September 28, 2015
Developing year-round sponsorship programs is quickly becoming the new norm in associations. The first step to moving your association in this direction is to identify your assets. This type of approach is not a one-person job, nor a one-sided decision. Engage your entire team in a brainstorming session to identify your association’s offerings, and identify other ideas that can be easily adapted.
For example, if you have several Board meetings throughout the year, why not offer a sponsorship opportunity to coincide with one of them? It’s a great way to get sponsors in front of their target audience and they will appreciate the one-on-one time that they won’t get at a large tradeshow or conference.
Chances are your association utilizes social media outlets, so why not incorporate social media “mentions” as part of your sponsorship packaging. Facebook posts and Twitter tweets are easy to manage and can be offered regularly throughout the year.
Associations often turn to webinars as a way of providing additional educational opportunities to their members. Webinars are a great way to offer sponsors year-round exposure. They’re also a valuable source of content for your members and can be repurposed by your marketing team throughout the year.
Once you understand your options; make sure you have also thought about a way to measure ROI. Only then can you reach out to sponsors to find out how to tailor the options to help them achieve their marketing goals. By working within their objectives, you can grow the opportunity from the transactional level (sponsoring a break for $2,000) to the strategic level (putting the sponsor’s name in front of each member X times each year).
Creativity and flexibility are key. By working together strategically, you can help your sponsor realize their marketing goals for not just the meeting, but for the entire year. In doing so, you will most likely tap into a much larger budget for your association. Consider this a partnership; both parties working together to help each other achieve their goals.