The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) built a $2 million dollar sponsorship program by listening to sponsors and delivering value.
As the pandemic impacted suppliers, logistics and safety regulations within their industry, NAMI (North American Meat Institute) staffers knew they needed to provide their members with the most timely resources possible. “Our members are heavily reliant on our organization to provide timely information about regulations that affect the industry,” says Anne Halal, Chief Experience Officer at NAMI. With an already fast-moving industry becoming even more fluid during the pandemic, Halal and the staff at NAMI knew that waiting for annual meetings and printed communications to deliver critical updates to their community would no longer suffice.
THE QUICK SELL
The Organization: The North American Meat Institute (NAMI); the trade association for meat and poultry packer processors.
The Challenge: An ever-changing regulatory environment
The Solution: Creating a responsive, timely, and customizable sponsor program that meets the current needs of members and sponsor organizations.
Top Takeaway: Stay in regular communication with your industry partners - be open to their feedback and needs, and don’t be afraid to take a chance on a new, customized product that develops from those conversations!
NAMI’s role in educating and connecting both members and industry partners is vital; knowing that, the team was quickly able to pivot toward more timely, online webcasts and meetings that better served the needs of the industry at that moment. While this could initially be viewed as uncertain ground, Halal notes that these new, more customized content sessions led to greater engagement than they had previously seen at their annual meeting. An unexpected opportunity arose when members who had typically not engaged with NAMI content began to attend these sessions. Being responsive to the changes in the industry allowed the organization to reinforce its value proposition with highly engaged members while also cultivating new relationships with members and partners.
So much of NAMI’s success in transforming its product offerings lies in listening to members and industry partners. A great example of this, according to Halal, is understanding the challenges that partners faced: “We learned that our suppliers were unable to visit customers in their plants and we could connect these communities through timely curated content.”
Creating customized sponsorships built around digital communication offerings led to sustained organizational growth that benefits all stakeholders. Halal emphasizes how transformative this needs-based approach has been:
“Because of our success identifying education, audience and suppliers and making the right connections that deliver value to sponsors, we were able to take a humble sponsor program, and no live events, to a $2 million dollar sponsor program.”
Digital offerings have been thoughtfully integrated with the recent return of live events, allowing a variety of product offerings to serve member and partner needs on their terms. Live events will always be a cornerstone of education and networking offerings for NAMI; however, when new, more flexible communication pathways are developed, NAMI works creatively to weave these into their schedule and subsequent customized sponsorships.
“Digital information helps to create a more enriched engagement at in-person events and helps build micro-communities around these hot topics,” says Halal about their integrated offerings. This innovative attitude and responsive culture helped NAMI’s fiscal growth and left them prepared for what will continue to be a changing regulatory environment.
About the Author
Shannon Reid has over 15 years of experience working with associations to identify, develop, and promote digital, print, and event/sponsorship products that provide access to highly valued professional member bases. Shannon is a content contributor to the Professionals for Association Revenue (PAR) and can be reached at email@example.com.