How to contact
Okay, so you have your contact list all put together. Well, now we need to start thinking about what we are going to say. It’s easy to get excited or to try to save time and just shoot out a quick email but this is most likely your one and only chance to get your message across so you need to make sure it is well written and that it has the information you are trying to convey. You don’t want to sound like some kid begging for prizes for a 4 person “LAN” event they are hosting. Here are a couple things to keep in mind.
1 - First off, you should be contacting sponsor at least a month out. It sometimes takes time for things to get approved and that’s assuming they have time to even get to your email right away. Plus shipping takes time. I aim for closer to 45 days out when possible, but just don’t rush everything. It is also really helpful if you have your registration open and you have people signing up and paying. It shows that you aren’t going to take the prizes and run. So it can be hard to find the sweet spot between contacting early enough while still having people signed up.
2 – Make sure you have already setup your website and social media pages. Basic pages with no pictures or information don’t really help here. For starters, you want to show the sponsors that you are serious but really this is just as important to show your attendees as well. Having a domain name and a proper email address is ideal as well. You are a lot more likely to get a response to an email from wes@awesomelanevent over 420swagyolowes@att.
3 – You need to know your attendee. This obviously applies more to events that have happened before but it is nice to be able to tell a sponsor a few things about the people coming. I don’t mean tell their life story and you shouldn’t be giving out their private information. You also don’t need to get a bunch of information from them at the events. A good count of how many people you actually think are going to be coming, not just how many seats you have is a good place to start. Knowing the mix of men and women is even better and maybe even an estimate age group as well. Established events might have more of an older crowd or even families.
4 – With that information you want to break down how you can show the sponsor a return on their investment. Remember that at the end of the day, even though companies want to help out events, they do have to show that they are getting a return on their investment. So be very clear on how you will help promote them before, during, and after your event. Then also explain what you are looking for. I don’t mean asking for a specific product or even dollar amount, what I mean is you should explain that you are looking for prizing for your raffle/tournaments/etc.
5 – I’ve mentioned it already in this article, but you need to know that you are going to get turned down or completely ignored from most of the people you contact. It’s okay, they are still nice people, they just don’t think your event is a good fit for them. You will see other events get picked up by people you tried to contact but had no luck. It happens to us all, don’t worry about it.
6 - Double and triple check your email before sending it. I don’t think this needs much explaining. Spelling, grammar, and just look at the overall email. Have you explained everything? Are you showing them good ROI?
I originally had considered just tossing up an example email on here but frankly, I don’t think it would be helpful to anyone. It would end up being a copy paste email for some people and then it would be spammed to sponsors. Part of your email should be showing your personality and the personality of your event. A form letter from everyone would only lower everyone's chances. Just keep the tips in mind and try to look at it from the sponsor's point of view. Best of luck!