Oh prizing for events; the never ending, time consuming project before any fundraiser that most people dread, myself included. With so many non-profits out there with their hands out for donations it’s hard to set yourself apart to companies, and get them to choose your organization over the other hundred that have asked. This is when creativity is your best friend, something that every event planner will tap into when planning the perfect event!
First things first: make it personal, especially when approaching a small business, their business is their dream so make sure you appreciate that when you approach them.
List what YOU can do for THEM before asking them to help you. This can be as small as social media promotion (and for those of us with no budget this is usually all we can give), but detail how you will promote them and when. If you are offering one post before your event they probably are not going to go for it but if you tell them about showcasing their logo on your event page, talking them up on social media as well as promoting them at the event, they might be more inclined.
Providing a hook for the way you sell it can also be more intriguing to a business, such as a date night package that involves a bunch of non-competing industries that you will partner into one package. This allows their prize to stand out since it is the only one in that category while allowing them to give a smaller donation because it will be packaged together.
You can also look into packaging companies in the same industry for the prize to reach a wider audience at your event, such as all clothing companies in one. This allows any age group to bid on it because not every gift card/prize in the package will apply to them but it might apply to someone they know, allowing it to be more of an experience gift since they can treat someone they love while treating themselves. Or they might be more diverse and love the whole package for themselves!
The key to acquiring prizing ultimately comes down to your approach, if you have the time go to the business and chat with them, it will make you stand out from the emails and calls they get. Showcase that sparkle that makes you an amazing event planner and you are well on the way to winning them over, and a catchy selling hook always helps close the deal.