Until the actual work of partnership management takes place, there are several steps.
- Creating the partnership presentation & offering
- Meeting potential partners
- Sending tailored partnership proposals
- Closing the deal
Only after a deal has been concluded do you move to partnership management, which is the step where you need to define concretely how the partnership will manifest itself during your event. This means that the partnership team needs to understand what the partner expects and make sure that the production and program team are able to deliver on this.
The moment when you close the first deal is when the volume of work related to partners increases heavily and changes in its nature from sales to management. This means you might need a new team member to take care of partnership management who is detail oriented and can ensure the partnership is delivered properly. It is also important to a clear process in place for how to follow up with partners once the first deal is closed.
This spreadsheet will help you track in detail which feature was sold to whom, what is needed to deliver each partnership, payments etc.:
Depending on the partners needs and wishes, it is important to have a dedicated person taking care of each partner, to welcome them, show them around the event, suggest sessions they could attend and make introductions with relevant attendees.
Partners are invited to the speakers reception the day before and often have a customized pre-or post event preparation / debrief, to help them make the most of the event.
Don't forget to follow up with your partners after the event! It's important to thank them and ask for a detailed feedback on their experience, to be able to improve for the following year.
It might also be a good opportunity to already propose a partnership for the next edition of your event.
Lastly: make sure to follow up on payments as well, since this often requires a lot of follow up to make sure everyone paid their bills.