For many event organizers, in-person events might seem like an easier sell to potential sponsors than online events. However, virtual events offer more visibility, higher attendance rate, and more convenience, which can help in gaining better sponsorships for the event. All that is needed is a little bit of creativity and a good virtual event platform to support your plans.
Virtual events are not a new phenomenon, but they became a necessity for organizations after the rise of the COVID-19 global pandemic. For event organizers, the most common concern revolves around gaining sponsors for the event and generating revenue.
We know getting sponsors on board and promoting your online event can be a daunting task, but worry no more! In this post, we are sharing tried and tested techniques of gaining sponsors for your virtual event to help you breeze through the process like a pro.
Let’s get started.
Sponsored breakout sessions
To avoid making your event monotonous and boring, add breakout sessions to it and enable the attendees to engage in some fun activities. These sessions can be sponsored which can help you gain revenue.
An example is to add VIP branded breakout rooms with exclusive offers that help in sending traffic to your sponsors’ websites while keeping the attendees happy.
Sponsored speaking opportunities
Who doesn’t want a chance to speak directly to event attendees? Sponsored speaking opportunities can provide sponsors the perfect opportunity to convey their organization’s message to the event attendees and gain some leads.
A sponsored speaking opportunity can be in the form of a webinar or a presentation. For example, a sponsor can talk about sustainability and how the concept is being used at the sponsoring organization.
Featuring sponsors on the landing page
A virtual event makes use of a landing page where potential attendees gain information about the event and sign up. A landing page provides the perfect opportunity to highlight event sponsors by adding short descriptions or logos. Additionally, you can raise money by selling ad spaces on the landing page to your sponsors.
Sponsored swag bags
Swag bags are a major hit in virtual events. They help in attracting people to the event and enhancing participation. Allow sponsors to provide swag bags at the event and gain the attention of attendees through digital giveaways like free courses, Amazon gift cards, 30-day free trials of their products/services, etc.
Sponsored waiting room
If you are a fan of watching movies in cinemas, you must be familiar with the pre-movie advertisements on the big screen. The same concept can be used in a virtual event.
Give the first 5-10 minutes of your event to your sponsors by running videos about their brands and introducing them as the event sponsors.
Another way is to show videos of sponsors to the attendees while they wait for their turn to chat with a booth representative in a virtual event. You can engage attendees with powerful sponsored content to fill this downtime and maximize outcomes for your event.
Sponsored entertainment sessions
Networking and entertainment sessions are a big part of any kind of event. Such sessions can also be sponsored by interested parties. Based on your virtual event platform, you may be able to leverage gamification, which is increasingly becoming popular when it comes to organizing virtual events.
Ice-breaking activities and digital games can lighten the mood, make your event interactive, and provide a memorable experience to the attendees while giving your sponsors a chance to share their content.
Reach out to sponsors
Now that we have established the ways in which sponsors can be a part of your event, it’s time to work on your strategy to get them on board. Here’s what you can do about it.
- Potential sponsors: Prepare a list of potential sponsors based on your event.
- Medium of contact: Think about the most optimal method of contacting the sponsors. We would recommend sending out emails but you can explore other options like a phone call as well.
- Storyline: Devise a story with the potential to convert. Think about all the questions a potential sponsor would have and address them in your email.
- Deliverables: Clearly mention what you will be offering in return to the sponsors. For example, talk about placing their logo on the event registration page for visibility. Don’t forget to mention the benefits of this sponsorship to the sponsoring party.
- Point of contact: Do some research and contact the right person for event sponsorship to avoid delays.
- Follow up: Let’s be real. It’s rare to get a sponsor on board with just one email or phone call. Follow up with convincing messages to ensure conversion.
These are just a few of the many ways in which you can get sponsors for your virtual event. Based on the virtual event platform, online events provide numerous opportunities to generate revenue through sponsorships. All that is needed is the power of ingenuity to onboard sponsors and make your virtual event an absolute success.