32 Event Sponsorship Ideas to Attract Top Partnerships

Sarah Wisbey

Sarah Wisbey

Content Contributor, HeySummit

Have you ever attended an event and been blown away by the level of thought that went into the way the sponsor presented their brand?

Do you want your next event, whether online or in-person, to resonate with your attendees and compel them to take your call to action?

Ready to unleash your creativity and take your events to the next level? Dive into these innovative event sponsorship ideas. With real-life examples of executing these ideas, you’ll finish this post inspired for approaching your sponsorship offer for your next event!   

What is event sponsorship?

A typical event sponsorship partnership involves a company or individual offering support or paying an event organizer to promote its brand during an event. The type of promotion the brand receives depends on the specific collaboration. 

Why do you need an event sponsor?

To run a successful event, you’ll need funds for promotion, tech requirements, speakers, staff costs, and more.

If you’ve drawn up your event budget but aren’t sure how you’ll cover all the expenses from ticket sales alone, sponsorship is a great option to consider. Here are some of the benefits of event sponsorship for both parties:

For the event organizer

A sponsorship deal with a partner who aligns with your values can be the difference between an event generating revenue and one that puts you in debt.

When you partner with event sponsors, it can help you:

  • Allocate your budget better as you have a clear overview of your income. 

  • Boosting your event’s credibility as a sponsor can improve your event’s reputation. 

  • Build trust with other businesses in your industry and forge new partnerships. 

  • Improve your event marketing outreach, as your sponsor can help with promotion efforts. 

  • Reach new audiences and potential customers.

  • Get access to experts and resources that improve the overall quality of your event. 

  • Provide experiences and insights for your attendees.

For event sponsors

Equally, there are several benefits for those looking to sponsor events.

When you sponsor and collaborate with an event host, you get:

  • Brand visibility as you display your logo across the event website and marketing materials.

For event sponsors

  • Exposure to new audiences relevant to your business. 

  • Opportunity to interact with these potential customers through networking and presentations.  

  • Chance to present your business as thought leaders in your industry. 

  • Showcase your brand’s corporate responsibility and willingness to give back.

  • Get feedback about your brand or product from event attendees. 

  • Content creation and social media exposure in collaboration with the event producer. 

  • The chance to build new business relationships with potential partners. 

  • New leads and sales opportunities. 

Types of events suitable for sponsorship 

You’ll likely notice the sponsors' logos on the event communications whenever you attend an event, whether online or in person.

Most events, even small-scale ones, have some type of sponsor or event partner. The most common events that work well with sponsorship deals are:

  • Business events such as tradeshows, expos, conferences, summits, workshops, seminars, and webinars.

  • Corporate and professional development events such as training events, teambuilding retreats, wellness programs, or award ceremonies. 

  • Health and fitness events include marathons, cycling, triathlons, wellness retreats, health expos, and seminars. 

  • Food events include food festivals, cooking competitions, drink tastings, culinary workshops, and demos.

Here’s an example from the London Coffee Festival of the brand exposure event sponsors can expect to see on the event website. Check out how the festival uses sponsor logos on its homepage:

Types of events suitable for sponsorship 

  • Educational and academic events include university and school fairs, expos, and research conferences.

  • Art and cultural events such as music festivals and concerts, film festivals, art exhibitions, theatre and dance shows.

  • Sporting events such as team games, regional and national leagues and championships, global sports competitions, and local team games.

Top 3 things to consider when looking for event sponsorship

There are a few essentials to consider when developing sponsorship ideas for events and creating a proposal for potential event sponsors. 

1. Identify your event goals and target audience

If you want to maximize the number of attendees at your event, you’ll need a clear idea about the event’s target audience. This will ensure you get engaged participants who are genuinely interested in your brand and help you identify sponsors aligned with the event’s purpose.

If you are planning a Corporate Responsibility event for a children’s charity, it won’t look right if you secure an alcohol brand as the event sponsor.

The first step for event managers in finding a sponsor is to make a list of brands that align with their event goals. 

2. Understand the sponsor’s goals

Once you have a shortlist of potential sponsors, consider why they would want to sponsor your event.

What’s in it for them?

Sponsors want brand exposure to new audiences to assert their authority in their niche, network and showcase their products to potential customers. Will your event offer them one or all of these opportunities?

Consider how you can provide these opportunities and why they’re relevant for their business.

For example, you are running an event for marketing agencies, and you find a sponsor who has a software business aimed at marketing agencies. They would be the perfect candidates for event sponsors as it allows them to get their brand in front of dozens of new potential customers. 

3. Assess your budget needs

Before pitching your event sponsorship package to potential sponsors, you must be clear about how much you want to request. This will make creating your event sponsorship packages easier, along with defining what you can offer in return.

Keep your shortlist of potential sponsors in line with the money you require to host your event. There’s not much point pitching to a small, independent brand if your sponsorship needs are $100k.

Try to be realistic about what a potential sponsor can offer you. Then, you can use your budget to create sponsorship packages.

Easy event sponsorship ideas

Check out some of the unique event sponsorship ideas you could offer potential sponsors below.

1. Logo placement

One of the classic and simplest ways to give your sponsor exposure is with logo placement.

You can use the sponsor logo on all event promotional material, pre-event communications, and social media posts, at the event and in any follow-up communications. It doesn’t need to be complicated; you can put your sponsor's logo on your website promotion of the event like this:

1. Logo placement

2. Brand mentions

If you don’t want to plaster the sponsor’s logo all over your event comms, you could mention the brand more subtly in agreed communications.

This could be a feature on your website, a dedicated post on your social media, or as simple as thanking the sponsor at the beginning and end of your event when you welcome attendees. 

3. Product placements

If your sponsor has a product they want to promote, the sponsorship arrangement could involve them giving you samples of the product to use at an in-person event.

Are you hosting virtual or hybrid events? A great option is to partner with a software tool or digital product that you can use as part of the event. 

4. Interactive event booths

Expo booths are a great way to get people networking at your events and an opportunity for your sponsors to reach potential clients with their logo and mission.

Example of a branded networking booth at London Tech Week:

4. Interactive event booths

The booth's bright colors, imagery, branding, and clearly marked website make it stand out among the other, more generic stands. It’s an inviting space that encourages attendees to start a conversation with the brand. 

5. Competitions and giveaways

Arranging competitions for event participants is an easy way to engage them with your sponsoring brand. The sponsor donates the prize, and the event organizer arranges a challenge or contest for the attendees to get involved.

6. Sponsor-led workshops

Does your sponsor have specific expertise to share that would resonate with your audience?

Ask them to lead a workshop or interactive activity. Your guests learn something new, and your sponsor can assert their authority as a thought leader in their industry. It’s a win-win! 

7. Merchandise 

Sponsoring event merchandise is an easy way to get your sponsors’ brand in front of your event audience. This could be branded merchandise like bags, hats, T-shirts, or pens with your and the sponsors' logos. 

8. Branded goodie bags

Another idea could be a goodie bag that all event guests get to take away with them. Having physical gifts to take home with them will serve as a reminder of the event long after it's over and hopefully encourage guests to revisit you or your sponsor’s brand in the future. 

Interactive event sponsorship ideas

9. Photo booths 

If you want to add a little fun to your events and give attendees a chance to take something home, a photo booth can be an excellent way for brands to stick in the minds of event participants.

They’re also a great marketing opportunity as you can encourage guests to share them on social media.   

10. Virtual Reality experiences

10. Virtual Reality experiences

Interactive virtual reality opportunities can be a great way for event attendees to see a brand’s product or understand how it works, all while engaging in a memorable experience. 

11. Augmented Reality games 

Making the event interactive through AR and games encourages the audience to interact while they create a memorable experience.

A fun idea for an AR game could be to use hidden virtual messages or codes to lead attendees through the event in a scavenger hunt-style experience. The ultimate goal could be to reach sponsor touchpoints along the way. 

12. Product demos 

Does your sponsor have a quirky product to showcase? Ask them to do a live demo for the audience. They could ask for audience participation so potential clients can learn about the product's benefits in real time. 

In-person event sponsorship ideas 

If you’re running physical events, you may want to get a little more elaborate with your sponsorship offer. From wellness offerings to VIP lounges and branded food items, here are some of the most creative event sponsorship ideas for in-person events

13. Branded VIP lounges 

Having a place for your VIPs or top-tier guests to relax away from the main event is the ideal opportunity to get your sponsor’s brand noticed by important attendees.

You could offer lounges with branded merchandise, cushions, drinks, mirrors, chill-out zones…the list is endless. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen! 

14. Wellness offerings

Your event attendees will need a break at some point. Why not offer them branded wellness breaks sponsored by your event sponsor? This could be a free yoga class, a massage, or a chance to get a health checkup.

Check out this free yoga class at Balance Festival, sponsored by Aqua Carpatica, who have simply published their logo on the wall and made sure it’s visible in all photo opportunities:

14. Wellness offerings

15. Event badge sponsorship 

If guests will wear badges at your events, this is prime real estate for sponsor branding. It doesn’t need to be boring; you can design the badges according to your sponsors’ brand colors and style to make them feel unique to the event. 

16. Social media wall 

If you encourage event attendees to use social media during your event, a great way to keep them engaged is with a social media wall.

You can use a tool like walls.io to project your live social media feed onto a wall at your event. Here’s an example of BMW using a Twitter wall at their live event.

16. Social media wall 

17. Food and drink sponsorship 

Does your sponsor want to be remembered for providing outstanding refreshments at your event? Then perhaps they’d like to sponsor the food and drinks at your event.

Whether it’s a local wine merchant who wants to showcase their business to a new market or a new bar that provides you with a bartender and cocktail ingredients for the evening, you can get creative.

Maybe you get sponsored by a brand that wants to put its logo on tasty snacks, like in this example: 

17. Food and drink sponsorship 

Image source

18. Event app sponsorship 

Are you using an event app for your live event to streamline check-ins, layout, networking, and navigation?

If attendees use the app to find exhibitor lists and navigate their experience throughout the day, event apps are a prime location for visible sponsor branding.

Here’s an example of how the London Coffee Festival uses its event app to showcase its key sponsors:

18. Event app sponsorship 

Media sponsorship ideas 

Once you have secured some media coverage for your event, a great way to get event partners involved is with a media sponsorship package. 

19. Press coverage 

If you know you will have media or journalists present at your event; this is a unique opportunity to offer your sponsor potential press coverage. A typical media partnership means the sponsor will always get mentions in event press releases, and their branding will be visible in photo calls. 

20. Awards 

Awards ceremonies often attract media attention, especially if guests from prestigious companies attend. Asking a potential partner to sponsor an awards event is an excellent way for them to get their name in front of new businesses.

The sponsor can pay for the trophies or prizes, and you can ensure their branding is visible on the awards themselves. 

21. Event brochures

Does your event include physical brochures, booklets, or a program? Printing physical documents for your guests to take home has substantial benefits. They will be reminded of what they learned at the event and given a point of reference to pass on to friends or colleagues.

However, printing physical event paraphernalia will take a significant chunk out of your event budget. The ideal way to cover the costs is with a sponsor who wants to use their branding as part of your brochure. 

Digital and social media sponsorships

Digital sponsorship packages are a great way to expose your event to potential attendees. If you can get a brand or individual to sponsor some of your promotions, you won’t have to spend so much of your budget on marketing efforts.

Here are some ideas:

22. Social media takeovers

Getting in front of a new, highly targeted audience is likely one of the main goals of your event sponsor.

Allowing them to sponsor a social media takeover is an excellent way for the brand to communicate its message to your audience, showcase itself as an industry leader, and answer any questions event attendees may have about their business. 

23. Hashtag campaigns

Creating a branded hashtag for your virtual event is an easy way to keep all event content in one place and to collaborate with your sponsor. You could give your event a name that features the sponsor’s name or use imagery with their logo for your social media channels. 

24. Sponsored content or influencer partnerships

Are you going to promote your event using paid social media channels? Then, collaborate with a relevant online influencer who can help you promote the event. Their sponsorship offer isn’t paid with cash but by using their influence to get people to attend your event. 

Virtual conference sponsorship ideas 

25. Branded slides

Brands have fewer opportunities to display their logos at virtual events, but getting creative can make it incredibly effective. Use your sponsor’s logo on your slides and any notes or digital handouts attendees receive. 

26. Branded promotion videos 

Using video is a great way to promote virtual events; video ads get 6x more engagement. Use your sponsor's logo on the video content to clarify that they’re funding it.

27. Q&As with an expert from the sponsor brand 

Utilize the expertise of your sponsor’s team. Asking a team member to give a talk or offer a Q&A on the event topic is an excellent opportunity for them to share their knowledge and for your audience to get new knowledge.  

28. Customizable backgrounds 

Make your virtual event stand out from the rest by making it creative with a fun element. This could be with branded virtual backgrounds or interactive pop-ups for attendees to engage with.  

29. Exclusive discounts and deals for event attendees 

If you’re running a digital event, you may want to collaborate with your partner to offer exclusive benefits or discounts for attendees. This could include time-limited discounts or a special sign-up discount.

Take a look at this example of a webinar run by a software business that offered a 14-day offer for attendees who signed up for their event partner’s subscription:

29. Exclusive discounts and deals for event attendees 

30. Mentoring opportunities or access to experts

Another excellent option for digital event sponsorship is to offer expertise as the reward. By allowing attendees to connect with mentors or industry experts, you provide unique value they won’t be able to find at other events.

For example, you could offer a competition with expert mentoring sessions as the prize. This would engage attendees more in your event and interest them in your sponsor’s brand.

Sustainable sponsorship event ideas 

Running an event focusing on CSR and giving back to local communities? Try selling some of these sponsorship options to potential partners: 

31. Generating event energy31. Generating event energy

What if you could make your event completely carbon-neutral? You could use many great options to get attendees involved and generate energy for your event. For example, a bike-powered sound system or coffee machine is a fun gimmick that a brand could sponsor. 

32. Recycling stations 

Want to use your in-person event to promote green practices and environmental responsibility? Encourage attendees to bring something usually difficult to recycle with them to the event and offer a recycling service for it.

You can offer branded sponsorship of the recycling stations to your event partners. 

6 Tips for securing event sponsorship

Once you decide which ideas for sponsorship you want to pursue, it’s time to assemble your sponsor package proposals.

Essential things to keep in mind when writing your sponsorship proposals:

  • Tailor the proposal to fit the sponsor's objectives.

  • Highlight the unique selling points of your upcoming events.

  • Provide detailed sponsorship packages with the exact outcome of how you will deliver your proposed outcome. 

  • Building relationships with potential sponsors before sending your proposal.

  • Following up post-event with event data to back up your findings. 

  • Maintain your sponsor relationships so you can leverage them at future events.

How much should you charge for event sponsorships?

The variety of sponsorship opportunities on this list makes it hard to suggest a fixed rate to charge for sponsorship. The best way to create your event sponsorship proposals is to create different levels of involvement.

For example, you could have three tiers that looked something like this:

Gold tier sponsorship $2,000: Includes branding on the event website, emails, in-event presentations, and all event collateral and any in-person signage.

Silver tier sponsorship $1,000: Includes a branded booth (either in-person or digital)

Bronze tier sponsorship $500: Includes sponsor logo promotion on social media and event website.

Offer three different price points for each tier. This will attract a variety of brands interested in partnering with your event and keep participants more engaged, as no one brand will dominate all the event marketing materials. 

Final thoughts

Hopefully, these event sponsorship examples have given you some inspiration for financing your next events.

As you can see, the sky is the limit when it comes to sponsorship ideas, and you can be as imaginative as you like.

Want to make your events smooth sailing and wow your sponsors with the data you can give them on the impact of their involvement?

Then, try HeySummit to organize your next event. You’ll have access to everything from marketing to hosting to analytics in one place. Get your free 14-day trial here.

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