6 tips to convince sponsors to invest in your trade fair or conference

Sponsoring is gaining more and more importance in the trade fair industry and one can hardly imagine a trade fair without sponsors these days. While the sponsors’ investment represents an important source of income for the organizers, sponsors hope that the partnership will increase awareness, enhance sales figures or improve the company’s image. Therefore sponsoring is not just a donation but always a business from which both sides expect a certain profit. Thus it is essential to know how to convince sponsors that the investment in your trade fair is worthwhile. The following 6 tips will help you to convince sponsors of your fair and thereby simplify the preparation and financing of your event.

1. The right time

It is important to know when to start talking to potential sponsors. If you wait too long, the budget of the companies may already be planned. As a rule, companies set their budget once a year. The planning phase runs between November and January, so that the optimal time for the first contact is in November. Of course, an offer or negotiation can be made at a later date.

2. The right contact person

Besides time, the right contact person is another decisive component. Especially when dealing with large companies the wrong contact can lead to your request never being forwarded. If you still end up with the wrong contact person, be sure to identify the decision-maker (name, position, telephone number and e-mail address) directly at the first contact. The aim should always be to arrange a call to make sure that the contact person can be personally convinced of the trade fair. On the one hand you build up a personal relationship with the potential sponsor, on the other hand it is harder for most people to say “no”.

3. Inform yourself about the sponsor’s company

Gather as much relevant information about the company as possible before making personal contact. Sources such as the company’s website, social media channels or Xing and LinkedIn help to prepare you optimally for the appointment. Current topics the company is involved in, as well as information on new products, can be a good start for the pitch and provide a positive first impression. It can also be advantageous to adapt the messages and files that are sent to the corporate identity of the sponsor in order to stand out in the correspondence of competitors. Whether it is the partner’s logo or the company’s colors – you will definitely stand out from the crowd.

4. Individualize your offer

Predetermined sponsoring packages such as gold, silver and bronze are no longer up to date. Instead, you can convince your sponsors by presenting them offers tailored to their individual interests. Not all sponsors are equal and have the same wishes and goals. While a small company’s presence on flyers, posters and social networks can be enough, as they only want to raise awareness, a large company will not be enthusiastic about it. All the information you collected in the previous step can now help you adapt the offer to the sponsor and score points with your potential partner.

5. Know your participants

Another goal of sponsors can be to reach a new target group through sponsoring or to open up new markets. Convince your sponsors by showing them how your fair participants can be of interest to them. As already mentioned, the aim here is to stand out from the crowd. While other organizers only supply numbers of participants, you can score with more detailed information if, for example, you expand your registration form. Provide your sponsors with  important information about the target group, such as:

  • Origin
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Average age
  • Interests
  • Hobbies

Of course there are no limits to your creativity. Anything you can ask can be interesting for your sponsors, as it will help them to know if your participants fit their target group.

6. Provide your sponsors with detailed ROI

As mentioned at the beginning, sponsoring is a business from which both sides would like to benefit. It will therefore not suffice for your sponsor if you tell him the number of participants after the fair, as he must also justify the investment made in you within his company. Convince him of a long-term partnership with you by giving him detailed evaluations. A modern way to inform sponsors about their ROI without much additional effort is the digital exhibition bag eventbaxx, which makes it possible to record and evaluate any interaction of the visitors with the sponsor’s content.

Other helpful tips on the topic can be found in our latest eBook on „Finding, contacting and convincing sponsors”. Download your free copy now:

Lennart Hohneck

Digital Marketing
Fanomena GmbH


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