9 Steps To Securing Sponsors For Events

Skilled in event sponsorship and a music lover, in less than 4-min, Author Roberta Vigilance gives an overview of the process.

Securing sponsors can cut your event cost up to 100%. Every event can be sponsored. Roberta Vigilance

Before the age of two, Roberta was sent from the United States to Guyana and was raised by her grandparents who ran a soda and candy shop by day and a disco by night.  Roberta returned to Brooklyn, New York at age 10 to live with her mother and step father.

My environments where I was raised and grew up were totally different, says Roberta. Other than to school, church and the seamstress, I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere by myself. My relationship with my mother has been toxic for most of our lives together so I didn’t spend much time at home. Growing up outside of home, I graduated from the school of hard knocks. Let me just say, I’ve directly and indirectly experienced a lot of “events” in my lifetime, more than I thought I could bear. 

Roberta gained a lot of understanding from those events and understands why professionals and organizations want to and do plan events for audiences and communities that lack funding to support mental health, education, homelessness, hunger, justice, and so many other events that plague or afflict human and humane societies.

Age sixteen, at her first job as a cashier, Roberta learned about selling through providing exceptional service to customers. Roberta grew in the sales industry and over the course of three decades, she has gained extensive B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) sales experience and has spent more than 20 of those years in the event sponsorship space selling events to sponsors and providing sponsorship services and education. 

Equipped with lots of sales experience and a passion for helping the underdog, before the word sponsor came into her realm, Roberta asked companies in her community to fund her company’s events, which helped up and coming models and talents achieve their goals in the entertainment industry, by becoming investors in exchange for connecting them with their target market and audience – they all said yes!

Excited and confident, Roberta approached corporate brands. Gatekeepers showed her the exit door faster than she realized she had used the wrong term. After experiencing consecutive rejections, the word sponsor or sponsorship came into her realm, but not the process. 

Self-taught, Roberta learned from trial and error how to secure sponsors for her company’s event. All of her events were sponsored; as a result, she saved her company hundreds of thousands of dollars and was able to implement events that she was passionate about.

Roberta decided to share her knowledge, experience and insight on how to sell (any type) of event to sponsors, communicate with sponsors and understanding sponsorship. 

Roberta is the first African American to write books on planning sponsored-events and securing sponsors. 

Her events’ sponsors span the gamut from Tommy Hilfiger Jeans and Rite Aid to Adidas and Coca-Cola. Roberta strategic problem-solving, ingenuity, and inquisitive nature have all earned her the reputation as an innovative sponsorship industry frontrunner around the globe.

A few lessons Roberta learned while planning sponsored-events and securing sponsors:

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Sales Background

Her first job was working as a cashier in a supermarket where she learned to provide outstanding customer service. As she became seasoned in sales via experience and reading books, she learned the importance of selling benefits vs. features.

Helping Others

Roberta established Vigilance Style & Grace in 1999, an event planning, as a solution to help up and coming models and talents gain information and connections with leaders within the entertainment industry.

Needing Funding 

With an event budget of $0, Roberta started to seek funding to cover the cost of  her company’s events.

Securing Sponsors

Self-taught, Roberta learned how to secure sponsors for her events through leveraging her experience in sales and trial and error and closed hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorship.

Teaching Others

Roberta teaches in How To Secure Sponsors Successfully, how event sponsorship works, to communicate with sponsors, and to sell events to sponsors. 

Giving Back

$5 from each purchase of How To Secure Sponsors Successfully, Third Edition Revised – Funding For Events, goes toward the Sponsorship Reward Program which sponsors events that are planned by book buyers of only this edition.