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Rethinking sponsorships for virtual events, yearlong value

Groups can provide attendee data and be a ‘matchmaker’ between sponsors and members who have a need that companies can fill


Oct. 9, 2020
By Kathryn Walson

Offering a menu of sponsorship options around a few events each year may have worked well in the past. But associations facing a vastly different meetings landscape amid the pandemic could benefit from rethinking sponsorships, including taking a year-round approach and homing in on providing a return on companies’ investments at virtual events.

The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses got a head start on the COVID-19 upheaval: After gathering feedback from sponsors in 2018, the group decided to retool its sponsorship program. AMSN hired a consultant in 2019 who interviewed the group’s sponsors and worked with staff to “build a custom package that really was focused on year-round engagement opportunities and visibility with our members,” said Terri Hinkley, CEO of New Jersey-based AMSN.

AMSN aimed to transfer existing sponsors from the $5,000 event-based model to a $50,000 year-long partnership model, which could include surveys, podcasts, blogs or videos. The group signed its first “premier partner” early this year. The partner company has developed publications and educational content for AMSN members.