Partnerships are a key ingredient of many successful food and drink events. On top of the cost-saving opportunities they present, an event partnership proposal can help you reach new audiences and give your event a unique spin. Whether you’re hosting an in-person, virtual, or hybrid event, you can make your event more appealing and marketable with creative partnerships.
Not sure where to start? Think broadly when identifying potential partners, who can be anyone from venue managers to vendors to performers. Once you’ve identified a list of potential partners, reach out to find out what they can offer you – and just as importantly, what you can offer them. Whether they can incorporate a product, service, or idea into your event, their contributions can make your food and drink event a more memorable experience for attendees. So how do you find the right partners and make the most of the opportunity?
Get started by learning about event partners and then hearing some key tips for using partnerships to host more successful food and drink events.
What is an event partner?
Distinguishing an event partner from an event sponsor is the first step in understanding how to identify partners for your event. Often, this difference comes down to money. Event sponsors pay money to be featured at your event, whether that’s through logos placed on marketing materials, a booth at the event, or the ability to sponsor a specific portion of your event. Food festival sponsorship packages, then, will be purchased by the sponsor to tap into whatever benefits you’re offering.
In an event partnership, money often isn’t exchanged. Instead, the partnership represents a mutually beneficial arrangement for both parties. When you identify an event partner, you’ll be able to tap into their audience and marketing channels. Your partner will typically promote your event and formally announce the press release in exchange for their own marketing during your event.
Event sponsors and event media partners certainly have some similarities. However, to determine which opportunity best suits your food and drink event, consider whether you want to sell sponsorships or engage in a mutually beneficial partnership, and then learn how to get food sponsors for an event.
Check out these four marketing strategies to spotlight your partners before and during the event.
How can an event partnership boost my food and drink event?
A food and drink event can benefit from event partnerships and food and beverage sponsorship. This type of event, in particular, can thrive when you give your attendees access to different vendors, which can make your event more diverse and attractive to guests. For example, with several partnerships, you can increase the food and drink selections at the event, expanding its appeal to event-goers. Rather than just having a few food and drink booths set up, you can have a dozen or more if you engage with local restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, and breweries to expand your selections.
In addition to expanding your lineup, you can also broaden your marketing through event partnerships. Your partners will be happy to promote their event across their channels, including on their website, at their establishment, and on social media. This extra marketing can give your attendance a boost, which will ultimately bring in more money at your event. Food sponsorship for events, then, is a mutually beneficial arrangement for everyone involved.
Tips for a successful event partnership proposal
Tip #1: Find the perfect partner for event promotions through smart research.
Find partners that complement your event’s style (or bring something new to the table). Look for potential partners’ communities or audiences; is there crossover between their audience and yours? If not, what shared interest might connect different audiences at your event? Partners who have a large following can help you grow your own, while smaller audiences might cater more effectively to a niche interest.
Think about partners that can complement your current offerings. Perhaps you’re hosting a coffee festival and have plenty of coffee vendors but need a few partners. Consider partnering with a couple of bakeries that can provide your event-goers with some baked goods to enjoy alongside their coffee.
Tip #2: Tell a story.
Use your food and drink event as a way to involve people in a bigger story. Identify the overall goal of your event – think about what you want to achieve. Perhaps you want to give small local restaurants a venue to showcase their offerings to a broader audience. Promote your event with a “shop local” angle, and consider including other small shops from around town to carry your theme throughout the event.
Tip #3: Pick your partners wisely.
Top Chef finalist Melissa King advises in The Pop-Up Playbook, “Consider teaming up with someone who will complement your food and help you reach a new audience – whether it’s another chef, an alcohol partner, or a local artist.” Look into co-marketing opportunities, and share your plans with partners as early on as possible. It’s all right to be creative about who to involve in an event, just make sure that your partnership makes sense for your brand.
Take, for example, Durham, North Carolina’s Hops and Blues event. This carefully curated event showcased hoppy beer brews from the Southeastern U.S., alongside a diverse selection of local blues musicians. Event-goers could stroll through the event enjoying different brews while listening to musicians they perhaps have never heard before. This synergistic blend of drinks and music resulted in a successful event.
Tip #4: Double your marketing.
“Get on your partners’ email blasts where it makes sense,” says Kelly Taylor, President of the NYC Brewers Guild. “We found that our sponsors and event partners have been a great source of marketing because we can take advantage of their following. We saw a lot of traffic come from our email promotion with partners Eventbrite and Whole Foods.”
In addition to email promotion, social media marketing is key. Tap into popular social networks like Instagram and Facebook, where you can post events, engage with potential attendees, and answer any questions about the event. Don’t forget about trending social media sites like TikTok, where you can film short videos to preview your food and drink event.
Finally, use Eventbrite Boost as your all-in-one marketing platform for your event. Create ads, launch contests, develop customised email marketing campaigns, and more with this versatile tool. You can even successfully host virtual food events with the right marketing.
Tip #5: Incentivise partners to promote.
Kate Levenstien, founder of Cannonball Productions and the Bacon & Beer Classic, recommends testing out different incentives to motivate partners. Hold a contest to reward the partner who sells the most tickets, or offer special brand visibility at your event to the most engaged partners.
Consider offering incentives that offer partners some business during the event, too. For example, when you’re selling tickets, include special packages that offer a one-on-one session with attendees, so they connect on a more personal level with event-goers who can become potential customers. This opportunity will be attractive to any partner looking to broaden their audience.
Tip #6: Involve the media.
When several brands are involved in one event, whether it’s in-person, virtual, or hybrid, it becomes a juicier topic for the media to cover – and that means more exposure for you. Cannonball Productions works to get their events featured in popular publications, focusing on those who publish “Top 10” or “Best Of” event lists. You can also work with less established media outlets. Connect with local bloggers and social influencers who your attendees follow – is there potential for a partnership?
How do I write an event partnership or sponsorship proposal?
Writing a sponsorship or partnership proposal doesn’t have to be intimidating, and the above tips can help you craft a convincing event partnership proposal letter that shows the benefits of the partnership. Follow these tips as you write a partnership proposal and design a food sponsorship letter template that sells.
Tip #1: Make your offer clear.
Your partnership proposal should include everything that your potential partner needs to make an informed decision. Identify your target audience and show the partner why their business will appeal to that target audience as well. If you have previous successful partnerships, talk about them and the mutual benefits those partnerships provided – and how you can replicate them with this potential sponsor. Finally, describe the predicted outcomes of the partnership. Explain how the partner will benefit and what positive impact this partnership can have on their business.
Tip #2: Explain what’s in it for them and how you can work together in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Now, dive into the details. Identify specific and tangible benefits for the partner, such as exposure to a certain number of attendees. Showcase how you plan to work together to make the event a success, which can positively impact the partner.
Tip #3: Offer different partnership/sponsorship packages so they have a choice.
Give your potential partner some flexibility in the proposal letter. Rather than outlining very specific opportunities for the partner, highlight some different options. These options can vary in price (in the case of a sponsorship proposal) or event involvement (in the case of a partnership). Flexible options allow your partner to choose a relationship they’re comfortable with, which can make it more enticing to sign on.
Tip #4: Highlight branding and marketing opportunities.
Briefly outline exactly how your event and promotion will benefit the sponsor. Emphasise how you can market their brand to your audience. Add any data or numbers from past events that give a sense of the number of attendees and the event’s reach.
Tip #5: Keep things simple, clear, and concise.
Your partnership proposal should be short and direct. No one has time to read lengthy proposals, and they might dismiss you just because of the length of the proposal. Identify your event, explain its overall goal, and outline the advantages of a partnership and potential partnership opportunities.
Using these partnership event ideas for your food and drink event
All in all, when it comes to food and drink events, the more the merrier. Partnerships can come in all shapes and sizes – and can quickly add new and interesting dynamics to your food and drink event. Cultivate a mix that makes sense for your brand and you can create a more memorable and unique foodie experience.
Find out How To Write a Successful Event Sponsorship Proposal for all the planning tips you need to attract event sponsors. Then, discover the advantages of Eventbrite Boost, which can help you design a customised marketing plan for you and your food sponsors and partners.