General Sponsorship Guidelines
- Our Chapter attempts to select a diverse group of sponsors for its events to support our Chapter’s DE&I initiatives and to offer a variety of information, services, and products to its members.
- Speaker fees and/or speaker-related expenses are not paid by the Chapter or on behalf of the sponsor, for any program or event.
- Our Chapter selects sponsors who are able to provide information, services, ideas and expertise that are valuable to our members and conform to Chapter content guidelines.
- Advertising for all events is subject to the prior review and approval of the Chapter.
- In the case where the sponsor is the presenter of the program, brief introductory comments about the services of the sponsor are permitted prior to commencement of the program. The information to be presented in the introduction should be reviewed in advance with the Chapter Board or Committee Co-Chair coordinating the event.
- Chapter programs and events frequently include a reception/networking opportunity for members and sponsors (when time permits, at the discretion of the Chapter).
- The Chapter will consider co-sponsorship or partnering opportunities with other associations, organizations or groups, subject to the express approval of the Board of Directors, when the Board determines that any such opportunity serves the interests of the membership and the Chapter.
- Sponsors are expected to provide chairs and tables for CLE events that are held in their offices. Chapter networking events are generally standing events so our members can effectively move about the room to meet other attendees though some chairs will be required for disabled members.
- Admission prices for events, if any, will be set by the Chapter, based on several factors, including costs of the program, sponsor fees collected for a specific program or event, the number of projected attendees and the Chapter’s overall expected expenses for the programming year.
- Sponsorship fees and admission fees are used by the Chapter to subsidize the cost of a broad variety of Chapter programs throughout the programming year. All Chapter financial activity is subject to and part of an annual accounting audit process. The Chapter is a non-profit §501(c)(6) trade association and all sponsor fees paid through this Sponsorship Program are allocated to program and Chapter expenses as well as to fund our Chapter treasury reserves and an endowment fund for the benefit of the Chapter’s diversity and law school initiatives.
- The Chapter reserves the right to cancel, change times, or modify all aspects of the programming, including place of venue (or convert to a virtual format). The Chapter may also change dates or alter topics, and change venue, as may be necessary to enhance member programming. Preference for the choice of month for all programs and events will be allocated to sponsors at higher levels but remain at the discretion of the Chapter. Please indicate in your sponsor response your month of preference for programs without a set date (i.e. Institute programs, Meet Your Counterparts events).
- In the event of a venue-driven cancellation or change, the Chapter reserves the right to reschedule any programming. The Chapter does not guarantee a minimum level of attendance at any program. Because promotion of an event cannot begin until the Chapter receives the details of the program, the names of the speakers (including in-house speakers, which the Chapter can help coordinate), and a summary of the topic, shall be provided as early as possible, but at least three (3) weeks prior to the event. The longer an event is promoted to our membership with event details, the more likely event attendance will meet reasonable expectations.
- Because of the popularity of some events, the Chapter reserves the right to limit attendance (close registration) or, alternatively, to give the sponsor the option to cover the increased costs of the additional attendance.
- ALL EVENTS HELD IN LOCATIONS THAT ARE NOT AT THE OFFICES OF SPONSOR’S COMPANY OR LAW FIRM SHALL BE BOOKED BY THE CHAPTER ADMINISTRATOR. NO SPONSOR SHOULD MAKE THEIR OWN BOOKING ARRANGEMENTS WITH ANY VENDOR OR CATERER, WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN APPROVAL FROM THE CHAPTER PRESIDENT, PROGRAMING/SPONSOR CHAIRPERSON OR CHAPTER ADMINISTRATOR.
- Due to the impact of COVID-19, many geographies have regulations concerning the number of people who can congregate in any one setting to comply with social distancing requirements. Additionally, many of the Chapters’ member companies have restrictions on traveling and attending larger format events. The Chapter reserves the right to move any substantive or social programming to a virtual format at the Chapter’s sole discretion taking into account local regulations and members’ sentiment.
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Program Guidelines
- The Chapter is an approved CLE provider in PA, NJ and DE and will handle the processing of all CLE applications as part of organizing any Chapter CLE seminar. CLE fees payable to the various state CLE boards for the seminar attendees are included in the sponsor fee. The Chapter is an approved distance learning CLE provider for 2022.
- All CLE programming shall be open to all attorneys and not just to in-house counsel (in order to meet PA, NJ and DE CLE requirements). However, outside counsel attendance fees will be significantly higher than in-house counsel attendance fees at Chapter programs in an effort to discourage sponsor competitors from attending these programs.
- CLE programs shall be free to Chapter members (unless specifically noted); all other attendees will be charged an admission fee for Chapter CLE programming (unless a specific membership promotion grants them free admission). Sponsors are able to invite their in-house counsel clients to attend a Chapter CLE program and such invited client guests of the sponsor shall be welcome to attend the event at no fee. All such non-Chapter member in-house attorney clients of any sponsor attending a CLE event under this paragraph as a sponsor invitee, must be registered specifically as sponsor client invitees with the Chapter Administrator.
- Occasionally, CLE and event topics that have already been planned by the Chapter Board and committed to other sponsors may not be available for sponsorship through this sponsorship program.
- All CLE topics will be reviewed for the subject, content, expertise, and relevance to in-house counsel. The Chapter will favorably consider a sponsor’s proposed panel or speaker, topics, ACC affiliations, and methods of presentation that demonstrate not only substantive qualifications, but also the sponsor’s commitment to diversity and the inclusion of in-house clients/speakers on any panel and presentation.
- All CLEs, discussion panels and presentations must include a minimum of one in-house counsel panelist. It is the responsibility of sponsoring firms to provide an in-house counsel panelist for each presentation and a great opportunity to provide your clients with speaking engagements. Note that In-house counsel panelists are not required to be members of the Chapter, but the Chapter will assist with selection of a panelist at the request of the sponsor, as circumstances warrant, or in the discretion of the Chapter.
- The Chapter reserves the right to not accept program content, speakers or presenters at its sole discretion.
- Sponsors that have adequate space at their offices are requested to host roundtable events through our Practice Committees at their office location. If there is not adequate space at the sponsor’s office, the event may be held in a conference room or reception room of a Chapter member’s employer, if such a space is available. If neither of those options is available, then a room rental and audio-visual rental will be necessary in a local hotel conference center or at another similar type of facility. Sponsors of practice committee CLE events are responsible for all such room rental and any audio-visual rental fees. A preferred Chapter location in Philadelphia for events that are held outside of our sponsor and member offices has traditionally been the Union League of Philadelphia and may be requested for any Philadelphia-based Chapter CLE event.
- Food and beverages are required to be provided for participants at all Chapter Practice Group CLE events. If the event was arranged through a sustaining sponsorship package, the food and beverages are included in the sponsorship fee. If the event was arranged through an à la Carte CLE option, food and beverages are not included in the sponsorship fee and shall be the responsibility of the sponsor and shall be payable within 30 days after the event date to the Chapter. All menus for Chapter events are selected by our Chapter. Please also note that evening CLE events typically have an open bar and networking component combined with the CLE and all open bar costs are the responsibility of the sponsor.
- At the beginning of all CLE programs, each sponsor will be introduced by the Board member or committee co-chair in charge of the program and will be thanked for the sponsorship. For other programs, the sponsorship will be clearly designated and the sponsors will be clearly promoted in any program hand out materials and in all event advertisement materials, in addition to any other discussion of sponsor’s involvement at the program that is discussed in the sponsor guidelines.
- The Chapter encourages all sponsors to promote Practice Group CLE events to their in-house counsel clients. The Chapter will review such promotions before they are published. Sponsor clients can attend any Practice Group CLE event that you are the sole sponsor of at the Chapter member rate (the vast majority of events are free to Chapter members), as long as you register those non-member attorneys with the Chapter Administrator as in-house counsel client guests of you as the sponsor.
- If a sponsor is unable to attend a scheduled CLE event on a given date, we expect that another qualified individual from the sponsor will fill in for that person. Otherwise, with enough advance notice of a cancellation, the Chapter may be able to find a replacement speaker at a CLE event. CLE events will not necessarily be canceled just because a sponsor chooses to withdraw from an event. In such a withdrawal situation, the Chapter will not refund any sponsor fees. If a replacement sponsor is found, the original sponsor will be given a credit for a future CLE event. Withdraw and cancellation situations will be considered in regard to future sponsorship requests from the sponsor, with the Chapter.
Program Content Guidelines
- For each specific program or event, a Chapter Board Member or Practice Group Chair (“Board Liaison”) will be assigned as your primary point of contact for coordination and approval of all matters about the program, including without limitation, program content, delivery, and presentation. Program content should be prepared with particular thought given to providing insight to in-house counsel.
- Sponsors are expected to prepare and provide all attendees with useful, informative, and practical written educational materials on the topic (which should at a minimum include a legible handout of any presentation slides), and to provide electronic versions to the Chapter for sharing on the Chapter website.
- The use of visual presentation materials, such as a PowerPoint® presentation, are encouraged for all seminars, but creative formats are also encouraged as they tend to keep membership interested and generate positive feedback for the program and the sponsor. For example, one seminar included a mock trial of a general counsel for overlooking and misunderstanding intellectual property assets.
- Sponsors are strongly encouraged to provide forms, agreements, checklists, and other practical guidance and resources in connection with their programming. By returning the signed Sponsorship Request Form, a sponsor agrees to this sharing, use and distribution requirement.
- All program content must be approved in advance by the Board Liaison coordinating the event, or the respective practice committee chair, as the case may be.
- All promotional materials, hand out materials and presentation materials shall be approved by a Chapter Practice Group Chair, the President or the Chair of the Practice Group and must prominently display the Chapter logo and must clearly represent that the seminar is a Chapter event.
Marketing & Publicity Guidelines
- The Chapter will advertise and seek publicity for all Chapter events at its expense. If the sponsor creates its own promotional materials (i.e. to send to the sponsors’ clients and to post on the sponsors’ website), any such promotional materials shall be submitted to the Chapter board or committee chairman appointed to oversee this event. Such promotional materials must be approved by such Chapter representative, before any promotion of the event occurs.
- The sponsor’s name and logo will appear along with the Chapter name and logo in all promotional material and advertisements for the program(s) that it is being sponsored (“Save the Date” promotional mailings not included). SPONSOR EXPRESSLY GRANTS THE CHAPTER A NON-EXCLUSIVE LICENSE TO DISPLAY ITS LOGO (AND ANY OTHER PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS SUBMITTED) FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH THE SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM. Note that certain size limitations apply for banner advertisements on the Chapter website and/or virtual event platforms. If sponsor would like to have a banner advertisement on the Chapter website that comes with the Sustaining Sponsorships, sponsor must provide an advertisement in the requested dimensions.
- All mailings to Chapter members are coordinated through the Chapter Administrator. Due to restrictions imposed by the Association of Corporate Counsel, you will not be given the list of Chapter members to send out your own mailing to our group
- All sponsors may obtain event attendee contact information by having a fish bowl style business card drawing for a door prize or a virtual equivalent.
- All Chapter CLE programs are subject to being recorded for later electronic distribution to the membership (which will include the presenter’s likeness, audio recording, program hand-outs and presentation materials, as applicable). Sponsors hereby consent to the publication and extend all applicable copyright and/or trademark privileges to the Chapter.
- See the Exhibitor Guidelines for further information regarding promotion during Chapter events and programs.
Rules of Conduct
- All Chapter programs and events follow ACC and Chapter Rules of Conduct, which strictly prohibit the following activities:
- The direct solicitation of attendees to market and sell vendor’s goods, services and/or products.
- The targeting of any individual member(s) for such solicitation of services and/or products.
- Attendance of firm or company marketing personnel at events for the express purpose of solicitation of members. Marketing personnel may be present to operate the sponsor display/exhibit table.
- Each member of the Chapter is also governed by its own organization’s code of ethics, and it is the Chapter’s intent to establish guidelines for its programming and events that meet the best practices ethical considerations within the corporate and legal community.
- Sponsorship of Chapter events by outside counsel and vendors is not intended to and will not result in a member’s organization (or its in-house attorney) being obligated to purchase the services of any sponsor.
- The sponsor’s contribution is not intended as, and should not be considered as, an illegal, improper or unethical gift or gratuity to a specific organization or in-house attorney.
- Other than for CLE programs, attendance at Chapter events is limited to Chapter members, sponsors, guests of Chapter members and prospective Chapter members.
- ATTENDANCE BY SPONSOR PERSONNEL, BEYOND THE ALLOTTED NUMBER OF INVITEES, IS NOT PERMITTED, UNLESS SPECIFICALLY APPROVED IN WRITING BY THE CHAPTER PRESIDENT.
- The Chapter reserves the right to refuse any sponsor, as well as the right to restrict or remove any presentation or exhibit that, in the opinion of the Chapter, detracts from the general character of the program. This reservation applies to displays, printed matter, promotional materials, noise, personal conduct, and method of operation. In the event of such restrictions, the Chapter will not be liable for any refunds or other program expenses.
- Sponsors/Speakers shall refrain from derisive or offensive content or content that is discriminatory, harassing, or offensive based on race, religion, gender, age, disability, citizenship/nationality, LGBTQ status, or any other protected classification. Written materials will be reviewed by the Chapter to ensure compliance with these guidelines.
- Failure to comply with any provision of the Sponsor Guidelines may lead to any or all of the following penalties, at the discretion of the Board of Directors:
- Official reprimand and warning to the sponsor;
- Removal of the sponsor representatives from the program or event;
- Permanent prohibition from attendance at any other Chapter program or event by the sponsor and all sponsor personnel;
- Forfeiture of all fees paid by the sponsor
The Chapter permits sponsors to set up table or booth exhibits in the areas immediately outside of the presentation room, subject to limitations of the venue and at the discretion of the Chapter. This is an opportunity for our sponsors to tastefully market their services and/or products. In cases where an event is held virtually, the Chapter may provide the opportunity to the Sponsor to participate in a virtual equivalent to table or booth exhibits. Sponsors who wish to exhibit shall comply with the following terms and conditions:
- No direct solicitation of attendees to solicit the vendor’s services is permitted at the events.
- Tabletop exhibits must fit one 3-foot by 6-foot table.
- Exhibit booths must not exceed 8 feet by 8 feet.
- All exhibits must be arranged so as not to obstruct the general view or interfere with the event.
- Backgrounds (including signs) must be no more than 8 feet in height.
- Material extending into the exhibit area by more than 3 feet from the back wall cannot exceed 3 feet in height.
- No partitions other than the side rails will be allowed, unless specifically approved by the Chapter.
- Exposed unfinished sides of exhibit backgrounds must be draped (or otherwise covered) to present an attractive appearance.
- The Chapter may compel revisions of any exhibit that does not comply with these Exhibit Guidelines (at the exhibitor’s expense).
- The Chapter reserves the right to alter the location and/or layout of the exhibits in the best interests of the overall exhibition and meeting.
- Exhibits must be completely installed at least one-half hour prior to the beginning of the program. The Chapter reserves the right to reassign any space not installed at that time. No packing or dismantling of exhibits will be permitted prior to the official closing of the program.
- All sponsor booths must be open fifteen minutes prior to the start of the registration (since members may arrive early) and shall remain open during the program and until the conclusion of the program. The staffing of booths or display tables is at the discretion of the Sponsor.
- All materials and activities must be confined to the limits of the exhibit booth(s) and may not impede traffic or interfere with other exhibits. Furthermore, all the following practices are expressly prohibited, as determined by the Chapter in its sole judgment:
- the promotion of products or services other than the exhibitor’s,
- excessive noise that would interfere with other exhibitors or the program,
- the solicitation for the participation in surveys run by the sponsor,
- any form of harassment or other inappropriate conduct towards attendees,
- the promotion of business by anyone other than the representatives of exhibiting organizations.
- Sponsors are prohibited from publicizing or conducting of any activities that would attract attendees away from the speaker presentation.
- Restrictions on Raffle Items – Sponsors shall not charge a fee for participation in any sweepstake (i.e., raffle or fish bowl drawing). All attendees at the event must also be eligible to participate in any sweepstakes or drawing. All applicable sweepstakes’ laws apply and sponsor is responsible to ensure compliance with such laws.
- The Chapter reserves the right to restrict or remove any exhibit that, in the sole opinion of the Chapter, detracts from the general character of the program.
Sponsor Selection Guidelines
The Chapter Board has adopted the following criteria for the selection of its Sponsors:
- If there are more interested sponsors than available sustaining sponsorship opportunities at any level (i.e., two or more sponsors wish to be our Diamond Sponsor, etc.), the Chapter will give preference to prior sponsors who have helped our Chapter grow in the past and have been consistent and cooperative partners of our organization. We hope that if you are new to our sponsor program, that you will become a sustaining sponsor that will return, year after year.
- The applicant’s history of working closely and effectively with the Chapter Board, the Chapter Administrator and Practice Group Chairs is also considered. Chapter sponsors who have experienced significant attendance at our prior events and who have received favorable feedback with respect to their programs will be favorably considered.
- The Chapter Board places great value on its relationships with sponsors who have demonstrated a willingness to step in and assist the Board when sponsor assistance has been needed, such as when the Board has developed a program outside of these sponsor guidelines (such as a new networking event or membership recruitment event idea) and has sought support for the program.
- Finally, in addition to any other factors deemed important by the Chapter, sponsor willingness to put on CLE and social programs in various areas of our Chapter region that might not be as convenient for the Sponsor based on office location, will also be considered favorably. As previously noted in these guidelines, the Chapter’s membership area stretches from Allentown, Pennsylvania to Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Newark, Delaware, to Reading, Pennsylvania and our goal is to provide programming opportunities to our members throughout the region. Accordingly, preference is given to sponsors who express willingness in their application to be flexible as to where their event will be held and/or that they are willing to repeat a CLE event at a more distant location as an “On the Road” program.