Welcome back to our event planning series! Can you believe that fall is already just 6 months away? If you’ve got an event or conference this September or October, the time to start planning is now. Check out the first two articles in this series below:
Once you’ve done the important groundwork outlined in our earlier articles, it’s important to start reaching out to key players early:
Event Sponsors – Finding event sponsors is vital to making the costs of hosting an event manageable. Begin soliciting sponsors early on to incorporate them into your marketing materials.
In your outreach, you’ll want to include a menu of options for the sponsors that are clearly defined, so they know what they’ll get out of any dollar amount they sponsor. Some possibilities for sponsorship include: having their own display table, sponsoring a cocktail, having signage at the event, being included in the printed program, and being referred to in the award presentation.
When looking for potential sponsors, you’re looking for a win-win situation. You’re looking to offset your event costs while getting their name and logo front and center with your audience. Think of ways to be creative so that all of your goals are met. They aren’t just giving you money. At the end of the day, you want returning sponsors year after year because your audience aligns well with their target audience goals too.
Create a sponsor letter that includes the menu of options, event details, and why this is an excellent and aligned opportunity specifically for them.
Book Speakers and Prep Speaker Materials – Next, identify who you’d like to emcee or host the event and any desired speakers. You could request proposals for speakers and/or an online application to widen your pool of potential speakers. Prep your speaker materials and include details such as the description of the event, audience description, the length of the presentation, and desired talk themes.
It’s important to line up your speakers early. If your event is open to the public, they might have their own audiences that they can tap into for your event. Everyone has an audience, whether it’s their newsletter list, LinkedIn connections, or if, for example, they’re a radio host and have a larger platform and audience. Help your speakers share their role and participation in your event with their larger audience.
With speakers, you’ll also want to clarify what level of support they’ll need. Make sure that they feel comfortable and understand your audience and audience expectations. You reached out to them for a reason. Staying connected with them during the months leading up to your event will help to ensure the best ultimate outcome.
Elected Officials – If there are elected officials that need to be in attendance, it’s important to get on their calendars as early as possible. If they are going to be in attendance, then you can figure out the role they’ll play in your event. Will they have a speaking role, be making remarks or providing a citation, or introducing another speaker or sponsor?
By starting your outreach and preparation for locking in these key players early on in the process, you’re on track to set your event up for greater success.
You can make your entire event planning process easier by getting our outside support and expertise. To explore how we can support you, send us a message or book your 15-minute call with Sandy here. We look forward to connecting with you.
Reimagining Places With You,
The PPR Strategies Team