How To Run A Virtual Event: Part 6
How To Satisfy Your Virtual Event Sponsors
Keep your virtual event sponsors coming back for more...
For physical events, sponsorship has been tried, tested, and refined over a number of years. Virtual events, though, are relatively untested, with expectations still to be set, let alone exceeded.
And just like in-person events, many virtual events wouldn’t be possible without securing sponsorships to either part or fully fund them. So sponsorship packages need to be carefully thought through, and the benefits clearly stated.
To help you build attractive sponsorship packages, here are some features and benefits you could include:
Let’s start with the obvious: sponsor logos. Making sure each logo is visible on the registration page, confirmation emails and the main event pages is probably the least your sponsor will expect, so this definitely needs to be included in your packages.
There are also some different ways you could feature sponsor branding. One in-your-face style is to feature a logo or a banner of logos in your video stream. This will ensure your sponsor logos are seen, but may negatively impact the audience experience.
If you’re running a multi-track event, having a different lead sponsor for each track wouldn’t be unusual, so check you can feature different sponsor logos on different pages.
Perhaps the most sought-after and therefore most valuable sponsorship benefit is access to your virtual event registration and attendee data. Be aware that if you intend to share any data with your sponsors, you need to make this clear on the registration page. If your content is valuable to your audience, this shouldn’t reduce sign-ups.
Beyond an email address, you could provide sponsors with information such as which channel led to the most registrations, and which sessions or topics were the most popular. This will help your sponsors deliver more relevant and targeted campaigns that are likely to see better results.
If your virtual event includes dedicated sponsor booths (more on these next), you could provide sponsors with reports detailing which attendees interacted with content on their page. These extra insights are like gold dust and will have your sponsors queuing up to be involved in your next virtual event.
It might also make sense for your lead sponsor to add an optional field into the registration form that will be valuable for them.
Having a dedicated page or booth for each sponsor gives them a unique opportunity to showcase their content to your audience.
Giving sponsors the opportunity to chat one-to-one with their booth visitors will help them find new leads and deliver a healthy ROI from your virtual event.
Sponsors are always looking for ways to engage event attendees with their products or services, and one way to achieve this is via online meetings. Booths let attendees book an online video or audio call with your sponsors. An ideal tactic for sponsors to gain real value from your virtual event.
Sponsors should treat their booth like a microsite. Hosting videos, downloads, podcasts and links all focused on your event topics is an easy way for sponsors to showcase their expertise to an engaged audience.
Often used to generate leads at physical events, there’s no reason why competitions or games can’t be part of the sponsor booth at your virtual event. Prize draws, quizzes and embedded arcade-style games are all excellent options.
Just like a virtual business card, a sponsor booth is the perfect place to list key contact details. Encouraging attendees to connect with sponsors on social media or to start a conversation via email may result in new customers.
Hopefully, your virtual event content has attracted lots of enthused attendees, all glued to their screens. A sponsor’s dream scenario.
Adding a sponsor video to the start and end of your sessions will give sponsors prime exposure while the audience is most engaged. Your sponsors are likely to have existing video material they can use; case studies, explainer videos or highlight reels would all be acceptable.
Displaying a clickable CTA during the sponsor video will add extra value, and drive traffic to a specific landing page.
And don’t forget the humble banner ads – they’re still around because they drive clicks. Whether in promotional and confirmation emails or across the virtual event pages, consider offering sponsors the opportunity to run display ads.
5. Roundtable Hosting
Roundtables give your sponsors an effective way to lead a conversation on a topic and engage with interested attendees. These sessions help position your sponsors as experts on the chosen topic, which boosts their brand image and increases opportunities for direct conversations.
Roundtables could focus on audience challenges, market trends or even be related to the sponsor’s products or services.
Virtual events provide unique opportunities for sponsors; building enticing sponsorship packages will help you secure essential funding.
Add extra value to data sharing by digging into attendee behaviour, such as the most popular topics and referral channels.
Don’t sacrifice your attendee’s experience for sponsor brand awareness. Take a measured approach around how much branding (if any) you include in the video stream.
If you’d like to learn more about virtual events, download out our new eBook, ‘How To Run A Virtual Event‘, for free below.
Or you can check out our on-demand webinar on virtual events and our page with more information about virtual events.
eBook: How Run A Virtual Event
Read our new eBook to learn about:
- When to run your event
- What your event should look like
- How to choose your speakers
- Content creation tips
- Attendee engagement advice
- Lead generation ideas
- How to show your sponsors value
- Practical guides to boost registrations