COVID-19 threw the world for a loop and dramatically changed the way we do business. But when it comes to events, going digital has actually created new possibilities by removing impediments like time and travel. From online conferences to virtual trade shows and hybrid sessions, the opportunities to reach your audience have never been greater.
In this article, we’ll share some smart strategies for attracting those lucrative event sponsors in the digital realm.
- Use sponsored breakout sessions to support valuable networking opportunities. Your event may now be virtual but that doesn’t mean your attendees must be deprived of beneficial networking sessions. Virtual meeting rooms or breakout sessions can facilitate networking while also giving your sponsors an opportunity for self-promotion. Use sponsor colors and logos to brand the space, then incorporate pop-up windows or chat boxes to facilitate dialog with attendees. Applications like Open Water even incorporate Zoom so sponsors and participants can engage via face-to-face conversations. Consider offering VIP-branded breakout rooms that feature special offers and free downloads to generate even more leads.
- Boost engagement with a virtual scavenger hunt. This fun and unique sponsorship opportunity improves attendee satisfaction by promoting interaction. Virtual attendees are encouraged to explore the showroom floor and visit virtual booths to find specific clues or items. The first attendee to find all items could win a grand prize package from one or multiple sponsors. Virtual scavenger hunts are packed with benefits—they provide entertainment for attendees while highlighting sponsors and delivering additional lead generation opportunities for exhibitors.
- Position sponsors as industry experts with branded speaking opportunities. From the sponsor’s perspective, the chance to speak directly to the audience and introduce the company, its products, or services can be highly appealing. The speaking opportunity doesn’t have to be long and it’s one of the best ways to drive revenue, as direct contact with attendees shouldn’t come cheap. If you think a sponsored speaking opportunity isn’t quite enough, you could consider offering your sponsors an audience Q&A session. This approach allows them to interact and connect with attendees on a deeper, more personal level.
- Foster connections with a sponsored virtual happy hour. Event participants want opportunities to mingle and interact. A virtual happy hour can give them this sought-after interaction outside of the work portion of the event itself. Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, you could “buy” your attendees a drink. For example, participants who register by a specific date might receive a small bottle of wine or a can of beer in sponsor-branded box. Be sure to have non-alcoholic options available as well to accommodate a variety of preferences.
- Drive attention with captivating swag. In the digital environment, physical swag represents one of the easiest ways for sponsors to stand out from the crowd. It’s also a great avenue for introducing brands and keeping them top of mind. Use your swag sponsorship to give attendees things they’ll find valuable working from home. Sponsor-branded items like earbuds, snacks, journals, face masks, hand sanitizers, or home office supplies are sure to be appreciated. If your virtual event platform allows for attendees to engage through video, prompt them to show off their new branded gear during the event.
Your virtual event can bring value to everyone, and that includes potential sponsors.
These are just a few of the many creative and unique virtual event sponsorship ideas that you can employ. We hope these concepts spark your imagination and your sponsors’ enthusiasm.
Virtual events offer a myriad of new possibilities that never existed in the realm of face-to-face events.
If you’d like more information about creative software solutions for this new membership industry paradigm, IBC is here to help. Please contact our friendly, knowledgeable professionals to learn more.
About IBC: At IBC, we have a deep understanding of the critical business needs and processes specific to associations, non-profits, and unions. We ‘get’ your culture, your goals, and what drives you, too. Focused exclusively on and dedicated to delivering the most effective AMS, LMS, and Virtual Event Solutions for our clients, we’re well-versed in identifying and applying the integration techniques that will save you time and money. Since 2001, our cutting-edge products, unparalleled responsiveness, and award-winning services have helped organizations like yours increase their operational and financial performance by leveraging best practices and proven solutions. For more information about IBC, please visit the website at www.ibconcepts.com or call 443.603.0215.