How to Nurture Sponsor Relationships Amid Virus Cancellations
Amid the chaos, we must touch base with our sponsors
While COVID-19 is causing associations to deal with a bevy of problems, including lost revenue due to canceled events, wrecking relationship with sponsors doesn’t have to be one of them, say leaders of the Partnership Professionals Network (PPN). They say communicating well with sponsors will help associations maintain good relationships that will weather this storm.
“The first thing we see is a great need for every association—and I don’t care if your event is in April or in August—to communicate with your partners,” said Dan Kowitz, co-convener of PPN. “You don’t need the entire plan. It can be an email that says, ‘Hey, we are all dealing with this. We’re going to come back to you with strategies and options.’”
Bruce Rosenthal, co-convener of PPN, said that part of that communication should be asking questions to get a feel of where the sponsor stands. “The sponsorship person on the association’s staff should reach out individually to top-level sponsors,” Rosenthal said. “Ask how COVID-19 is impacting the company, whether the company has a travel ban, etc.; agree to touch base periodically as plans change.”
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