Last week, we explained how to deal and package your virtual event sponsorships. And today, we continue, with a second article about virtual event sponsorship ideas. Yes, convincing sponsors to be a part of your virtual event might seem like too daunting of a task. But just like we explained in the previous post, it’s not only necessary but also a plus for both parties involved. Remember that your virtual event brings a lot of value to everyone, and that includes potential sponsors!
And if you’re scared about making the whole thing work in a virtual environment, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways you can entice your partners and guarantee they get all the exposure and hot leads they could possibly want. Creativity is a boundless resource, and you’ll need to employ it now more than ever. But to ensure we get those little grey cells of yours in the right mindset, we cooked up this very special post. So keep reading to find out unique virtual event sponsorship ideas you can employ at your next virtual event!
Incorporate Sponsors Into Your Event App
Let’s kick start these virtual event sponsorship ideas with event apps. Event apps gained quite the momentum a few years back. And if you think they’re no longer relevant in the scope of virtual events, then think again! Now that your attendees are no longer physically present, engagement becomes more important than ever, and an event app can go a long way in helping you out with this.
Plus, they can also be used as a tool to promote sponsors. Think about adding special sections, branded logos, and banners to your event app. You can even go the extra mile and make the entire app relate back to your sponsor by including their brand identity through colors and images. And if you’re looking to promote your main sponsor, push notifications that remind attendees about sponsored sessions or offers is also a great way to do so!
Leverage The Power of Digital Ad Space
Now that you don’t have a physical space that would allow you to promote sponsors the traditional way, you’ll have to make do with the possibilities the digital world offers. But thankfully, digital ad space has become one of the most popular marketing tools in the modern world, something you can definitely use for your advantage.
There are several ways to monetize a virtual event, and digital advertising is one of them. So consider including pop-up ads and banners promoting your sponsors to your event platform and your live-stream. They can redirect the attendees to the sponsor’s website or a specific page, thus offering the latter those sweet, sweet leads.
Include The Sponsors In Your Content
If content is King in the world of digital marketing, then it is the Emperor in the scope of virtual events. As we discussed in our article about virtual attendee engagement, low-quality content and unprepared speakers are a sure way to drive the audience away. But the importance of content doesn’t live and die in this area – it can also be harnessed to promote your sponsors!
Before each presentation takes place, you can show attendees sponsored videos and intros. Or even better, go ahead and add their logos to the presentation slides. This won’t be as disruptive as an ad thrown in the middle of a speaker’s session, but still alerts the attendees’ minds to the existence of the sponsor.
Employ Branded Breakout Sessions
The virtual version of your event can also include breakout sessions. This, of course, will depend on the capabilities of your platform, which is why we advise you to work with a virtual event production company. They will be better equipped than anyone else to help you choose the best tools for your virtual event!
Assuming you do add breakout rooms, think about making them sponsored. They can include sponsored entertainment, content, or adds, or even the possibility for an informal chat. You can even offer VIP branded breakout rooms that feature special offers and free downloads to bring in the leads.
Make Sponsors a Part of Your Promotion Strategy
If your promotion strategy was already paramount with in-person events, then it becomes increasingly more so with virtual ones. Since your attendees won’t actually have to move and make serious preparations to attend, they will need constant – but not overbearing – reminders of what will take place.
There’s also room for sponsorship promotions here. Whether it’s on your social media channels or email blasts, make sure you include sponsor materials at some point. This is not extremely different from what you would do with an in-person event – you just might want to be a tad more aggressive.
Use Your Registration Platform
The platform where the event will take place isn’t the only one you can harness to promote your sponsors! Another vital part of the attendees’ path leading up to the big day is registration. Since there’s no other option than to employ a registration platform, consider adding a spot, banner, or add promoting your speaker somewhere on the webpage.
Offer Branded Speaking Opportunities
From a sponsor perspective, it doesn’t get much better than a chance to speak directly to attendees. Banners, pop-up ads, and videos can easily be ignored. However, the possibility of being – virtually – face to face with the audience and introduce the company, products, or services can be quite appealing.
So why not offer your sponsors a branded speaking opportunity? It doesn’t have to be too long and, generally speaking, it’s one of the best ways to drive revenue on your side, since direct contact with the audience shouldn’t come cheap.
Incorporate Sponsored Q&A Sessions
If you think a sponsored speaking opportunity isn’t enough, you might also want to go ahead and offer your sponsors the possibility to have a Q&A with the audience. This way, not only do the sponsors get to be face to face with everyone, but they also get to interact with them on a deeper and more personal level.
Q&A’s are extremely important in virtual events in order to make attendees feel seen and connected. So why not bring the best of both worlds together, by driving serious revenue and making the audience happy?
One-On-Ones With The Attendees
You can go even deeper where the sponsor and attendee interaction is concerned. If the goal of the sponsor is to ultimately find clients for themselves, nothing will replace the closeness of one-on-one interaction, even a virtual one. You can harness the data collected about your attendees and let sponsors choose a few selected people to chat privately with.
Just make sure everyone involved is okay with this, particularly the attendees. Ask them if they’d be comfortable being a part of it, and consider offering some sort of incentive that would make them go for it.
Digital Goodie Bags
Sponsored goodie bags have always been a thing in events. And just because the industry has shifted to virtual, that doesn’t mean they won’t be anymore! Digital goodie bags provide the attendees with more value than any standard tchotchke would. Think about it – how awesome would it be if sponsors offered exclusive online offers?
Think vouchers for online courses, Amazon gift cards, a free 30-day trial for a digital product or service, and so on so forward. Chances are, attendees will appreciate that a lot more than they would a branded mug or a pencil!
Include Suprise Home Deliveries
There are things that simply can’t be replicated in the digital world, and catering is one of them. But if your sponsors would be on board, offering home deliveries to the attendees would be an incredible and very well welcomed surprise!
This could take the form of takeout food or maybe a nice bottle of wine for a virtual happy hour. The food packaging and the labels in the bottles could even be branded and include the sponsor’s logo.
Add A Virtual Store
E-commerce is already one of the biggest players in the retail industry, so why not make that part of your virtual event? Adding a virtual store would be something very unique. Additionally, it would offer your sponsors the opportunity to showcase and sell their products, which means everyone makes an instant profit!
Include Sponsored Games
Obviously, the entirety of a virtual event can’t consist of just speaking sessions. This is why gamification is becoming increasingly popular in this scope. And here’s the chance to both keep your attendees engaged and offer yet another sponsorship opportunity!
Sponsored ice-breaker activities and games would be a fun, interactive, and personal way of connecting sponsors with the audience, as well as to provide the latter with an unforgettable virtual experience.
Create A Freemium Model
We already talked about virtual event pricing in a previous article, but here’s a fresh new idea. Why not create a freemium model for your virtual event? This would entail that those who chose to could attend for free, as long as they agreed to connect one-on-one with the sponsors, watch a longer sponsored video, or even provide some sort of relevant data to the sponsor.
There are plenty of ideas you can throw in here, and asking your sponsors what they would prefer would probably be the best way to go. Bottom line is, people can attend for free, as long as they accept the conditions. Everybody wins!
And finally, consider a branded giveaway. Sponsors could send t-shirts and hats with their logos to the attendees before the virtual event took place. And those who agree to wear them during the duration of the event would automatically be included in a massive giveaway – think an iPad or a $500 gift card to IKEA.
This would increase the visibility of the sponsor tenfold, and it’s another fun way to make attendees feel seen, included, and have the chance to win an amazing prize!
Virtual Event Sponsorship Ideas: Conclusion
So we’ve reached the end! These are only some of the many creative and unique virtual event sponsorship ideas that you can employ. And yes, there are many more, but these should be enough to get you started. The point here is to make you understand that virtual events don’t mean the end of everything we loved about in-person events.
On the contrary, they can offer a myriad of possibilities that wouldn’t even exist in the realm of old-school events. If you want to learn more about this new industry paradigm, click here. And if you believe you’re ready to take the next step and plan your first virtual event, chat with us today – we’re here to help!