Choosing The Right Option To Finance An Event. Raising money is part of planning an event. Unfortunately, just how much of your great event idea you will be able to realize largely depends on the funds you can secure. When it comes to mitigating the financial risk, diversified funding is a solid foundation for the success of what you are planning. It also proves useful in further encouraging sponsors, partners or investors to come aboard and finance your event.Apart from putting your money where your mouth is and financing your event all by yourself, traditional and new ways of funding events are available to to help you reach your goal. The following 10 ways to finance your event will give you an overview and starting point for your event funding strategy.
Acquiring sponsors for your event is a very common and effective funding option and is widely used and accepted. To successfully fund an event, it can be difficult to rely exclusively on sponsorship, especially when you are organizing an event for the first time. Sponsors will only commit to very definite events and will require concrete information when you make your pitch: How many attendees or ticket sales can you show? What is your event location, your marketing plan, your target audience, your speaker line-up?
When approaching potential sponsors, it is essential to present them with relevant data and clear packages where they can see the benefit and value they will get out of sponsoring your event. Sponsorship is a funding option that grows in potential with your event size and becomes easier with repeat events.
SEE ALSO: 3 Pro Tips For Finding Event Sponsors
Similar to sponsorships, partnerships for your event will help you make do with the funds you have by cutting expenses. Think about everything you will need to provide at your event and come up with possibilities for successful barter. Refreshments and catering, printed handouts and promotional material, parking accommodation and even the event venue itself – where can you give something to get something? Outline the benefits for a partnership and get possible partners interested in your concept. Leverage prominent speakers or exhibitors and your target audience.
Crowdfunding is an alternative way of financing that has achieved wide popularity and traction. It offers the great advantage of minimizing the risk of investing in a project: Pledged funds are only made available if a crowdfunding campaign has reached its goal. Your investors are protected from failed ventures, and you get the opportunity to test out ideas, size-up demand and evaluate interest as well as input for your event. As a funding option, crowdfunding is great for first time event planners, more experimental events as well as those that promise a lot of virality or buzz and can offer attractive rewards for backers.
Crowdfunding seems simple and straightforward, but actually requires commitment on your part – don’t expect people to just throw money at you. You will need a plan and schedule for your campaign just as detailed as for your event. It helps to have a support team. Create a compelling presentation for your event and showcase it in an engaging, entertaining and to-the-point video. Clearly state the benefits for backers, what they can expect from your event and which perks are available for their donation. You will need to research which crowdfunding platform is most frequented by the target audience for your event. Apart from big names like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, there are crowdfunding platforms specifically catered towards events, such as Picatic’s tilt.
If Crowdfunding is not for you, consider an Angel Investor. The term describes wealthy individuals, groups of people or organizations interested in opportunities for investment. Spread the word among your existing contacts and other event organizers that you are searching for a fitting investor for your event. Just like with a crowdfunding campaign, you have to invest time in research. Instead of a scattershot approach, you should target individual investors or specialized groups to whom the type and topic of your event will appeal. Platforms like Angelsden and Fundingpost can help you make the connection on a personal level or find pitching events.
Ticket Sales in advance
When executing your event plan, you will of course make registration and ticket sales available in advance. Whether you rely on an event platform like Eventbrite or use your own website for sign-up and sales, advance commitments by your attendees are important for gauging event turnout and scale. By selling tickets early, you can also flush some vital funds into your event budget. Keep in mind that ticket prices need to reflect your target audience and what they will expect and receive from your event. Earlybird perks or discounts can offer an incentive to be among the first ticket buyers, however due to their unpredictable nature, ticket sales should not be your only event funding option.
Similar to ticket sales, you can ask exhibitors to pay for their stands or space upfront or put down deposits. Space at exhibitions, trade shows and fairs can reach high prices per square meter so that you can raise significant funds in advance by squeezing your exhibitors a little. The downside is that new events will have a hard time proving the benefits of paying premium for exhibition space. Your event will face the challenge of competition and having to show convincing credibility.
Win a contest
Do you strongly believe in your idea and think you can turn that potential into a revolutionary, innovative and exemplary event? If you have a concept worthy of headlines and a bit of luck, then a contest might be your funding of choice. There are two options you can pursue to obtain prize money. Either you are able to enter the event itself into a contest. Possible categories or scenarios are for example extraordinary planning and organization, eco-friendliness, the support of urban development, and the innovative implementation of technology and participants. The other option is that one aspect, speaker, presentation or project from your event is eligible for a contest prize that can be funneled into your event fund.
Get a grant
Depending on the theme or topic of your event, you could consider applying for a grant to receive government money or tap into municipal funds. Grants are available for a wide array of subjects such as research, innovation, sustainability and technology, but also cultural issues or international relationships. Again, research is key in finding a grant suited for your event, and you will have to invest time in the application process. As an event funding option, grants are interesting when the application process coincides with your planning and you can secure the funds in time. When the payout is high and the grant comes with no strings attached, there is virtually no downside. As a reality check, the process from start to finish is bound to be a time-consuming paper trail of legalese.
Pledge your future earnings
This is a funding option only if your event is centered on sales, or you are absolutely certain that the event will increase your earnings by a certain amount. You could then offer a percentage of these future earnings in exchange for upfront funding. This pledge is in between a loan and finding an investor. It is a rather uncommon way of finance an event, but depending on what you hope to achieve, it might be your option.
Take out a loan
Loans come in many shapes, forms and sizes. If your event is solid and you have a business track record to back it up, you can ask someone to lend you money to fund your event. This can be friends and family, your bank, a loan company specialized in small businesses, or a micro lending platform. Depending on loan size and who you are asking, you will have to provide a form of collateral. As borrowed money usually has to be paid back with interest, this funding option is only viable if you expect some kind of return on investment from your event. A loan should also not be your only way of funding.
When going over these financing options, estimate how much you could raise with each one and calculate your funding against your event costs. To effectivley manage your budget, be realistic with your funds, identify the critical elements and crucial needs, and align them with the financing options available to you. Like any other part of your event planning, your funding should include preparation for the unforeseen bumps in the road.
As a platform dedicated to maximizing engagement for your events, Meetmaps increases sponsorship value by giving your sponsors more visibility, highlighting their support and facilitating new opportunities. Your sponsors, speakers and partner organizations can grow right alongside your event with Meetmaps.