When the pandemic forced organizations to quickly pivot from in-person to virtual events, many were left scrambling to adapt their events while continuing to maximize sponsorship ROI. What many were surprised to discover is that virtual events actually have the possibility to expand your sponsorship offerings, increasing value for your sponsors while growing your sponsorship program long-term.
With the Delta variant on the rise and many organizations looking to once again switch their planned in-person events to virtual, here are 6 ways for you to ensure your event sponsors walk away happy and increase their ROI.
- Make your event content available year-round
By making it possible for attendees to participate from any location, your sponsors will reap the benefits of an expanded audience through virtual streaming. Furthermore, with the ability to record event sessions and panels, sponsors will receive continuous exposure when the content is hosted on your website or shared through your social media channels. To ensure content is shared with a wider audience, event organizers could consider hosting a contest for event attendees that encourages them to share event content through their personal social media networks.
- Host virtual lead-up webinars
Attendees love a good bang for their buck so consider offering lead-up webinars and sessions prior to the event to ramp up the excitement for the main event. These lead-up events could also provide additional sponsorship opportunities or be an added benefit for high-level sponsors, giving them an additional opportunity to feature their executives and thought leaders.
- Find the right event management platform
When selecting your event management platform, make sure to find an experienced provider that highlights sponsorship integration opportunities throughout their platform. The best platforms on the markets allow you to fully customize your sponsorship placements, allowing you to highlight your sponsors’ colors, images, and logos into your event’s branded look.
- Provide access to analytics
Event organizers have traditionally struggled to quantify ROI for in-person events due to issues quantifying opportunities for exposure, including how many people viewed sponsorship signage or heard sponsored announcements. Through your event management platform, organizers can access data that track impressions and can be provided directly to your sponsors following the event. This is also a great tool to assess the impact of your sponsorship opportunities and adjust your program to reach a wider audience for future events.
- Mail out swag boxes
If time allows, consider including sponsors in the creation of a pre-event swag box. Not only does this provide your sponsors an opportunity for increased brand awareness but can also include items that can increase attendee engagement during the event.
- Offer sponsored breaks
Back-to-back virtual sessions can be tiring and it’s important to think of interesting ways to break up your agenda (and of course provide further value for your sponsors). Entertainment breaks, virtual cocktail hours, and sponsored lunch breaks are just some of the programming ideas organizations are including to increase attendee engagement while giving sponsors another opportunity to increase their presence.