One of the major concerns for event organizers as they shift from in-person to virtual events is how to drive maximum revenue through sponsorship packages.
Unlike the established patterns of in-person events, creating sponsorship deals for virtual events is relatively uncharted territory. You will need to approach the process creatively to offer exciting value propositions to sponsors.
To secure sponsor commitments, your offerings should be tailored to creating experiences that enable sponsors to achieve maximum brand awareness, qualified-lead generation, sales, and relationship-building.
You can achieve those goals by re-evaluating the various aspects of your event. As a co-founder of a
1. Event Website and Marketing Templates
Build brand awareness for sponsors by listing them as proud partners on your event website and other marketing materials. For example, offer to place logos and other brand identities on your email marketing template and social media posts.
As visitors and followers learn about your event, they will also see the brands that are associated with it. That first contact prepares attendees for what they are about to experience during the event.
2. Banner Ads and Popups on Event Platform and Mobile App
Banner ads and pop-up messages can be placed on predesigned spaces on the event platform and mobile event app. Common locations for such brand placements include the event home screen, event schedule page, poll results pages, Q&A pages, and more. On the mobile event app, you can even include push notifications that deliver messages to attendees’ mobile phones.
3. Sponsored Keynote Session or Thought Leadership
If your desired sponsors are leading the way in some area of innovation, you can offer sponsored sessions as a space for them to speak about their new developments and solutions. Those sessions serve a dual purpose of educating the audience and promoting sponsors. You can provide this opportunity as an exclusive—only for premium sponsors.
Alternatively, provide prerecorded sessions wherein your sponsor is interviewed about common pain points and the innovations the sponsor is bringing to the market.
You can also ask sponsors to create explainer videos so they can they share how their product or service solves a common problem. Such content can be placed on the event page as an additional resource for attendees.
4. Sponsored Video Ads
Offer to place sponsored video ads between your main event sessions. They can be aired before a new session starts or immediately after one ends. If you provide prerecorded content for attendees, you can also include video ads in that content as additional value to your sponsors.
5. Branded Virtual Breakout Rooms
If you are planning breakout sessions for your event, you can brand each breakout room after a different sponsor for even more attendee exposure. You can also allow sponsors to make unique offers to room participants.
6. Virtual Exhibition & Meet-Up Booths With Matchmaking Algorithm
Create virtual tradeshow booths where sponsors can meet with participants who might be interested in exploring sponsors’ offers.
The sponsors can prepare a video showcase to share their products and services with the participants. The sponsors’ booth representatives should be available to speak with participants throughout the event to begin building relationships or to close business.
To stay organized, sponsors may opt to schedule virtual booth meetings before the virtual event, or set up meetings during the event. That way, attendees and sponsors have flexibility to shape their schedule of live conversations after the event starts.
You can even set aside dedicated time on the event agenda for tradeshow visits and meetings. Alternatively, exhibitors could host their virtual booths over the course of the entire event.
Use a matchmaking algorithm to further enhance the experience, connecting potential leads with sponsors who are the right fit for them by analyzing user profiles, interests, and behavior.
7. Sponsored Conversational Forums With Multiple Channels
Conversational forums are channels established to encourage community-building among attendees. The forums take place outside of the event schedule and can foster in-depth discussions around a topic or area of interest. Such forums often reveal attendees’ pain points and foster mutual learning and networking.
To implement conversational forums, create channels according to topic or the business portfolios of your event attendees. Offer each channel as a sponsorship package, giving a specific sponsor exclusive access to potential customers based on the channel conversations.
8. Sponsored Gamification or Activities
Create contests around your event activities and offer sponsors the opportunity to give prizes to winners. You can use the sponsor’s branding on the contest and results pages, and sponsors can promote and send branded swag to the winners.
9. Sponsored Surveys
Offer to help sponsors gather opinions from your attendees before, during, and after your event. Include additional questions during registration, take live polls, and include questions from sponsors in your post-event surveys.
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To make the most attractive event sponsorship packages, use a combination of the ideas in this article. Specify a combination of items, title the package, and determine the price tag. Create tiered options for sponsors to choose from.
You’ll have eager sponsors waiting for your next event in no time!
More Resources on Event Sponsorships
Going Hyper-Local: How Sponsoring an Event Can Grow Your Business [Infographic]
How Marketers Measure the Effectiveness of Sponsorship and Event Initiatives
Measuring Sponsorship ROI: Marketers’ Favorite Metrics