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How to Get Sponsors for Your Event Whether it the launch of a video game, a premiere of a movie, a local 10k race or the Kentucky Derby, there's one thing all these events will have in common: sponsorships. eHow spoke to Brian Diamond, CEO of The Visionary Group about offsetting costs, reaching out to brands and creating mutually beneficial relationships. Based in Los Angeles, The Visionary Group is a brand imaging and event production company whose clients include "Maxim" magazine, Cover Girl, Disneyland, Pepsi, NASCAR and Microsoft. It also won the Event Marketer's 2012 EX Award for "Best Production of an Event." eHow: When should someone consider getting a sponsorship for an event? Brian Diamond: One of the main reasons is the event, or might need additional funding and a sponsor could help offset costs. For example, hypothetically speaking, if a brand like Maxim is throwing an event, Maxim would offer onsite also known as added value programs to their advertisers. They [Maxim] could bring on a vodka company that not only buys pages within the magazine, but also would buy "real estate" a designated area at the event to promote the vodka brand. Maxim would bring on this vodka partner to help underwrite the event so it isn coming entirely out of Maxim's pocket. For example, if Microsoft wants to throw an event to create awareness for a new game they're launching for Xbox 360, they may want to put a spin on it and add a music component to the program. To do this, they could partner with a brand like "Rolling Stone" magazine to add value to the program. This would give it [Microsoft] a "cool factor" so to speak, while "Rolling Stone" could expose its brand to Microsoft consumers. A deck is basically a proposal that consists of all types of information like case studies, media impressions, program overviews, schematics, design concepts for the event, sponsorship categories and buy in cost. All this information encapsulates what the program is, what would be involved and what the sponsorship would cost. For example, we produce Maxim Hot 100 event every year. A new sponsor will want to know how the event went last year. They will want to know what celebrities attended, how many people came, what other partners were involved and see pictures of the activations. The purpose of the deck is to highlight your past success with the same, or similar, events to attract sponsors. If a brand marries into a program, it obviously brings great exposure and brand recognition, but only if it ["the marriage"] makes sense. Your sponsors need to complement the program so there's a cohesiveness and the overall goal of the event is achieved. Let say, hypothetically, that you're doing a fashion show for Armani Exchange. It doesn make much sense to go after another fashion brand like Banana Republic for sponsorship. Sponsors that could make sense are liquor and spirit brands, or beauty and cosmetic brands. This is something you have to take into consideration. Let say you have a charity event to raise funds for animal awareness. I would look to what brands have built in outreach and existing relationships with animal organizations. You're creating a platform where a brand can literally hand deliver its products to new consumers the guests at the event. Your event would be an experience where people could interact with the sponsor product or brand. The way you include this information in your deck is by talking about things like the guest list or media impressions, which translates into is the audience [to which] the brand has the opportunity to present its product or brand. If it a celebrity driven event, then you talk about the types of celebrities that will attend. You can also mention influential people or "tastemakers" attending these are the people that will tell others about the brand. You could bring in technology where people could into an event. This shares the brand through social media and networking channels. Sometimes, we offer tickets or a certain number of invites. As you're putting the packages together, just think of brand exposure for your possible sponsors. You can give any titles to those tiers, but for the sake of this conversation, let say you have a Platinum, Gold and Silver tier with Platinum offering the most exposure and Silver the least. Let start with lower tier sponsor buy in. At this level, you could offer a link on the event's website for the brand, as well as logo brand inclusion on the invite. For a Gold sponsor, you would offer the same and could add something like logo brand inclusion on site and a small area of real estate to create an activation at the event and gift bag inclusion. For the Platinum sponsor, you could offer the exact same things as the lower tiered sponsors, plus a larger area of real estate for activation and a presenting partner title on all items that make publication. A company might not be looking to be on a press wall, but they might want their logo on the event website instead. If a company can underwrite an entire package, they may be able to underwrite a single element, like the music or something. And if a brand is asking for something above and beyond what you can offer, be transparent and say, we can offer that and come up with an alternative solution that can suit you both.