Finding sponsors for your event can be quite the challenge. Here are some tips to get sponsored:
Don’t be afraid to ask.
You never know who’s going to be willing to sponsor your event. It’s often only a matter of contacting the right person at the right time. Don’t be put off if you can’t find any mention of a sponsorship program, especially with larger companies.
Many sponsors need you to contact them several months in advance. There is typically an approval process they must follow before sending you anything. Shipping will usually add as much as two weeks to the process as well, especially if your sponsor is overseas (many tech. companies are).
Have materials ready.
Usually sponsors will ask for detailed information about your event, including your website address. They almost always ask you what other sponsors you have confirmed. Having at least one other sponsor makes you seem less desperate.
Follow their process, not yours.
Many potential sponsors will already have a process in place for requesting a sponsorship. For example, Razer, a producer of gaming mice, has a special page dedicated to requesting LAN Party sponsorships. If you try requesting a sponsorship without first filling out their form, they’ll usually just point you back towards the form.
Make sure you ask nicely! Many companies will be happy to provide you with promotional materials; remember, it’s free advertising for them. Just keep in mind that they’re also doing you a favor, so don’t expect them to sponsor you just because you asked.
Remember that sponsorships work both ways. Event sponsorship can be a great way for your company to get some inexpensive press. It also helps to create a community of fans around your product. Although, it’s certainly not for everyone.