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Building Blocks for Long Term Partnerships

Association Meetings and Keeping Your Sanity in an Environment of Extremes
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Building Blocks for Long Term Partnerships

Alison Miller - Project Coordinator


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Our partners – sponsors and exhibitors – provide immense value to our association members through their thought leadership, products, and services.  As an association, we want to make sure we foster our partnerships for mutually beneficial results.

As you continue to develop your partnership program, look at innovative methods to gather feedback, show appreciation and elevate communication. Below are a few examples that you can easily implement.

Feedback
There is always room for improvement and new ideation!

  • Schedule 1:1 meetings with high-level sponsors and your association board/committee members on-site at your event to receive real-time feedback.
  • Send out a partner evaluation the last day of the event emphasizing the importance of their feedback as you develop the program for the next event.
  • As you plan the next event, emphasize any changes that were made as a result of partner feedback, so they know their time was well utilized.

Appreciation
Find ways to say “thanks.”

  • On the last day of the event, visit each booth, with a committee chair/board member to express your association’s thanks for their partnership and present them with a certificate.
  • Host a partner appreciation breakfast and include committee/board members.
  • Snap pictures of the partner’s team at their booth with your SOAP committee chair/board member. Share the picture so they can utilize on social media and share with their home office team.
  • Send a detailed thank you to the partner the week following the event, including a summary of their sponsorship benefits utilized and remaining benefits for the year.

Communication
Frequent and detailed communication is key to a successful event with partners.

  • After a partner signs up to sponsor, schedule a synch-up to review their benefits to make sure they maximize their ROI for the event.
  • Host a pre-event webinar reviewing pertinent information regarding the event to partners and answering any last-minute questions.
  • Prepare a FAQ sheet for each partner in the Expo Hall that includes important show times, contact information, guidelines, and venue information.
  • Create an onsite or post-event “save the date” to share dates, location and any other known details for next year’s event. Partners will appreciate the reminder so they can plan their budgets and staffing.

As you start to implement more feedback, appreciation, and communication into your partnership program, you will find that relationships deepen and even more ideas for collaboration become evident.

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