Even though Virtual events are certainly picking up momentum, and rising in popularity with attendees, a few questions remain from an event planner’s point of view. As one of the leading event technology companies in Southern Africa, we always strive to provide answers and assistance to the event industry where we can.
In this article, we have outlined 8 of the best ways to earn from sponsorships in your virtual event, and there are bound to be more as we keep venturing further into creating bigger and better online events. For sponsors, these platforms are a great tool for marketing because they have their target markets eyes directly on their advertising; in some cases, even more so than at physical events when there are many distractions. Here are a few options below:
- Mobile App banners and Splash Screens
A great sponsorship tool is using a mobile app with your virtual event, which is always a great way to consolidate all information for your attendees. From documents, social streams to attendee engagement and interactivity like live polling and live Q&A, it’s a really professional touch to have everything so easily accessible. Another major plus is that the opening Splash Screen and rotating top banners can be sponsored, which is a great way to cover event costs and potentially have an additional income channel as these spots can be sold to multiple sponsors. The naming convention of the app can even be adjusted to reflect a sponsor name, opening another potential income channel.
- Live Stream tea breaks, coffee breaks and networking breaks
During your event, you’ll want to have a few breaks to ensure you keep the attention of your guests, and to keep it interactive and fun as opposed to feeling lengthy which may leave your attendees drained by the end of it. Sponsors can take this chance to name the tea or networking breaks, ice breaker activities etc, and sponsor an activity or entertainment for that time – maybe a live stream of a drum group or upcoming band with branded sponsorship banners behind them – you can really think out of the box here to capture attendees attention, and a sponsor may be happy to contribute to bringing that element to the event and get exposure at the same time.
- eBooks or template downloads
When applicable to specific events, it may be an option to have eBooks or templates your attendees will find value in, with sponsor logos included. These could consist of valuable content from suppliers, coupons for product purchases, or working templates that attendees will use. This is all sellable space that can certainly help to cover event costs or provide additional revenue streams.
- Virtual Goodie Bags
This brings us to our next point of Virtual Goodie bags. These have been around and available for several years already but are picking up because of the number of virtual events now being held. These can be created in your Mobile Event App or included in the Event Website as a download for guests. Essentially, it’s a collection of sponsored goodies that attendees can redeem during or after the event - maybe it’s an extended trial period from a software provider, a coupon for a free product to be delivered to the guest, a buy-one-get-one-free deal…. the sky is the limit in terms of what sponsors could offer. This could be a free sponsorship opportunity or it can be at a small fee for the sponsor to have their brand featured over another potential competitor.
- Opening slides or watermarks
Regardless of if the presentations at your virtual events are provided by the event planners themselves or by individual speakers, it may be an idea to sponsor opening slides of the webinars where possible. Alternatively, if you have the software to do so, you can place a watermark on the live stream (or on pre-recorded presentations), as there are sponsors who will definitely want the value of 100% attention on their brand, throughout presentations.
- Sponsors on the email invites
This sponsorship is a great way to reach even more people than those who attend, as these will be sent to all potential registrars. Sponsors may be willing to pay even more for this, depending on your database. There is also room to sponsor aide memoirs, confirmation mails and thank you mails.
- Incentives for prizes
In an upcoming blog post about Virtual Event engagement, we’ll go into more depth on great ways to ensure you keep your audience engaged through quizzes where sponsors can provide prizes. There is an opportunity for sponsors to provide branded prizes, have the quiz questions be oriented around sponsors brands, as well as even have the quiz named after them in a clever way.
- Virtual booths
Providing sponsors with a booth that can be branded, and a platform to showcase their products and services in a virtual environment is a great value add for sponsors. They can have a stand representative answer any questions from visitors, and have a call-to-action button to link to important information online, i.e. brochures, their company website or an e-commerce link.