Finding a virtual event sponsorship idea that suits you can seem hard at first. And many people might even think it’s absolutely impossible to make it happen! But as we discussed previously on the blog, there are plenty of steps you can take. We even dived deep into some exciting examples you can choose from. Where certain topics are concerned, however, we believe that you can’t have too much of a good thing. And the concept of a virtual event sponsorship fits right into this category.
So on this week’s Whiteboard Wednesday, we’re keeping the conversation alive. Our incredible host Will Curran has not 10, not 20, but 28 exciting ideas to get the ball rolling on your next virtual event. So if you’ve been wondering what your options are, then just sit back, relax, and join us on this awesome journey through the world of sponsorships in the virtual realm!
Virtual Event Sponsorship Ideas: Let’s Go!
This is where everyone comes for the first time and learns about your event. Your speakers, your agenda, everything like that. Simple, easy ideas. You can do banners. You can do logo placements. And you can do popups on videos as well. So if you have a trailer for your events, you can do that as well.
You can also have side images along the side of your event page, and also keep in mind too, this could be your platform as well. So all these ideas, you could have them happening inside your platform. And you can also put ads inside your carousel. So if you’re doing a piece of content, maybe on your blog, where you click through on a slide show, maybe put an ad in between. That’s no problem at all. Very basic stuff when it comes to digital marketing for your event website, but also inside your platform.
Now let’s jump into the next step that a lot of people experience when it comes to the event. And that’s the communication that they get. A lot of which is via email so we’re going to talk a lot about email marketing for a split second.
The first thing that you can have here is banner ads with an email. So if you’re sending out updates about speakers and things going on, or even if someone signs up for your newsletter to stay tuned to what’s going on with your conference, put banner ads in the email. Also, consider a special offer when it comes to sponsors’ products that they serve.
So for example, if one of your sponsors sells shampoo, maybe offering 50% off their shampoo, let’s do it. Embedding video inside the email – this is hot right now because people don’t want to just read text on emails and read these long emails. But instead, maybe consider a shorter email with a full embedded video.
Also, something that you can keep in mind – meeting links. So for example, if you’re sending out an email every day for your conference, you have 365 emails to send out. Maybe you can say, “Hey, if you’d like to meet one of our sponsors leading up to the event, here’s a meeting link.” They click on it. And it shows the sponsor’s agenda so they can book a meeting with them.
And then last but not least is the post recap email. So after every single day of the conference, you’ve got to send an email with a recap to all your attendees. What’s really cool is that you can sponsor that. Say, “Hey, this whole recap is sponsored by Intel. Thank you so much, Intel for making this happen.” That’s going to be one of your highest open emails.
Leading up to the conference, you communicate with people via social. So one of the best things that you can do is giving your sponsors shout outs on social media. Maybe featuring one of their posts, maybe offering them some collaboration, maybe creating their own post.
One thing to consider as well – maybe giving a sponsor who is really good at social media the opportunity to take over one of your stories on your favorite social media platform. So that way they can tell some stories, create some engaging content, all day long. Are you starting to see the revenue opportunities right now coming on in?
Virtual Event Sponsorship: The Day Of
Let’s move into the event itself. These have all been virtual sponsorship ideas pre-event and a little bit of post-event as well. But let’s talk about the event. So here’s a simple one, presenters, sponsored content. We don’t want to let sponsors drive content in any sort of way.
But when it comes to your conference, there are presenters within those sponsors that do incredible things. Instead of relying on bringing out the leading scientist on XYZ topic, what if one of your sponsors has one of those leading scientists already inside their company? And you can sell that presentation as a sponsorship opportunity. The best thing you can do though is to just tell them you want quality content first. So start with quality, then consider the sponsorship opportunity afterward.
Demos & Ads
The next thing to consider is playing demos or commercials before the keynotes. Think about why people tune in to the Super Bowl. To watch the ads! So maybe consider putting some really cool ads before your important content that pre-rolls.
But the important thing to do is make sure it’s not just “Hey, here’s an ad, cool look at this.” Make it clickable, make it have a call to action. Send them off somewhere, book a meeting, go here to our website, whatever that may be.
The next thing to look at as well is answering sponsored logos on the lower thirds of your live streams. So all throughout the presentation, you can say sponsored by XYZ. Also, you’re going to be probably doing some polling when it comes to educational content. Consider potentially saying, “This poll is brought to you by XYZ, especially if your event’s very large, you can collect some serious data during this polling. A a sponsor would love to collect that data and say, “Hey, I’m a sponsor of this data.” And then that way they can get the data featured in their blog posts.
Keep ‘Em Coming
You’ll also want to look at adding bumpers to your video showing sponsorship logos. So if you’re doing any recordings after the event or during the event, and you have some asynchronous content that they’re going to go tune in and check it in the content library, consider running some bumper videos before or after each video as well.
The next one seems to be forgotten since we transitioned to virtual. But hosted buyer appointments are great! If sponsors’ goals are to meet in front of these potential buyers, maybe offer a free virtual event to people who are willing to sit in on a certain amount of meetings. Going back to hosted buyer programs. Also consider, for example, having some sort of sponsor transition in between presenters and speakers and everything like that.
Maybe you can even have a band play in between some presenters or a DJ, and then say, this is sponsored by XYZ. Also, sponsored breakout rooms or tracks. So for example, if you’re doing a marketing conference, you’re doing a business conference and you have a track all dedicated to sales. Having HubSpot sponsor that whole entire track of content would be very cool, or even just a whole room dedicated to that person as well. It doesn’t mean they dictate the content, but they’re just sponsoring and bringing it on board.
Get Creative With These Virtual Event Sponsorship Ideas!
Now we’re moving into what we call the crush the box idea. So instead of thinking outside the box, let’s just crush that box altogether and start with some really cool, unique ideas. One of which is creating an attendee leaderboard. So when it comes to engagement and gamifying your entire event, you have a nice, huge leaderboard. Let’s go ahead and get that sponsored as well. Maybe, for example, the winner gets an XYZ product that’s brought to you by the sponsor or maybe is created by the sponsor.
The next thing to consider is delighting them at the door. So giving them a really cool experience when they show up to the event. For example, giving them a free coupon offer for XYZ when they first sign up. Maybe they get a free product!
Interactivity & Gifts
Consider interactive activities. This is a broad one. Because there’s so much different stuff you could do – like have a cooking class sponsored by the Food Network. You could have a drawing class brought to you by DC Comics. There are so many interactive activities that you can have, so sponsor them.
And gifts! We all love our swag and our gifts. And wouldn’t it be really cool if you could surprise your attendees with something at their door and just ship them something? The important thing to know when it comes to this though is let’s think sustainably. Let’s not think of things that are going to be cheap, like pens and reusable straws. We’re all kind of sick of that now at this point. But instead, think of things that you are actually going to use and enjoy, so it doesn’t end up in the trash bin and create more waste.
The next thing is food delivery. So for example, we used to have luncheons that were sponsored. So maybe consider, for example, having the DoorDash Delivery to everybody’s food meals sponsored by XYZ. Virtual scavenger hunts are also incredible. But imagine then taking that and tying in different sponsors. Maybe making a scavenger hunt, going onto a sponsor’s webpage, and having to find the year the company was founded, whatever it may be.
Smashing The Box Further!
Consider partnering your sponsors with a social initiative that matters most to your event. Second to last, improving the experience as well. So anything that’s going to improve the entire experience of the event. For example, this is a crazy idea, shipping out televisions to all your attendees and having it sponsored by Samsung. And everyone gets to use that nice new TV to watch the event. But let’s think even simpler than that!
If your attendees don’t have a Fire TV or an Apple TV, maybe shipping one of those out so everyone can watch the event on their television. Or maybe a set of Bluetooth headphones that they can use to listen to the conference. Who knows?
Then, consider sponsored content collaborations. If a sponsor gets a chance to work with one of your presenters to create an ebook, you could give away that ebook to all your attendees. So when they click and opt-in, that creates the opt-in contact information, and then that’s a lead for the sponsor to be able to use.
And that is a wrap on another incredible Whiteboard Wednesday, this time around tackling virtual event sponsorship ideas! So, are you ready to put your newfound knowledge to the test?
Download our free virtual event planning checklist today and learn what you have to do every step of the way to create an unforgettable experience for your attendees. And if you’re looking for the best virtual event production company out there, chat with us! The Endless team is here to help.
Make sure you join us again next week for another episode. In case you’re interested in extra virtual event content, click here to learn more while you wait for another Whiteboard Wednesday!