Additional Revenue Streams: Creating Value Oriented Corporate Sponsorships During & Post COVID
For most of us, 2020 has been about survival in the association industry. We have learned a great deal about being creative and responsive to almost daily changes. This has caused most of us to adapt and explore additional revenue sources to make up for loss of revenue from in person events and other income generating sources that were depleted. While we all hope to get back to some type of normalcy, we must continue to identify and utilize new revenue streams.
3 Key Actions to Take When Creating Corporate Sponsor Packages in 2021
Let’s face it, most associations rely on corporate sponsorships to meet their annual budgetary needs. Trade shows in the past had offered that invaluable relationship building opportunity and most sponsors didn’t hesitate to pay some type of sponsorship level to take part. When COVID hit, it challenged associations to re-examine their corporate offerings. Let’s review 3 key actions to take when creating corporate sponsor packages in 2021.
Many sponsor organizations have taken a hit during COVID. Most still want and are willing to support your organization, but your normal offerings may not fit their budget or needs this year. Instead of going to them with your standard packages, have a conversation with them and ask what they need out of their sponsorship and tailor their package to achieve that goal, which leads to our second point:
2. Focus on adding value first
As a corporate sponsor ourselves, I cannot stress enough that when creating a sponsor package, an association MUST focus on value it holds first. Many of the legacy offerings were centered around having your brand plastered on signs, emails and other marketing collateral. In today’s digital world, this just doesn't cut it. Sponsors’ main initiative through supporting your association is to gain more clients by illustrating the value they can offer your members and industry through their product offerings. They want to make sure the dollars they invest add value to their organization as well. When speaking with many associations, they are always concerned about the impact of giving sponsors too much access to their members. While this is an important consideration, it sometimes handicaps associations into stagnant or declining sponsorship growth. Get creative...where there’s a will there’s a way.
At Dynamic Benchmarking, we took the time to reenvision how associations can creatively utilize benchmarking, an important member benefit, to attract sponsors. Not only can sponsors brand the platform, but they can also brand a custom report based on a question set they develop with the association that aligns with their field of expertise. This creates more value than just their logo showing up, but places them as an expert in the field without infringing on members’ data, which leads us to our third and final point:
3. Don’t be afraid to ask sponsors for help
Sponsors have a wealth of knowledge and expertise and a shared goal of ensuring the success of your industry. What better time than now to invite them to have an advisory role in your organization. Create a corporate sponsor advisory board. Allow them input on the types of packages that are offered. Allow previous sponsors, who may not have the same budget dollars this year, the ability to collaborate on content creation for your blog or website. This will keep them engaged in your organization for when their budget is back to normal. It also allows you to leverage their expertise for free content.
2021 is setting up to be an interesting and hopefully prosperous year for all. One thing is for sure; we can’t sit still and hold on to the way we’ve been doing things and this includes corporate sponsorships.