Find sponsors

When we design a product or service, it is important to understand our target demographic. Sponsorship is no different. Whether you are looking for a donation from an educational institution, a small business, a large corporation, or a government entity it is important to understand the needs of your target sponsors and what they value. We have provided some personas that you are free to use to get your team thinking about different types of sponsors.

Remember, sponsorship is all about building relationships. People will appreciate the fact you took the time to better understand their organization before approaching them for a donation.

Here are a few steps to help get you started:

Make a list of organizations that will likely support World IA Day values and mission.

Many organizations have a desire to support initiatives that promote the betterment of society. It offers them a way to get recognition for being good corporate citizens who support the local community.

  1. Start with your team and, as a group, identify organizations that you think might be willing to sponsor.

  2. Once you have organizations identified, check out their websites and their social media feeds to learn more about how sponsorship might benefit them.

  3. Determine who the decision-makers might be and whether you know anyone who could make an introduction.

  4. Review similar events and take note of who sponsored.

Approach people personally, if possible. Individuals are far more likely to support our vision and be a champion within their organization. It also provides an opportunity to develop good personal and business relationships with them in the future.

Leverage existing relationships and attendee data.

If your location has hosted World IA Day in the past, leverage the relationships with previous sponsors and data from your location’s attendee list. Many times sponsors are willing to give again and they appreciate it when you ask them what you can do to improve their sponsorship experience.

Reach out to organizations whose employees attended last year. Use this data to help promote the success of your previous event and communicate how awesome your event will be this year too.

Look for grants.

Some local governments or organizations offer grants to help support community activities and economic development. Look for these opportunities in your location.

Ideas on Who to Approach

Hiring Agencies

Hiring agencies love to sponsor events so they can find good talent. These are good partnerships because you can offer services like the ideas below. This way the sponsor receives brand recognition and the attendees receive valuable advice and the local city receives a monetary donation from the hiring agency.

A portfolio review to the first X # of people who sign up

  • Panel from hiring agencies on how to interview and land a job

  • Include visual or link examples where helpful

  • Include sources if applicable

Educational Institutions

Because the nature of our celebration is educational, institutions are often available to provide free or discounted spaces for the day, and are likely to have a range of sizes of space available.

  • Partner with educational institutions that include IA and UX as part of their curriculum. Spend extra attention on looking into if any graduate programs in HCI, Library Science, Computer Science, Digital Media, Graphic Design, Data Science, and similar fields exist in your area.

  • Set aside a specific number of tickets for them.

  • Consider professors or instructors to speak or panel.

  • Inquire whether the venue has materials that you can reuse like whiteboards or chalkboards for sketching/designing, tables, and chairs, etc.

  • Offers students professional networking and learning.

  • Allows art school to be seen as a leader in IA space.

  • Partner with educational institutions that include IA and UX as part of their curriculum.

  • Spend extra attention on looking into if any graduate programs in HCI, Library Science, Computer Science, Digital Media, Graphic Design, and similar fields exist in your area.

Government and City Resources

Tourism Offices

Approach your local tourism office and see if they would be willing to organize and cover the hotel expenses of your out of town speakers.

Hack-a-thons

Lately, city hackathons have become increasingly popular. Look at your city’s governmental website and try to find a Departments or Resources page. Research what companies sponsored the hackathon and consider who on your team has an existing relationship. Typically, many companies will sponsor these kinds of events, so be diligent and research which companies are a good fit for World IA Day.

For example, here is a story written by the City of Atlanta about a recent ‘govathon’

City Resources

A city’s Chamber of Commerce could also be a valuable resource. Look at your city’s Chamber of Commerce site and see if they have any articles or news about technology-related events or initiatives.

Consider your local library, or other government-funded public spaces, to host. Some cities that have not traditionally been thought of as ‘startup hubs’ have made great efforts to become incubators of startup activity.

Try looking at your city website and seeing if any partnerships exist between a city and an organization dedicated to encouraging start-up activities. Start-ups can be great sponsors as they are trying to build strong local relationships. This is an example of something that might exist in your city: http://atlantatechvillage.com/