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@Ankita Katdare • 24 Feb, 2015
I think this thread needs a lot more response from engineering students who actively apply for sponsorship for their college's events / techfest / magazines etc. I hear that a lot of students are clueless on how to go about it. Where to start? Whom to ask? Most students generally rely on the 1-2 popular guys or girls to fetch them sponsorship.

But if you really want to take a hands-on experience in applying for a college tech fest, I think college-level is the best platform. It could be your chance to prove that you are great at marketing / sales - both activities that are most fundamental for achieving success in management skills later in life.

It's an open discussion. So, I request everyone to come forward and share suggestions, tips, opinions, experiences etc.
Here are some points from my side.

1. Try to understand your own event. What is its history, what kind of events will be hosted under the techfest, etc. If the official asks you any kind of question about the event, be it about organizers, participants, the numbers - you should either know all the information or have it written somewhere handy so that it can be carried incase of a meeting. Make a list of the *highlights* or *major attractions* in your college fest.

A lot of students fumble when asked to list simple stats about their events. For instance, the company manager (or any authority you could get in touch with) asks you, "What is the maximum strength of students attending on every day of the event?", "How many other sponsors have you contacted?", "What was last year's turn out?", "What are the major spots where you will put our banners?", "What is the minimum/maximum amount you expect from us?", "How is your event relevant to our company?" etc.

2. Prepare points on why should the company/organisation sponsor you. If you are able to convince them how can they be benefited by sponsoring your tech fest in clear concise, straightforward points, you have won half the battle.

This is easier said than done. To simplify the process, instead of pitching your entire college fest to a company, find the specific event that can be of some relevance to the company. For example, if there's a robowar event in your fest, you should approach an electronics product company that can not only fund the specific event, but also provide for kits and other material.

3. Have marketing material ready. You should have at least something to show them before you go ahead asking them for money. Don't just promise them. Have something ready to show them. It could be a fully functioning website, previous years' print material, photographs of banners/flex posters, photos of venue etc.

A lot of students make a promise of great publicity to the company and since there's no visual aid to support what the plans are, the company personnel find it difficult to believe in your claims. Don't give them a chance to over-think. Have everything ready beforehand so that the company knows what they are investing in for.

4. Study your sponsor thoroughly 'before' contacting them. If you know what the company deals with (their products or services), you can offer them something that none of the other events in the city can. An exclusive space, an exclusive event, an exclusive time slot anything that promotes them without hampering your event's itinerary.

An easy example of this is, if you are approaching a mobile peripheral device manufacturer company, see if their product range has pen drives or data cards. Is it possible to make students in your college use them during some event of your college fest? If you are contacting a post-graduate coaching class as a sponsor, is it possible to have a one-hour session with interested candidates (by pre-filling an application form/survey and presenting them with data)?

In short, find something that's of value to them. Something that can click!

5. Last but not the least, get some student who has excellent basic english skills for drafting your emails and other communication material. It might seem like a a very obvious point at first, but in our experience of dealing with hundreds of college students (Even from NITs, Govt. colleges and IITs) we have been very disappointed with the lack of professionalism and inability to compose a decent email among the students.

Pro tip: Find an email template online or simply consult a professor who is good at English to compose all your communication material. Be it the first introduction email or the follow-up SMS text etc.

I recommend that if you have a chance to attract sponsors for your college fest, you shouldn't let the opportunity go. Grab it and join the team of students who actively look for sponsors. Understand the process. Make your college event large! 😀
@Ankita Katdare • 19 Oct, 2015 I have one more to add to the above list.

6. Be very proactive in your approach

Any of your seniors will tell you that getting sponsors isn't an easy task (Especially when college management is not helping and you are on your own.) You need to be always available on - CALL and TEXT and EMAIL. All the three.

Since I have dealt with college students regarding various issues, I know they are very laid back and rarely reply promptly to any message. Now you have to understand that if a company has shown interest in you, that's because they see a potential in you. But at the same time, the companies have 'n' number of options that offer the same value. Why then should they stick to you? The answer lies in the proactive approach of the organisers. If they are trusting you with their money, you need to be always available to answer their queries. In fact, college event organisers should also regularly update their potential sponsorers with the ongoing status of the event, so that they feel involved and hence, the chances of them becoming your repeat sponsors become stronger.

Repeat:
It's an open discussion. So, I request everyone to come forward and share suggestions, tips, opinions, experiences etc.
@Mohanraj TS • 20 Dec, 2015 • 1 like Thank you ma'am . Was a piece of helpful information . The last point stuck an impact on me .
@Ankita Katdare • 20 Dec, 2015
Mohanraj TS
Thank you ma'am . Was a piece of helpful information . The last point stuck an impact on me .
Hi Mohanraj, Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you found the article useful.
@b jagadishwar reddy • 05 Mar, 2018 Mam can I know how to attract sponsors for Management fests
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