6 ways to incorporate sponsorships in digital events
How to incorporate sponsorships in digital events
As event professionals adapt to the current situation, virtual events start taking place more regularly. It feels like meeting digitally has never been as important as today. Generally, sponsorships are a vital part of the success of any event, and there are multiple ways to provide attractive opportunities to support a virtual one. As a congress or exhibition planner, you might be unfamiliar with how to add value to sponsorships in digital events without a physical environment. In this post, we listed six ideas for you based on the article of Event MB.
1| Your live stream
The place where everyone spends most of the time during your virtual event: the live stream. Make sponsors visible in this area since they will have a lot of exposure. This can be done in several ways. Placing banners in the screen is one of them, or adding pop-ups with links to the sponsor’s website can be very effective. Furthermore, logos can be integrated on the lower third of the video itself. Also, transitions between slides and speakers can be seen as gaps that can be branded by sponsors, like advertisement on television. An example of this is a slide thanking your sponsors during breaks in the session. Another way to effectively use your breaks can be by prompting your viewers with a video that one of your sponsors made. When you are considering using one of these methods, do not forget to put a limit to the time the branding is visible. This way you can be sure to remain your time frame and ensure that branding is not overdone. Last but not least, offering satellite sessions to sponsors with an additional Q&A is a major opportunity for them. You can distinguish the main keynote sessions from satellite sessions. Afterwards, live Q&A sessions can be held to allow participants to engage with the sponsor.
Besides the live stream, depending on your platform’s capabilities, sponsors can be offered to create their own separate live stream or break out area. Whereas at a live event you would create different physical rooms and activities, at a digital event you can incorporate those in different online areas.
Participants can switch to this part at any time when the event is live. Attendees have the opportunity to have informal chats with the sponsor or sponsors could organise parallel sessions about for example personal development. Also, this area can be branded to the wishes of the sponsor. Banners, video’s, logos, you name it, this is the sponsor’s area. Do not be afraid to incorporate restrictions where necessary. Though it is the sponsor’s space, you do not want their agenda to clash with the overall event.
Digital marketing before and after the event should not be forgotten. The various media used to get the word out are excellent tools to promote your sponsors and to increase their visibility around the event. Examples of this are regular shout outs before and after or creating a relevant hashtag which they can use.
Event apps are a great tool to enhance participants engagement at virtual events. As you are not located in the same physical room to feel connected, it can help to activate the participants through interaction via your event app. This app, accordingly, is a tool where sponsorships can be easily integrated. Branded banners, pop-up ads, logo’s, colours, or interactive branded games are all examples of sponsored items in event apps. Games in the event app, like challenges or collaborative activities, can boost engagement with the sponsors’ brand.
In case you are charging attendance for your event, you have another opportunity to provide an attractive offer for sponsors. It might be feasible to give tickets to the sponsor so colleagues can join in the event. Those tickets can also be used by the sponsor to invite valuable relations to the event. Furthermore, when tracking and analysing valuable data from the event, you can agree to share this data with the sponsor as well. In addition, you can also use the booking confirmation to mention your sponsors in the footer to all your attendees.
Similar to live events, at digital events, it is possible to surprise attendees and exceed their expectations. It requires some creativity but might be even more likely to astonish the participants when delivered correctly.
Home delivery can be a very effective tool to surprise the attendees. Send a gift or package to excite your attendees before the event. During the event, delivery allows to include giveaways. Send the package to the winner after the event, making the event more memorable. Of course, these packages can be branded and are a great opportunity for sponsors to engage with the attendees. Moreover, virtual giveaways are another opportunity if physical packages are not preferred for whatever reason. An example of this is a software package or coupon branded by the sponsor.
No matter which tool you use, one of the advantages that distinguish sponsorships at virtual events from live events is the opportunity to measure ROI thoroughly. Digital sponsorships are optimised for analytics like clicks, comments, impressions and other relevant attendee actions can be monitored. Make use of this data to provide sponsors with insights on their ROI.
Carefully considering all the sponsorship opportunities your live event normally offers, allows you to see that there are a lot of similar ways to create exposure at your virtual event as well. Visibility of your sponsors during the live session, in break areas or even the event app are some of the options. Moreover, virtual events are very easy to measure which provides more opportunities so set up pricing systems based on ROI data. All in all, work closely together with your sponsors. Understand their needs and at the same time understand the opportunities your virtual event offers. This will result in very successful outcomes.