At Blue Sky, we’ve been running virtual events for years and encouraging or clients to utilize virtual events and online learning for additional sponsorship opportunities. While some have tried this out and had success, others have stuck to what they’re comfortable with – sponsors and exhibitors for their face-to-face meetings.
With no face-to-face meetings currently happening, and many having turned virtual after already collecting sponsorship and exhibitor dollars, organizations have a choice to make – refund those dollars and take the loss in revenue, or come up with creative ways to sell sponsorship virtually.
If you’re in the latter, here are some ideas we have for selling virtual sponsorship:
Sell sponsorship to individual sessions. This can include:
Whether you are selling sponsorship to individual sessions or just selling sponsorship or exhibitor tiers, you can create a thank you page for all of your sponsors that you’re already used to seeing on websites for face-to-face events. You can decide to display these logos alphabetically, or if selling tiers, by tier.
There are many different versions of these out there. If the expo hall is extremely important to you, you may want to look into a virtual expo company who specializes in creating interactive environments with avatars. If you aren’t looking for that experience (or perhaps it’s not in your budget), it’s still great to have a place for your exhibitors to live. You can create an area where exhibitors can have product demos or marketing videos featured, white papers and flyers, contact info and the ability to schedule meetings.
You may be so focused on the live event that you haven’t thought about what happens after the event. Hopefully all of your great sessions are being recorded and posted online for on-demand viewing! This could be an added benefit for those that paid to attend the live event, an opportunity to generate more revenue by selling access to those who did not attend the live event, and a way for sponsors to live on after the blip in time that is a live event. You may decide that this is just a value add – if you sponsor the live session you automatically are listed as the sponsor of the on-demand. Or, perhaps you create another tier that allows for their sponsorship to live in after the live event, or sell a completely new sponsorship package for the recorded content.
With any of these options you’ll want to decide if your sponsors receive a list of event registrants – either for the entire event or the specific session they may have sponsored, or a list of those who actually consumed their content from the virtual expo page.
Outside of the platform you are using for registration and the virtual event, you may still want to consider an event app. If you already invested in the app, or have had one for past years, there is no reason to not use it. Apps can still be great for managing networking and other communications that your registration site may not be. This can allow your sponsors another place to touch base with interested parties without being so dependent on say, sponsoring a specific session.
Lastly, you may want to include some pre- or post-event email blasts that you’ll send out on the sponsors behalf or allow them the ability to write guest blog posts for your website. Again, these types of opportunities allow them additional benefits outside of the traditional event sponsorship which may become increasingly important while event remain virtual.
Have other sponsorship ideas that you’ve implemented? Drop them below!