Hey, Roberta here, hope all is well!
Let me just say, I’ve indirectly and directly experienced a lot of “stuff” during my lifetime, more than the average.
Out of those experiences, I gained a lot of understanding: I understand why professionals and organizations plan events for audiences that lack necessities such as shelter, food, justice, love, and opportunities, also the reasons they want to live, work, and play in peaceful harmonious environments – because they’ve either been through something themselves or have empathy.
I like to refer to sponsorship as a form bartering, exchanging value for value.
You give your sponsor benefits and you receive money and resources.
Communities cannot thrive without sponsors, and sponsors cannot thrive without communities. I truly believe if they read How To Secure Sponsors Successfully, both would thrive from generation to generation. After you read it, let me know if you agree with me.
Here’s how I got started in event sponsorship..
I was working as an account executive selling websites, attending college for small business marketing and management, volunteering on a celebrity calendar project, and managing being a new and single mom after losing the father of my son, and simultaneously establishing Vigilance Style & Grace (VSG), an event planning company.
While volunteering on the celebrity calendar project, I realized that the movers and shakers were the ones who worked behind the scenes with the celebrities – the ones who made a celebrity a celebrity.
I was also part of a college club when I became aware that many clubs had students who wanted to become singers and models (talents). VSG was created for talents who didn’t want to sleep their way into the industry when at that time it seemed like a prerequisite.
Equipped with a purpose, passion, and no experience, I jumped into planning events. I did not consider money was needed to fund the events. Before sponsorship came into my awareness, I asked companies in my community to invest in my company’s events in exchange for connecting them with their target market and audience – and got all yes!
Excited and confident, I approached corporate brands. Gatekeepers showed me the exit door faster than I realized I was saying something wrong. After experiencing consecutive rejections, the word sponsorship or sponsor came into my realm. I have no recollection of how it came to me. The word came, but not the process.
I changed up my vocabulary and kept the benefit which was to connect sponsors with their target audience, and that’s how I entered the world of event sponsorship.
My company planned and coordinated events, from showcases, seminars, open-mics, and contests to fashion and talent shows, for adults, teens and children; and secured sponsors for each one.