A recent webinar presented by Jessica Simpson, VP of Membership, Greater Pensacola Chamber, addressed the issue of Strategic Sponsorships. The following is my take away.
It's a mindset from moving away from individual transactions to a partnership that could last multiple years.
She started out by talking about Total Resource Campaigns and at the end of the day, they're all about a sponsorship drive.
Strategic sponsorships is all about the opportunity to align what you do with possible sponsors on issues they care about.
It allows a member/sponsor to align their sponsorship awareness with a program of work at the chamber (workforce, education, technology). If you do it right, you will see your engagement grow with those sponsors.
It’s also important to treat these relationships as partnerships which will allow you to create longterm commitments and not just create one-off transactions. You don’t want to be in the transaction business, you want to be in the partnership business.
Start having conversations with possible sponsors to find out what they care about and what they will support. If it’s in your program of work as a chamber, you’ve got a match (i.e. quarterly breakfast on a specific subject; Economic, Legal, Health Care, Education, etc.).
Suggestions on who might support those special quarterly breakfasts per issue:
- Bank – economic updates
- Hospital – health care trends
- College – education, workforce
- Law Firm – legal trends, policy and regulatory issues
I would suggest a three-year commitment to be a named partner for any program you create. It’s also important that you communicate to your members the support of the named sponsor throughout all your communication channels.
Think holistically when setting up a possible partnership program, create a plan and ask your members to sponsor it!