IPG Strategy Team Feb 22, 2021 11:47:06 AM 11 min read

Defeating the Digital Slump: Are You Maximizing Your Virtual Event Sponsorship?

In some ways, event professionals miss the days of in-person events, especially in terms of sponsor integration when you could hang a banner, raffle a prize, or co-host an event to easily highlight your sponsors. While the transition to digital events brought with it a slew of positives, recreating meaningful sponsorship integration has been a struggle.

The success you had integrating sponsorship during an in-person event doesn't translate easily to virtual ones where sponsors are challenged by the inability to interact with customers in-person, resorting to chats or video conferencing. You need a new strategy for making the most of your sponsorship during a virtual event production. Forbes backs our beliefs at Impact Point Group that virtual events are here to stay, stating "even after live events and conferences make their way back into marketing strategies and budgets, virtual events will continue to be a part of the event industry."

Learn why sponsorship is more important during virtual events along with tips and tricks to maximize and highlight your sponsors during a virtual event production. 

Sponsorships Are More Important Than Ever

Sponsors help offset the cost of the event, whether it's in-person or virtual, and create long-lasting relationships between your company and the sponsor.

However, it might be harder to find sponsors for virtual event productions. In order for sponsors to see the value of their investment compared to in-person, you need to maximize the sponsorship participation at virtual events.

With the financial backing of sponsors, you can provide more engagement opportunities that improve an attendee’s event experience, build relationships with them, and reduce the chance of them shutting their computer and leaving the event. 

Likewise, a well-established relationship between your company and a sponsor is mutually beneficial as it allows your customers to discover their brand.

In both scenarios, thoughtful sponsor integration has the ability to create future streams of revenue — first in terms of lead generation and return customers, and second from long-lasting partnerships with the sponsor. Now let’s touch on some ways to maximize your virtual event sponsorship. 

Less Is More

While you might think it's better to have 50 sponsors and highlight each for a few minutes, we’ve actually seen the benefits of partnering with fewer sponsors that you spend more time promoting. Essentially, you want to find more ways to highlight your limited sponsors throughout the virtual event. 

What Does This Accomplish?

There are four main benefits when you limit the number of sponsors and go for quality over quantity:

  1. With fewer sponsors, you can provide more time highlighting each sponsor. The sponsor doesn't feel like they need to compete against others to get attention from your customers. It makes them more likely to opt for sponsorship of your virtual event. 
  2. As each sponsor uses their time during the virtual event production, they get more quality time to interact with the customers. This helps to build their brand and yours as well. This dedicated space of time can help secure more streams of revenue and ensure the sponsor wants to back your events in the future. 
  3. Your customers benefit from dedicated activities brought to them by the individual sponsors. It gives them more time to engage with and learn more about the sponsors. 
  4. The ability to actually engage more with your customers and encourage the sponsors to interact more with your future events. 

Prioritize Sponsorship Levels

Not all of your sponsors offer you the same level of financial backing. Whether it's product giveaways or one-of-a-kind VIP experiences, some sponsors provide more incentives to you and your customer base. While you want to limit the number of sponsorships, you don't want to alienate small sponsors.

The traditional tendency to offer varying levels of sponsorship that made an in-person event attractive to multiple brands is still relevant in the digital age. This allows you to work with potential sponsors to customize their sponsorship and engagement.

Based on your specific industry and the desired level of sponsorship, you can set corresponding dollar amounts. You also need to clearly define the perks that each level offers to the sponsor. You can include a variety of items with the highest level receiving the most attention during your virtual event production. Some items to offer might include:

  • Breakout session with a longer video
  • A short demonstration video
  • Virtual meeting rooms
  • The opportunity to chat with event attendees one-on-one
  • Banner ads
  • Welcome video
  • And more

You can tailor the levels and benefits to your event and the needs of your sponsors to make it beneficial to all of you. 

Make Sponsors Visible

You want your customer base to easily identify the sponsors of the event. It should be clear throughout the website and platform who the sponsors are and how to interact with them directly. Banner ads on the various pages are one way to accomplish this. You might also consider giving each sponsor their own landing page within the webpage.

Before and after the virtual event production, use the sponsors' logos and messaging in your emails and advertising. This can help build excitement for the virtual event and convince hesitant attendees that it's worth their time. With the right sponsors, you can add to your own pool of potential clients by tapping into theirs. This makes it essential that the sponsor names, branding, and logos are always visible. 

Virtual Event Strategy

Digital event trends have changed the way you think about and advertise sponsorship. Without the normal engagement of an in-person event, you may struggle to integrate your sponsors into the platform and activities. This can limit your potential growth and revenue streams that the sponsors provide. At Impact Point Group, we recognize the impact that sponsors can make on an event, allowing us to develop creative solutions that integrate sponsors in the most effective way possible. Contact us today to learn more.