships

Compared to media sponsors, promotional partners are individual people who may have a large following on social media and are able to promote your organization’s event to their individual fan base. Instagram has become an extremely popular approach for brands to promote their products through those with larger followings.

An article from Influence Central even found that 81% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy products they have encountered while on social media. This statistic in combination with the recent influx of smartphones makes promotional partners vital when advertising for any event.

When it comes down to it, any kind of event sponsorship will be crucial if your organization wants to continue growing and promoting their business. Not only does it allow your organization to reach out to other companies and create lasting connections, but it provides positives for both the sponsor and the recipient.

Interested in leveraging an event management platform that makes it easier to get your sponsorhips on your web page, emails and more? Book a demo and get a tour of the EventBank platform!




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Written by Lauren McCann

Lauren McCann attends Marquette University triple majoring in International Business, Finance, and Marketing. She is currently spending the Summer in Beijing, China as a Sales and Marketing Intern for EventBank. Passionate about journalism and targeted marketing, Lauren hopes to use these talents to create business changing content within the corporate world. In her free time she enjoys listening to the latest music releases and often attempts to eat at all the new local restaurants with her friends!

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