By: Mark Maguire
1. Partner up early! Begin outreach to potential partners as early as possible in your planning process. This will give partners ample time and opportunity to promote your event, and it will give you a chance to get on their planning calendars for email blasts, newsletters, and any of their own events leading up to the time of your event.
2. Lean on internal stakeholders. When seeking partners for your event, reach out to high-level stakeholders within your organization to identify existing networks and relationships. These connections will smooth the way to approaching potential partners Consider professional associations and service providers, industry organizations, and similar businesses in your industry. Competitors may even be an option, depending on how you’ll work together.
3. Set expectations. Outline clear, formal guidelines about what is expected of partners and what you will provide to them in exchange. For example, you might offer partners logo placement and a mention in event materials and on the event website, as well as a number of free registrations, in exchange for promoting your event via email blasts, newsletters, websites, and social media channels. Look for opportunities to promote at partner events, or request a guest blog spot. You might also consider setting different partnership levels, depending on what benefits a partner can provide.
4. Provide tools for success. Make it easy for partners to effectively and accurately promote your event. Arm them with marketing kits that includes content you want to share, such as
-Clear directives and guidelines on how to promote the event
-All pertinent event details (official event name and a brief overview, date/times, location)
-Event messaging and taglines
-Event site URL
-Marketing assets (e.g., event logo, other artwork, banner ads, promotional video, print collateral, etc.)
-Social media links (*Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Groups)
*share pre-scheduled tweets and ask them to retweet you
5. Track results. Provide each partner with unique promotion codes to use when marketing your event. Partners can use this code to offer a discount to their constituents, and you can track registrations by promo code. This will help you measure the effectiveness of each partner’s promotional efforts.
Have other tips to share ? I’d love to hear them! firstname.lastname@example.org