Well, this is the biggest pain point in organising the tech fest or any other college event for that matter. Very few colleges or departments give sufficient amount of budget, most of the times students committee have to manage the sponsorship for the events. Well, this may sound like hard work to do but take it as an opportunity. Raising funds and sponsorship is a very important skill and one should learn it if he/she want to go beyond the regular job profile. Stay positive on sponsorship struggle because,
Positivity brings in positivity.
So let’s take it positively and find the way to get sponsorship for your Tech Fest. Here is the great news guys, a lot of companies are crazy about college students market space (consumers) as they are one of their most favourite market space. It is comparatively easy to get sponsorship for tech fest from businesses and brands which focus on youths; you just need to pitch it perfectly. And this perfect pitch requires well-planned advertising, event plan and all. We will cover these points separately in details. Look up this space for a link.
1. Start Early
This is very important as sometimes getting big sponsorship takes time, you should start planning a month or two in advance. Get approvals from college for the overall plan first so that you can design the plan for the event and then start approaching the sponsors.
2. Know your Audience and Event
Getting funds for college event and a start-up is kinda same. Businesses need to know their ROI (Return on Investment), what value you bring to them. So, you need to know following stuff at least.
What’s the Event: Is it only a technical event or mixed with the cultural event? Is it department level or college level? What type of audience you are planning to call (inter-college, from abroad etc.)? Are you incorporating media for an event like TV Channel, YouTube Channels, Radio etc?
History of the Tech Fest: Collect all data about the previous event, what was footfall (how many people attended the fest), what was advertising plan, earlier sponsors.
Tech Fest Details: Venue, Timeline, targeted age group, events planned, dignitaries invited.
Keep Media Ready: You need make presentations, brochures ready in advance. Don’t make ppt too long (4-6 slides max)
Event Advertising Plan: This is the most important part, you should know what you charging for and how much.
3. Find the Sponsors
Now you have overall tech fest plan ready, you know the numbers and the advertising plan. Now you can start looking for sponsors. Don’t start contacting sponsors without mentioned data. They gonna ask a lot of questions to you and you need that data. If you are not ready with data, you may stumble and lose a great sponsor.
Yes, now there are quite a few sponsorship marketplaces available over the internet. Where you can register your event, fill in details and your pitch (in form of ppt or video). Brand and businesses who are registered there can see your event and can shortlist it, but after that whole process in same. End of the day you gotta convince ’em and that is where your sales skills come in picture. Here are some such marketplaces sponsia, sponsorboat, twenty19 etc. Please note that you go to check who sponsor for Indian college tech fest and some marketplace may charge you a little amount to contact sponsor. Overall this is a very good option to get bigger sponsors so you should not miss it.
Earlier & Local Sponsors
Don’t neglect the earlier sponsors, if you have given the good ROI then it is easy to get sponsorship from them again. Get the list from last year’s committee and ask them inputs about each sponsor, if necessary take help of guys who managed in last year. He/ She should be a part of your committee. Likewise, local sponsors may not give you bigger funds but they are easy to get, comparatively.
Use your college alumni network, contact them over email, Linked-In or your college’s internal alumni network. Ask them to forward your sponsorship proposal to their company. Some of them might be working at the top level, they themselves can decide to sponsor the tech fest.
Look for the start-up who have secured a big investment and if they are into youth, college market space then they are a good candidate for sponsorships. Look for start-ups from your own college.
Avoid Marketing Managers
Yes, they are obvious contact point but generally, they take a lot of time to process and you need to do a lot of follow-up with them. Try to reach the CxO of the companies which are in your sponsorship list. Generally, CEO, CIO decides it quickly; either they will give you money or not, but the decision will be comparatively quick. You can find them on Linked-In, you may need to try premium version of it but that small amount is worth spending. The Same premium account can be used later for placement opportunities.
4. Know Your Sponsor
Now you are ready with your tech fest plan and a list of sponsors. But before starting communication with them you should do research about them. What’s their vision, mission, what kinda events they have sponsored in past, what was the maximum amount they spend? This information will help you to communicate better or if needed to negotiate with them. With this information in your arsenal, you can explain it to them how your event matches with their vision.
All businesses and brands like online or on air attention than just offline marketing. If you are having media channel, radio, YouTube channels, social media campaigns associated with it then you must tell this to the sponsor. Include this information in presentations and use it when you are pursuing them for sponsorship. You can even use
social media interactions, YouTube views etc. as footfall metrics.
5. Contact over Skype / Google Hangout
Nowadays business does understand the importance of time. Visiting each one them in office may take a lot of time and efforts. Take initiative and ask about Skype session, make them understand that this will save their time only. Remember to have good internet connection and do not skype from filthy hostel room. Use college facilities for same.
When you contact sponsors over mail or Skype etc. then keep a soft copy of proposal and presentation ready. Show it to them then and there only. You should have a separate website, online registrations for the tech fest that shows your efforts. Here is a complete guide to know how to create a college festival website for free (or with minimum budget)
Try to use college email IDs and facilities when you contact sponsors online or over the phone.
You will not always get what you want and the way you want. Most of the time you need o negotiate with sponsors. Do not afraid of negotiations as its normal procedure, even you as a sponsor will do this. To be prepared decide highs and lows for negotiations beforehand.
7. Deliver What You Promised
Now once you got the sponsorship, give them the results promised. You should have methods to maps the data, use computerized registration so that you can show the data. Use Facebook, YouTube analytics in reports. Don’t forget the sponsor once you get the money. Always share the outcome of the event with them.
8. Maintain Relationship
After wrapping up the tech fest don’t forget to be in contact with sponsors. Send them thank you mail or ask your college official to call them to say thank you.
So this is it, you are ready to strike the deal. All other stuff related to this article is coming soon like how to design advertising policy, Tech Fest website design and powerful presentation ideas and all. Stay tuned with Dejavuh for more. Subscribe with us to be part of Dejavuh’s Indian College Lifestyle Platform.