Computers and Technology

15 Ideas for Virtual Event Sponsorship Revenue

In the light of covid-19, almost every event planner and marketer have shifted their in-person events to a rich digital platform. But there is still a missing piece in response to virtual reality- Sponsorships.

How do you create event sponsorship revenue when conventional approaches are no longer available? No posters or massive signs, no uniquely appointed lounges or conference rooms, and no face-to-face events. And, if you already have sponsors lined up for an upcoming event, how do you convert the positions they were expecting for to an online space?

The good news is- with so many missed in-person chances for sponsor placement, there is a new one for virtual events if you think from a broader perspective and are able to try some innovative tactics.

What is a Virtual Event?

A virtual events is an online gathering in which attendees from across the world participate in a virtual event on the internet rather than meeting in person.

Digital meetings are usually multi-session multimedia events that can range from simple Q&A sessions to massive conferences with hundreds of attendees.

The biggest and the most valuable advantage of hosting an event virtually is that you can reach out to global attendees as there are no more geographical barriers coming your way. You can conduct as many sessions in one single platform immersively. In short, There’s space for everyone without any restrictions on attendance.

Before You Start Generating Ideas: Think About What Audiences Want

Prioritise what the audience really desires, much as you would with an in-person experience. For instance, don’t confuse or surprise the viewers with constant pop-up chats or advertisements that follow them around. It is the worst way to show the supporters and it would not leave a good impact.

Instead, aim to deliver useful content that is flexible and convenient to use, and deliver it in an entertaining and meaningful experience to your audiences.

1. Pair with Sponsors for Event Apps

An important part in any event is engagement of audience effectively, that’s when event apps step in. They can help to keep the remote audience engaged since their attention will be narrowed down to their screens. Due to several sponsors bonding and messages, event apps are an effective way to include sponsorship packages.

Ensure specific sponsors are highlighted in a way that can relate to the services they provide. It can be achieved by event apps. You may do so by giving the certain sponsors a particular detail such as including a certain color border related to the sponsor.

Event apps also allow you to send notifications to attendees about the sponsors and sponsored event, based on the type of your event.  Limit the number of notifications to avoid losing the value.

2. Monetize Banners and Pop-Up Ad Space on Your Live-Stream

Sponsors are always looking for advertisement opportunities. Your events live stream could be their platform. If the selected platform supports active advertisements, banners and pop-ups, then it may prove to be a good branding opportunity for the sponsors.

Attach the sponsor’s websites link to the banners and pop-ups for the attendees to gain new information.

3. Advertise the Brand in Between Slide/Speaker Transition

After a speaker or a presentation concludes, the time window till the next presentation/speakers can be used for sponsored branding. Even during the presentation, you may use branded slides with logos, or headshots and sales contact in case the sponsor is a speaker.

People generally are attracted to graphics, thus ensuring minimum text and focus on emphasizing the value by introducing product images. Analyze and unanimously decide the content of the slide and time it will be up for.

4. Incorporate Sponsored Video-Ads and Intros

Understand and adapt to the current trend, such as YouTube, by using sponsored intros and video-ads.

During breaks, you may interest the attendees to witness a short video-ad which is designed by your sponsor. Discuss about the platform on which you are planning to live-stream your event with your sponsor along with the quality to ensure compatible ads.

5. Display Logos on the Screen in A Small Part

To include branded real estate, you may overlay the sponsor’s logo on the lower third of the screen. Similarly, a full backdrop can be included during intros, certain sponsored presentations, live streams, Q&A etc.

6. Branding the Breakouts and the Break Areas

You may brand the informal in-between sessions, if the platform is capable of handling dedicated live-streams for value-based breakout or informal chats for the sponsors.

The dedicated streams can be used for networking or sponsored entertainment. Incorporate as much as you can during the online session.

Provide the attendees with options by incorporating several streams while simultaneously providing more advertising opportunities for the sponsors.

7. Take on Social Media Promotions for Your Sponsors

Include your sponsor in all your digital platforms and try to give them as much exposure as you can. The exposure during your digital marketing campaign will spread the word even faster. Provide your sponsors with regular shout-outs on your social media posts.

Under favorable circumstances you may even permit the sponsors to interact with the attendees prior to the event and build connections. Partner with your sponsors, such as co-hosting a contest, to increase brand awareness.

8. Brand the Registration Page

A registration page or website can be expected to offer primes real estate for the sponsorship. In this case, be careful while branding the registration page as the attendees should be aware about who the actual organizers are.

Keep in mind the sponsorship’s opportunity, anything that may create friction on the registration page is undesirable and should be discarded, such as distracting offers, pop-ups etc. It may delay or distract the attendees before their registration is completed.

9. Bring Keynote Sponsorship Opportunities on the Table

A dedicated session/presentation may be a part of your sponsorship package, in case of a traditional event. This same opportunity can also be provided in virtual events, relatively easily.

High tier sponsors can be presented with one of the keynote sessions and include it with those which are more prone to publicity. Low tier sponsors can be presented in speaking engagement during a session. It is important to think outside the box for your event format that you will be organizing.

10. Sponsored Q&A Sessions

If your sponsor is presenting a workshop, invite them to sponsor a live Q&A afterwards so that participants can engage with them — and each other — and learn more about the subject.

Q&A sessions are an integral aspect of live activities and can be conveniently implemented digitally. Alternatively, you may ask guests to send questions during the workshop, which speakers can address at the end.

11. Provide Value Offers

Another feature of live events that extends to streaming events is value-based rewards — incentives of a higher monetary value. For example, if you charge for the event, you might give a certain amount of free tickets to your sponsors, much as you would for a physical event. You could also have useful lead data collected from participants.

12. Host VIP Pre- or Post-Event Gatherings

Enable sponsors to plan a VIP session or event either prior or after the main event, much as you would for a physical event. Connect with your sponsor to schedule an exclusive meeting or experience that only VIP ticket holders will be able to join. Whether it’s a special happy hour networking event or a bonus session.

13. Get Sponsored Event Games to Boost Engagement

Engaging your sponsorship can be a great way to ensure that your event attendees are attentive towards your showcased brands to derive maximum exposure. For this you can add innovative sponsored games, raffles, drives, and collaborative activities in your event.

Many event platforms offer immersive tools for engagement point of view to attract more attendees; this include- gamification features such as scavenger hunts, spin the wheel, crosswords, photobooth and quizzes.

14. Offer Sponsored Virtual Event Bags

There are still interactive swag packs, and now is an excellent time to evaluate the options. You will encourage the sponsors to pick what goes into the swag bags of your audiences, whether it’s discounts or certificates, a free trial of software, or an online course. The bag will then be distributed directly to your attendees via email, social networking sites, or the event app, either before, while, or after the event.

An online swag bag also contains monitoring statistics, such as how many visitors accessed it and how they communicated with the products in it, which you can exchange with advertisers and use to better understand what materials guests find most valuable.

15. Plan Sponsored Icebreaker Activities

One of the most significant disadvantages of simulated gatherings is the lack of face-to-face contact and simple networking opportunities. To compensate, consider hosting a few icebreaker sessions with a sponsor so that visitors can get to meet one another and become familiar with the online layout. Enable the sponsor to take the initiative and, if necessary, develop games or events related to their brand or product.

Over to You

Sponsorships that plays a vital role in on-ground events holds the same importance in virtual events as well. However, by leveraging online tools and offering packages which will be appreciated by both, the sponsors and the attendees, you can simply attract sponsors for your virtual events. Virtual events also offer rich data and analytics.

Offer traditional sponsorship packages that you would usually offer with some out of the box online event tweaks. Adapt to the new trend and introduce new tweaks to enhance the opportunity by implementing some unique ideas to your online event. It seems that virtual platforms are here to stay, hence it may be beneficial to start working for virtual sponsorships.

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