Sponsors are constantly on the search for events that will showcase them in the best light: providing exclusive access to participants, in unique ways, and are looking for partners who truly understand that ROI needs to be received on both sides of the relationship.
What could you do to better engage your potential sponsors? Here are a few suggestions:
- Engage your members: And then, advise your sponsors. Get to know your members, how they want to be communicated with by your sponsors, and then share the information in advance. Your sponsors will be better prepared to remain relevant. In turn, they will obtain the respect of your membership base, and become more effective in their communication practices.
- Tell your sponsors about the unique marketing opportunity: Whether your potential sponsors are looking to partner with you for B2B or B2C purposes, demonstrate that you know your membership base (and their business) – via research, or testimonials. Sponsors want the details - are they an influencer/decision-maker, how they want to be communicated with, and what their buying cycles look like. Just offering visibility or industry recognition no longer justifies spend.
- Become a Partner: Do not just ask for a cheque. That is not a partnership. Associations with successful partnerships provide access to their members. Sponsors are able to directly communicate with them (which is why your research is key). By becoming a partner with the companies you are looking to have sponsor/exhibit, you should focus on their success. This can easily be done by offering value – help them track their ROI with tracking tools, reporting and member feedback.
- Become your sponsor’s voice: Your members will listen to you. Whether you are sending an e-newsletter, or through social media, you are in the unique position to be leveraging your sponsor’s ability to solve problems – whether through a product offering, time-enhancing solution, or through research that they have done that will benefit your membership. Associations should be offering to share content through their various channels.
- Help them build relationships: Being present is very important to sponsors. And it goes well beyond the conference. Add value to your marketing plan by offering to introduce the sponsor to your chapters, join a committee, or attend local events.
Working to engage and develop personal, meaningful relationships is time consuming...what else are you doing to increase value?
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