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    The first step towards a successful sponsorship deal is extensive and in-depth company research. Not having enough knowledge before you make a call can make you seem uninformed and naïve. Thorough research ensures that you know what you are selling and most importantly, to whom you’re selling.

    TEDxNITTrichy 2015 was a massive learning experience for us in the field. From the perspective of a TEDx organiser, sponsorship takes on a subtly singular meaning, and we want to tell you about it.

    We begin with a confident target and prospective partners. Once we’ve decided on a potential company, we look for any student-related activities it might have engaged in. A precedent of campus involvement is a strong sign that a corporation may be interested in your event – that’s a good start!

    Think like a detective, work like an ant

    Start with the name of the company and think of a brief write up on what they do. You have to have a feel for the industry’s size, products, and approach.

    Gather information on their branches, contacts, connectivity (find out about any office sales and/or marketing they do in your city). Having the right contacts goes a long way towards both providing a personal touch to your pitch and demonstrating your strong networking skills.

    Update yourself on the company’s latest marketing and corporate social responsibility policies. This will assist you in targeting specific aspects of the company while preparing your pitch.

    Find out whether the company in question has previously sponsored cultural fests. This will help you determine the odds of a convert and help you shortlist specific companies.

    There’s always more to look for

    Assess what type of portfolio the company may be looking for, which will allow you to fashion yours accordingly.

    Get into their shoes and come up with reasons you may be rejected. Look back at your shortcomings, and try to respin them positively. However, do not be too superficial: it’s important to recognise and improve on drawbacks.

    Rebut the points you came up with above well in advance. Be ready to eloquently present these rebuttals in the actual call.

    Big shoes to fill

    Ensure that the branding avenues you promise to the companies adhere to TED guidelines.

    Ideally, you would use all the information you collect to customize your proposal in a fashion that is attractive to the sponsor. All data is hence vital, and meticulous research will get you more than you require – it’s all there.

    Before that, however, you’ll have to gather contacts within the company. Our next blog post has tips on how to do just that! MM