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YGM recently sponsored one of our favorite workshops – ACCE’s 60 Sponsorship Ideas in 60 Minutes. This is our fourth year to sponsor this workshop, though this was the first time the workshop was conducted entirely online. We were delighted with how well the workshop went and with the interaction with the participants.

If you missed the workshop, here are some of the ideas suggested.

  1. Institute a webinar series. Sell sponsorships of the series.
  2. Move your networking events from in-person to virtual via Remo.
  3. Send an email per day with chamber and local news. Sell a sponsorship for that email.
  4. Sell sponsorships of Zoom backgrounds with sponsor’s logo on the background.
  5. Maker’s Mark Spirit Sponsorship – Attendees paid $35 for a signature cocktail with a specially dipped bottle
  6. Boxed lunch sponsorship – For the Military Appreciation Luncheon, the event was pushed to a virtual platform for the awards portion, and a sponsor was found to provide a boxed lunch, which were delivered to soldiers on a local Army base.
  7. Chamber Trivia – host virtual trivia nights and get sponsorships
  8. When you transfer meetings and such to a virtual format, consider having a virtual swag bag. Instead of pens, give tips. Create a virtual, secret website on which you give warm leads.
  9. Sell series sponsorships
  10.  Life Fair (job fair) which is a talent portal and allows sponsors to spotlight jobs within their businesses.
  11. Online trivia nights can feature sponsors throughout – blur sponsor logos or remove portions of the logo… whichever participant guesses the logo receives a prize from the sponsor business
  12. Podcasts are excellent sponsorship opportunities and provides sponsor recognition through deep-dive conversations.
  13. Annual meetings – Everyone has to have one. This chamber’s was themed each year. The chamber planned a theme and delivered theme boxes, including the kind of swag that would normally be on the tables, along with a bottle of wine and a gift card for dinner. It made it so that while people watched the awards portion online, they were also able to simulate the experience of the dinner portion at home.
  14. Question of the Day – On social media, allow each sponsor to answer a question regarding their business and how it is involved in the community or how they impact the community.
  15. Blog posts – There is a need for current information right now. Get sponsors for blog posts such as what businesses should do if they have an employee test positive for Covid-19.
  16. Do you have a Community Improvement Awards Luncheon? This chamber is doing them as a publication this year.
  17. Support local employees who might be out of work. Sponsors pay to be in a video, holding one word of a supporting message.
  18. Pay it forward. Establish a program in which your larger, more established businesses can “sponsor” your smaller businesses’ membership dues.
  19. Recovery kits – This chamber had posters with helpful information printed. The kits included the posters, sanitizers and other useful information. Sponsorships made it possible to distribute to both members and non-members alike. The chamber gained new memberships as a result.
  20. Seniors on the Silos – This chamber has multiple silos in town. To honor the high school seniors, the chamber got sponsors and projected the photos of the seniors onto the silos each evening for a certain number of days.
  21. So many chambers have a Taste Of. This chamber continued on with their’s despite the issues Covid presented. They changed it to a drive-thru event, giving the samples in take away packaging.
  22. Chamber Night Out at the Movies – Sponsors have video promo spots prior to the movie.
  23. Race Bridge – This chamber’s YP group hosted conversations focusing on race relations via zoom.
  24. Trade Show – Rather than moving their trade show to a virtual platform, this chamber created a publication similar to a “Who’s Who” and included a check-in challenge encouraging people to visit each business in person.
  25. Book Club – This chamber started a book club focusing on diversity, inclusion, and equity. Businesses can showcase what they are doing toward these things. A branded swag bag was created to go with the book giveaway.
  26. Game Changers – The chamber President interviewed local leaders who have innovative ideas. The sponsor was able to present the opening remarks.
  27. Coffee and Connections – Hosted on a virtual platform that allowed participants to move to different rooms. Each room had a sponsor who was a coffee shop and the sponsors were able to chat with participants directly.
  28. Keep it Local Directory – Magazine which featured a multi-cultural section that was sponsored.
  29. Member Minutes on Facebook – Sponsors were able to be visible and linked on Facebook
  30. VIP Meet & Greet for webinars – Sponsor the 15 or 30 minutes prior to a webinar and allow the sponsors to host the networking time prior to a webinar. Sell the breakout rooms
  31. Virtual Chamber Auction – Members provide donations for the Chamber to auction.
  32. Steam-a-thon – In a telethon format, Chamber and COVID information shared throughout the day with sponsors having promo spots.

Our congratulations to the winners of the best ideas:
* Honorable Mention: Nate Phillips at Grand Rapids Chamber
* Third Place: Colleen Schipsi of the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce
* Second Place: Randall Chase, IOM, of the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce
* First Place: Andrea Cole of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce

If you would like to watch the video of the workshop, you may find it here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7J7_3ZM5TY&feature=youtu.be

We encourage you to take these ideas and take them for yourself. Modify the ones you like to fit your chamber and your community.

And make notes of what you think are your chamber’s best sponsorship ideas. Make plans to present those at next year’s workshop at the annual ACCE conference – hopefully in person!