Peeling Back the Layers of Successful Sponsorships

By Kim Barclay

Why should your company consider any sponsorship?  There are more reasons than you think.  Everyone knows that sponsorships give you brand visibility.  Whether it be at an in-person event or an on-line presence, being a sponsor will get your company seen.  But it’s much deeper than that.  A sponsorship should be seen as an investment.  Yes, one expects return on that investment and to get the most bang for the buck, but most times there is not an immediate, tangible ROI.  Sponsorships need to be thought of as a foundation to build on.  Building relationships with organizations and individuals in your target market.  Being a sponsor can give you credibility, and a positive reputation and perception from your audience.

But sponsorship is a two-way street.  The benefiting organization needs to be flexible, open minded and listen to what potential sponsors want and how they want it.  The old standard of having levels with pre-selected benefits isn’t always the right fit.  Organizations need to reach out and ask potential sponsors what they are seeking and work together to make it happen.  Thinking out of the box and coming up with the most incredible and outrageous ideas, and then working down to what is reasonable and realistic is far easier and more creative than trying to work up hill.

Why should my company be a sponsor?

  1. Brand Visibility – Basic Marketing 101. Be seen in person and on social media.  The Event Marketing Institute reported that 98 percent of attendees create social content during events. When attendees share photos, quotes, videos, and blogs, you get exposure to much larger networks. User-generated content has a greater impact on customers, so make it easy for people to tag your business on social media.
  2. Creating a positive perception – Your target audience will be thankful for your “good will” for the good of the cause.
  3. Building relationships – Think long term. Foster and nurture your relationships.  You may not acquire direct business from a member or attendee, but they know who you are and will pass along your information and say how great you are.
  4. Networking and Sales Goals – Sponsorships are another tool for networking and meeting new potential clients and customers. As your prospect list grows, your ability to reach your sales goals increase.
  5. Return on Investment – The biggest mistake people and companies alike make, is expecting immediate customer and client interaction. ROI is a process and it can take months even years to see your hard work pay off.  Be patient, and continue to build on your foundation.

Sponsorships are incredibly important to both the sponsoring company and the benefiting organization.  Having realistic expectations, and verbalizing the wants and needs of the sponsorship and working together will create very successful partnerships.

Kim Barclay is a Chief Staff Executive at Partners In Association Management and is the FSAE 2019 Conference Sponsorship Chair.  Kim has over 20 years’ experience in Association Management, Event Planning and Fundraising. Reprinted with permission, FSAE Source Magazine January/February 2019 issue.

Tips of the Trade – Board of Director Relations

By: Bennett Napier, CAE

My entire career in association management has been in the association management company arena. Working in the AMC environment, I have had the privilege to work with many associations, large and small, functional and dysfunctional and everything in between.

Regardless of structure or size, not for profits are a people business and outcomes (positive or negative) are achieved by the efforts of the people involved, both volunteers and staff.

Here are some useful but not original tips to consider. I can attest that if applied consistently and with conviction, they will achieve positive results. Continue reading “Tips of the Trade – Board of Director Relations”

A Rock and Roll Guide to Organizational Awareness

By: John Ricco, CAE

If your members were asked to look 20 years into the future and pick a song to describe your organization, what tune would they pick?  Another One Bites the Dust? We Are the Champions?

The song they choose largely depends on how well your organization’s staff helps your leadership identify opportunities to meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs of your members. So how do you ensure your organization doesn’t go the way of one-hit wonders like Vanilla Ice, The Knack or Gnarls Barkley? Continue reading “A Rock and Roll Guide to Organizational Awareness”

Certification Is Current

By: Danielle Jessup

Do you have a vested interest in enhancing your skills and advancing in the association industry?  Just as other industries require a license, the association industry has a handful of certifications to allow you to demonstrate a firm understanding of industry standards and possess the ability to put them into practice.  These two certifications are specific to our industry and could be beneficial to your career: Continue reading “Certification Is Current”