Sponsoring an event can be a great way to support a worthy cause all while getting your name out there. Being associated with a great event can shine a positive light on your company and help you create valuable business connections. Before you jump on the next sponsorship opportunity though, make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.

Know all the organizational details

When somebody asks you for event sponsorship, get as many organizational details from them as possible. This starts with simple things such as when and where the event will take place and how long it will last. You can also ask for the detailed agenda. That way you will know what will be going on and you will also see how organized the event planners are. If they can’t answer your questions, you should probably be careful as you don’t want to lose time and money on a poorly organized function.

Who is the target audience?

Do you and the event host have a similar or shared target audience? If yes, then this could be a great chance to get your name in front of potential customers or business partners. If no, then you will probably not benefit from the event as much as you would like and your investment will not have the return you hoped for.

Once you know the target audience, you should also ask about the expected number of guests. This will give you an idea of the exposure you would be getting (the more the better, of course) and also the amount of promotional material you might be needing.

What kind of marketing is being done?

Again, this will show how organized the event planner is. If his marketing strategy is “posting on social media” and “sending a press release” then that’s a bad sign. If you are presented with a marketing plan that shows which relevant media outlets are being contacted, what is being posted on which social media channels and how many press representatives have been invited, you can be a lot more confident.

Of course, you can assist with marketing the event. You can even make that part of the sponsorship agreement. Let people know that you are sponsoring it and send out invitations to clients and partners that could be interested. The more people attend, the better it is for both you and the organizer.

What is the reputation of the event host?

This is important because it can directly affect your own reputation. If it’s a questionable company or organization, steer clear. Also, who is the host affiliated with? Any particular groups, political or religious parties? This can be a good thing because it could attract more of your desired target market, but it needs to be in line with your company values and standards as well. Knowing these things will make sure there are no unwanted surprises.

What’s in it for you?

It’s not selfish to ask this, after all, you are contributing time, money or services to this event without getting any direct compensation. Know from the beginning what you will get out of this event and weigh the pros and cons of sponsoring against each other. You want to create a win-win situation by supporting an event where you can genuinely add value and receive recognition for doing so.