Virtual event sponsorship is quickly becoming a topic of discussion as brands and agencies alike look for ways to monetize their events in new ways. For many organizations, creating revenue from their live events in the form of ticket sales or corporate sponsors is vital for the longevity of the event or event series. When remote events started increasing in frequency during the pandemic, virtual event sponsorship was almost nonexistent. However, as time has gone on and the early technical hiccups of virtual events have been worked through by many, the attention has shifted to monetization.
Here are three ways to add sponsorship opportunities to your virtual event:
Use Breakout Sessions as Virtual Focus Groups
As event planners and producers, we know that event sponsors and even potential sponsors (during the sales process) want to interact and connect with the event audience in as memorable and intimate a way as possible. We recommend taking it a step further however and using small group sessions as an opportunity for feedback on products or services, or even to conduct a little market research.
This creates value for sponsors that can be sold. Most virtual events have multiple breakout sessions, often times that focus of different groups or titles of attendees. This is an opportunity to sell value through virtual event sponsorships at scale. if the sponsors are in attendance, they can even participate or listen in and observe the discussions taken place either anonymously or known to the group. This can add value that they wouldn’t otherwise get through a simple survey.
We see this often in the food and beverage space. A 15 minute break might be brought to you by a restaurant or a beverage company. That company would then send out coupons ahead of time for their products, or even have a lunch delivered to virtual attendees doorsteps.
This can work through entertainment opportunities too. A fun virtual concert break with a celebrity musician to break up a long day can have lasting impact for the brand that were to sponsor that portion of the engagement. Sponsors of these breaks can also use them as opportunities to engage the audience by using in event hashtags or even gamification within a break. Perhaps “gamifying” a new product launch with an interactive section of the virtual event, could both educate the attendee and help them to be entertained during the virtual event.
Brand the Pre-Event Messaging & Waiting Room/Breakout Rooms
Providing the sponsor an opportunity to showcase their brand(s) prior to the event even starting can be a nice selling point when trying to attract brands to align with your remote event. Allowing sponsors to have space in the pre-event materials such as post registration emails, welcome packs, or even the virtual event welcome screen is a great opportunity for those looking to advertise. Welcome messaging and other forms of pre-event messaging provide the highest likelihood of ensuring that the message reaches the largest volume of virtual and in-person attendees. Research has shown that most virtual attendees are most engaged at the onset and thus, welcome messaging is the perfect time for your sponsors to activate.
Secondly, and this can tie in with our first point regarding breakout rooms too, but allowing sponsors to brand a breakout room with creative outlines, or wraps, or even a product highlight video upon entrance to the virtual space is often one of the best ways to activate a sponsor. It allows for brand interaction and attendees to discuss what they just saw virtually on the screen
If you are looking for other ways to activate your sponsors at your next virtual or hybrid event, or maybe you just want to better understand how your events can generate revenue through virtual event sponsorship, we are here to discuss it with you!