5 Trending Sponsorship Ideas for Virtual Events
One shift that has emerged from the Covid-19 lockdown is that many conferences and larger-scale business events that were once delivered in-person have now become virtual, allowing the events to continue online.
When this initially happened, many of the events I attend on a regular basis were canceled. Now, they are reconfiguring how they will proceed virtually.
And with clients who are looking to move to a virtual format, I have been able to highlight some of the unique ways this can work to their advantage.
For instance, imagine the attendee’s excitement at receiving swag with your Company logo in the mail. Instead of being part of a sea of people lined up to pick up a bag when in person, virtual events allow attendees to receive something in the mail from you. The right promotional product can boost their excitement and their anticipation.
Even with easing of lockdown restrictions, virtual events will not go away any time soon– and these virtual presentations of previously in-person events have already become more prevalent. Businesses and event planners alike realize these events bring in new audiences, allow delivery to a greater number of attendees and attendees can participate in more events from the comfort of their computer screen.
If you typically host a large, in-person conference or other event, you may be thinking of ways to defray some of the costs. That can mean looking for sponsorship opportunities to help share some of the costs. Virtual events afford the same sponsorship opportunity, and with a little creativity could proved to be more beneficial to both parties than the in-person events many are used to creating.
Here are 5 creative sponsorship ideas that I’ve seen working well for virtual events:
- Sponsored Gifts Sent to Attendees. At in-person events, swag bags containing branded promotional products from various sponsors are standard fare. Attendees look forward to the promotional products they receive and experience them for the integral part of the event that they are.
You can do the same for your virtual event. Send each attendee a special gift from a sponsor (or two) before the event while including something that represents your business and the event. The more desirable the product, the more likely it will be a hit with attendees that lead them to connect a positive experience with your (and the sponsor’s) business. Work with your sponsor to make sure that it is relevant to your event and helps showcase both you and your sponsor. Right now, branded facemasks and travel mugs have been huge
- Sponsor Videos. Video is a great way to highlight your sponsors. You can use a sponsor video as a commercial between sessions or even as a way to introduce them to your audience on your event website. This gives them an opportunity to directly engage your audience with their specific message.
- Offer Virtual “Booths”. If you normally have booths at your live events, you can still carry on that tradition virtually. Set up a virtual exhibit hall with specific hours, the ability to schedule appointments for 1-1 meetings or live demos, allow them to make special offers such as free downloads or ways to sign up to further engage with the sponsor. Invite each business offering a ‘virtual booth’ to provide a promotional product for the swag bag. This increases the perceived value for each of the businesses that participate.
- Sponsored Virtual Happy Hour. Give your sponsors the opportunity to host an online happy hour with your attendees. It can be as simple as having them plan an hour of fun activities to meet others and get to know the sponsor better, or make it special by having the sponsor send each participant that signs up for the happy hour a “virtual drink kit”, including a small bottle of wine and a glass. The beauty of a ‘virtual drink kit’ is that it allows you to send a glass with your logo to make the occasion fun and memorable while highlighting your brand in a unique way.
- Branded Breakout Rooms and Waiting Rooms. Chances are you will have several breakout sessions during your event, where attendees will get to choose between different seminar topics based on their preferences. Sponsors can brand that particular session with their logo and colors and even timed chats and/or ads. The same can be done with the waiting rooms before each session starts – with branded content, videos, etc. Because everything is digital, sponsors will know how many people were in the room and how many clicked on their content – a great way to help them gauge their reach at your event.
If you are hosting or participating in a virtual event and are looking for some ideas to attain sponsorships into your marketing strategy, I’m happy to help. Give us a call at 949-888-7837 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to set up a complimentary strategy session with you.
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