Corporate Partnership Meeting Notes

Hosted At ASAE | 1-28-20

Manage concerns within the sales department (e.g. infighting over accounts/prospects, lack of collaboration) 

Use corporate approach of ‘strategic account selling’ for sponsorships/partnerships – important as transactional sales (e.g. ads) are declining and companies are more interested in broader relationships

  • Person responsible for corporate partnerships should take the lead (or determine who will handle) with inquiries/prospects
  • Divide inquiries based on whether transactional (ads, booths) or a more in-depth relationship
  • Determine a specific spend amount (e.g. $50K) with the lead partner contact handling inquiries above that amount
  • Seek to minimize internal competition – centralize association outreach to avoid companies getting ‘nickeled and dimed’ (and offer Nordstrom service)  
  • Reward the entire sales team for reaching specific goals (based on team performance)
  • Provide discounts to incent sponsors to spend more (when above a specific amount)

Address internal departmental ‘siloes’

  • Acknowledge and thank staff for assisting with partnership initiatives
  • Recognize and thank staff members for providing leads
  • Invite staff to participate in partner calls (new leads or with current partners)
  • Allocate funds back to other departments (when possible)
  • Communicate better with other departments (e.g. marketing, IT) and be clear on responsibilities/expectations

    Content requests and sponsor involvement

    • Partners want data (industry trends, changes) and training/education
    • Establish a way to vet/review content to make sure it meets members needs
    • Transparency is important when sponsors are underwriting content (articles, presentations)
    • Make sure to clearly communicate when sponsors are involved
    • Repurpose content through different channels (articles, webinars, presentations)
    • Provide content as a ‘giveaway’ (use as a teaser to engage members/non-members) 


    Lack of Inventory (A problem we’d all like to have!)

    • Interview sponsors and ask them what they want, how they want to get involved, and how they have worked with others
    • Inventory options – blind focus groups/manufacturer’s seeking feedback/insights from practitioners/
    • Inventory options – social media/digital assets
    • Consider raising prices and restrict key benefits to top level sponsors
    • Consider board member access or podium space at meeting

    Forward Thinking

    • Look 3-5 years ahead and determine growth opportunities and identify where corporate partners and sponsors can participate in those opportunities
    • Move toward content development vs. branding (associations are information providers. How can we capitalize on that with our partners to add value?)
    • Consider membership model changes that could bring vendors/sponsors/partners into the fold as dues-paying member categories 


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