Events are a special way of building connections and creating meaningful memories. To make successful events, event planners make a lot of effort to work together to reach a common goal for the attendees and business. Event Partnerships are an important aspect that contributes to a successful event.
We will teach you everything you need to know about event partnerships and how you can specifically take action for your event planning today.
- What is Event Partnerships
- Types of Event Partnerships
- Step-by-Step Process on How to Get Sponsors for an Event
- Define your event goals and objectives
- Identify potential event partners
- Plan for your pitch and offer
- Engage in negotiations and customize your deal
- Finalize partnership in an event partnership agreement
- Execute and Deliver Value on Your Partnership
- Post-event relationship building
- How to Measure the Success of Event Partnerships
- Best Practices in Event Partnerships
- Example/ Case Study of Event Partnerships
- Event Planner’s Best Partner in Event Planning
What is Event Partnerships
Event Partnerships involve the collaboration of two or more parties for a specific event. Partnerships can involve pooling resources, expertise, products, services, and networks to achieve the event’s objective. There is a mutual benefit for all parties involved when entering a partnership.
An event partner can also be an event sponsor. Serving as a sponsor amplifies their commitment, offering financial support, in-kind contributions, or resources that significantly boost the event’s success. Beyond financial sponsorships, event sponsorships can leverage brand presence, promotional channels, and industry influence to elevate the event’s visibility and reach.
Having event partners may involve additional work but the benefits of successful partnerships are many. Notably, these benefits include:
- Increase in brand credibility: When you partner with organizations, you share the credibility and reputation of each other.
- Wider audience reach: Partners are one in promoting the event together which leads to exposing the event to different audiences.
- Access to expertise and resources: Bring the best of your industry into your event by partnering with them. Joining hands with partners allows you to leverage and upgrade your event. Each organization can contribute its expertise and resources for the common benefit of the brand.
- Relationship building: Invest in nurturing a good working relationship with your partners for long-term gains and sustainability. By working together, you can build your reputation and credibility with your partner.
When to avoid partnerships
You would know best when pursuing a partnership is not the right fit. Sometimes, choosing to force a partnership might cause more inconvenience than good. Here are some scenarios for when to avoid partnerships:
- Different target audience: Event partnerships are an opportunity for synergy of partners. When the target audience is not aligned, it defeats the purpose. Different target audiences have different needs so a partnership might not be able to cater to their needs.
- Conflicting Values: Values affect the overall direction of the organization. Conflicting values pose another hindrance to a successful partnership, as discrepancies in ethical principles or ideologies can jeopardize the integrity of a partnership.
- Reputation Concerns: Check the reputation of your prospective partner as these will serve as their testimonials. Double-check their past performances and track records for your reference.
- Misaligned goals and objectives: Working towards the same goals and objectives makes planning and decision-making easier. Furthermore, sharing the same vision strengthens teamwork and relationships. Not having the same goals can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication.
- Financial Difficulties: Finally, financial difficulties can be another red flag from a potential partner because of the potential risks and obligations. Additionally, financial difficulties are symptomatic of larger issues that need addressing.
Weigh the pros and cons of entering a potential partnership agreement and evaluate your prospective partners.
Types of Event Partnerships
Choose the best type of event partnership depending on the format that works best for you. To give you some examples, here are the different types of event partnerships.
Some partnerships offer in-kind partnerships like products and services rendered. For instance, the partner can provide their services or products in exchange for tickets or exposure to your event.
Venue partnerships are a form of in-kind partnerships. Event organizers can get special discounts from the venue in exchange for a promotion of the venue to your audience.
Other examples of in-kind partnerships can be in the form of food, drinks, hotel accommodation, and more.
Event partners can also be event sponsors and choose to provide monetary sponsorship or support for the event. Getting a financial partnership increases your event budget and eases the monetary burden on the event organizer. Usually, this requires a post-event report measuring the return on investment (ROI) of the partnership.
Financial partnerships often operate on tiered structures correlating with the benefits they offer. These tiers are outlined within sponsorship packages, delineating the various levels of support and corresponding values.
Increase your exposure and open opportunities by partnering with media sponsors or publications. Typically, media partnerships are fulfilled with mileage and reach, depending on the value you will be giving them in return.
Examples of media partnerships include pre-event coverage, event listing, additional event promotions, social media campaigns, and more.
Session or Program Sponsorship
Companies can also create a partnership by sponsoring a portion of the event program. This can be seen in experiential marketing and events. For instance, a company might sponsor a particular zone within an event, such as a demo area or an interactive booth, providing an immersive brand experience for attendees.
Social Responsibility Partnerships
Some events choose a non-profit organization as a partner for a beneficiary. The setup for this kind of partnership is usually a percentage share of the profit to the beneficiary.
Influencers, bloggers, or industry personalities are some of the partners you can tap to promote your event. You can also use them as social proof as attendees to your event. In exchange, you can give tickets or event perks and merchandise to your partners.
Businesses can partner together to promote their brand or business. For example, when a customer buys a ticket, they are entitled to access to a second or different event. This type of partnership creates an opportunity for both events to cross-promote to each other’s audiences, facilitating mutual exposure and potentially attracting new demographics.
Step-by-Step Process on How to Get Sponsors for an Event
Define your event goals and objectives
Know your end goal and work from there. Meet with your team and be clear on the specific achievements you want to achieve after the event. After that, you can start to plan and visualize the program of your event and the expected attendee experience.
Identify potential event partners
Research potential sponsors whose target audience aligns with yours but does not necessarily compete with you. Research on existing partnerships in your niche to get an idea of the possible partnerships you can form.
There are platforms that you can tap to look for potential partners. Affiliate sites and media publications are also some of the ways you can get an idea of potential sponsors or partners.
In considering a partner, their values and interests are something you can consider to ensure a smooth partnership. Look into forums or do social listening on brands that interest your community.
In addition, don’t be afraid to miss out on potential partnerships if it does not fit your event’s objectives or support your community.
Plan for your pitch and offer
Like how you make friends or court a romantic partner, you want to stand out and get their attention and interest. Understand what benefits your potential partner can get from the partnership and highlight that in your offer.
Sample Event Partnership or Sponsorship Proposal Template
We have included the text version of this letter for you to easily copy, paste, and edit the details according to your needs.
[Your Event Name/Title]
[Address Line 1]
[Address Line 2]
[City, State, Zip Code]
Dear [Recipient’s Name],
[Opening paragraph introducing how you know their organization and what made you drawn to reach out. Discuss your event and its significance. Describe the event’s theme, objectives, target audience, and expected outcomes.]
About Our Organization/Event Host:
[Provide a brief overview of your organization, its mission, values, and previous successful events (if applicable). Highlight any relevant achievements or unique aspects of your organization.]
[Explain the event opportunity in detail, outlining the benefits and value proposition for the potential partner.]
Objectives of Partnership:
Clearly state the main objectives and goals of the partnership or sponsorship.
Describe how the partnership aligns with the partner’s interests, values, or business goals.
Highlight the benefits the partner will receive by collaborating with your event.
Include details about branding opportunities, exposure, audience reach, and specific deliverables.
Describe the various sponsorship or partnership packages available.
Provide tiered options (if applicable) outlining different levels of investment and corresponding benefits.
Activation and Engagement Opportunities:
Detail how the partner can engage with the event attendees.
Describe opportunities for activations, branded experiences, or interactive engagements within the event.
Deliverables and Recognition:
Specify what the partner will receive in terms of deliverables, such as logo placement, media mentions, speaking opportunities, etc.
Include details on how the partner’s brand will be recognized and showcased throughout the event.
Outline the financial or in-kind investment required from the partner.
Provide a breakdown of the costs associated with each sponsorship level (if applicable).
[Conclude with a summary reiterating the mutual benefits of the partnership, expressing enthusiasm for potential collaboration, and inviting further discussion or negotiation.]
Thank you for considering this partnership opportunity. We look forward to the possibility of collaborating and creating a successful and impactful event together.
[Your Contact Information]
Engage in negotiations and customize your deal
If your potential partner responds, it means you got them interested. Learn negotiation strategies and techniques to reach a mutually beneficial agreement together. Leaving the discussion with both parties satisfied with the agreed partnership is important.
Finalize partnership in an event partnership agreement
Document the agreed negotiations and seal the partnership by signing an event partnership agreement. The document must contain all the expected deliverables, the scope of partnerships, financial obligations, marketing, terms and conditions, and more.
Sample Event Partnership Agreement Template
Event Name: [Event Name]
Organizer: [Your Organization Name]
Partner: [Partner’s Name]
Date of Agreement: [Agreement Date]
Purpose: This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the partnership between [Your Organization Name] and [Partner’s Name] for the collaboration on [Event Name].
Event Description: [Provide a brief description of the event, its objectives, target audience, date, venue, and any other pertinent details.]
Partnership Scope: [Detail the specific role and contributions of the partner towards the event. Include the agreed-upon sponsorship level, deliverables, and areas of responsibility.]
Term of Agreement: The partnership term shall commence on [Start Date] and conclude on [End Date] unless otherwise extended or terminated as per mutual agreement.
Sponsorship Benefits: [Specify the benefits, rights, and deliverables the partner will receive in exchange for sponsorship, including branding opportunities, promotional materials, speaking engagements, etc.]
Financial Considerations: [Outline the financial terms, including sponsorship fees, payment schedules, invoicing details, and any additional costs or expenses.]
Promotion and Marketing: [Detail the responsibilities of both parties concerning promotional activities, marketing materials, social media promotion, and any joint promotional efforts.]
Intellectual Property: [Address ownership and usage rights of intellectual property (logos, trademarks, content) exchanged during the partnership.]
Confidentiality: Both parties agree to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive information exchanged during the partnership.
Termination Clause: Specify conditions under which either party can terminate the agreement and the procedures to follow upon termination.
Compliance with Laws: Both parties agree to comply with all applicable laws and regulations during the partnership.
Indemnification: Indemnify each other against any liabilities arising from actions or omissions within the scope of the partnership.
Governing Law: This agreement shall be governed by and construed following the laws of [Jurisdiction].
Entire Agreement: This agreement constitutes the entire understanding between the parties concerning the subject matter and supersedes all prior agreements or understandings.
Amendments: Any amendments to this agreement shall be made in writing and agreed upon by both parties.
[Your Organization Name] [Partner’s Name]
[Your Signature] [Partner’s Signature]
Execute and Deliver Value on Your Partnership
On the event day, ensure there is a person who will keep track of the deliverable you committed to your partner. Whether that be on the stage mentions or event coverage, the event officer in charge should be monitoring to make sure it is delivered with quality.
Post-event relationship building
Don’t end the relationship after the event. Send a thank you message after the event. You can also give thoughtful gifts as a sign of appreciation.
How to Measure the Success of Event Partnerships
Knowing whether an event was successful is important for future collaborations and events. Here are some things to consider to gauge the success of your partnerships:
Your event KPIs
Revisit your event partnership agreement and proposal and use your set KPIs. If possible, realign with your partner’s expectations and check if they have been met. Examples of relevant KPIs would be the lead generated by the partner from your event.
Feedback and Evaluation Forms
Getting feedback from your attendees, vendors, and partners is important to hear their sentiments. Encourage them to share their honest feedback by giving incentives or rewards. This can be in the form of discount codes or small gifts once they submit their evaluation forms. Use Net Promoter Score (NPS) or similar metrics to gauge overall satisfaction and willingness to recommend the event or partnership for future events.
Reach and Mileages
Check your event’s reach and mileage. If it’s an online event, you can measure with engagements like the number of comments, unique views, and shares on social media. Furthermore, you can measure the conversion rates or revenue your partnership generated for you.
Another way to measure the success of your event is by comparing it to baseline data like year-by-year benchmarking or competitor benchmarking.
Best Practices in Event Partnerships
Think long term
When engaging with potential partners, think of the long-term relationship you can build with them. Because every good thing takes time, so it is in building lasting relationships. Invest in nurturing and serving them as much as you can for a positive collaborative experience. Overdeliver in your promises and think of helping your partner succeed in your event too.
Offer diverse partnership opportunities
Be open to new possibilities and opportunities for partnerships. Collaborate with various organizations from various industries, backgrounds, and sizes to cater to the diverse needs of your audience. Be flexible in how you want to work with them. Listen to potential partners’ new perspectives and creative input for a harmonious working relationship.
Emphasize mutually beneficial relationship
Show the mutual benefits of the potential partnership to excite and engage your partners. Highlight the specifics of your deliverables and benefits like shared marketing promotions, resources, and long-term relationship building.
Deliver on Promises
The small things you invest in add up. Thoughtful gestures collectively contribute to the overall experience of your partners.
Stick to the agreed-upon timeline and commitment to the deadline. Feel free to over-communicate if there will be missed deadlines. Additionally, prioritize delivering quality to build trust and credibility with your partners.
Example/ Case Study of Event Partnerships
Check out these examples of event partnerships brands and event planners do.
Co-branding is a type of event partnership that involves equal collaboration between two brands. Each brand gives equal effort in their expertise to execute the event.
An example of a co-branding event is a sports fest event and the popular shoe brand Nike. Event planners of the marathon can invite influencers in the community and participate in the activities while promoting the brand. Nike can provide training workshops and branded experiences throughout the sports event.
A collaboration between the event organizer and venue provider is called a venue partnership. Venue partnerships can be in the form of discounts for the venue rental in exchange for promotions during the event.
One example of a venue partnership can be a conference or a corporate event in a function hall. Event organizers can collect feedback from their participants about the venue and give it to the venue for their marketing material. Event organizers can also promote the features of the venue to the participants.
Create an event with your speaker. For events like seminars, conferences, and workshops, they can partner with the speaker for marketing and promotion purposes. If the speaker is well known in their industry, it will be easier to promote your event.
Additionally, a speaker partnership can result in various content pre and post-events. An example of this is the TED (Technology, Education, and Design) Conference. The whole event is based on the speakers’ topics and expertise.
Partnering with an educational institution can bring you credible research and knowledge. You can also get access to its student and alumni base. Whether it’s a seminar, conference, or workshop, collaborating with universities or colleges enriches events with a diverse pool of academic resources, renowned faculty, and eager learners.
These partnerships not only elevate the event’s reputation but also provide attendees with access to cutting-edge research, insightful discussions, and perspectives from industry experts.
Purpose-driven events often feature a partnership with a non-profit organization. The partnership can be through monetary donations, volunteering, or cause awareness. When events partner with nonprofits, attendees feel a sense of social responsibility and involvement towards the cause.
A health expo, for example, can be in partnership with a nonprofit charity helping underprivileged patients from other hospitals. The expo can feature booths that can raise awareness, video presentations, and themed fundraising opportunities.
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