According to Bizzabo Evolution of Events Report, in 2020, 75% of event organizers have been forced to host events in online format even though many of them had no prior experience in organizing virtual events. Nowadays, the vast majority got used to the new formats, but some aspects of online event organization remain to be unclear.
One of these questions is how to attract sponsors to virtual events. 37% of event organizers found it more difficult to create an attractive sponsorship proposal for virtual events compared to offline events (Bizzabo Evolution of Events Report). What are the benefits of online events in terms of sponsoring? And how to engage sponsors virtually?
The very first thing to do in order to succeed in attracting event sponsors is to get rid of the thought that online and offline sponsorships are the same. In fact, the strategies and instruments for targeting, engagement and evaluation are different, and those organizers who use them in a right way will gain a competitive advantage.
Benefits of virtual event sponsoring
Remember that the new circumstance are still unfamiliar to both organizers and sponsors, therefore, it’s important to clearly communicate the benefits of sponsoring online events, for example:
Access to the global audience
Accurate analytics and better tracking of leads and conversions
More time slots and virtual spaces available for engagement with the audience
Set specific and achievable goals
The success of sponsorship is possible to assess only if the goals stated are clear and measurable. These can include:
To increase brand awareness
This goal is the most common among sponsors, however, it might be not that easy to assess. Sponsors have to measure direct and referral traffic to the sponsor's website, the number of web searches and ask the new customers about how they got to know the brand.
Liveto platform offers better solutions for event partners to be seen and to become an essential part of your events. The platform has a specifically designed Partner Area to improve the brand visibility of sponsors.
To generate new leads
Online events are also helpful in generating new leads thanks to the increased brand awareness. In order to track how many potential customers are attracted, make sure that the sponsor creates a dedicated landing page with customized tracking to which all leads from the event are redirected. Otherwise, it would be complicated to measure how many leads were generated because of the event.
Engage sponsors before, during and after the event
Sponsorship promotion takes place before, during and after the event, and the more detailed and well-planned it is, the better. Sponsors appreciate when the customer journey is properly thought of beforehand.
Before the event Announce your sponsors on the event website, in the newsletter, through social media and other channels.
During the event One of the challenges but at the same time the advantage of virtual events is that the average time of active attention of a participant is between 15 and 20 minutes. In other words, to retain attendees’ attention a change of scene is always needed. This creates new possibilities for sponsors to interact with the audience and promote their products or services. For instance, during the breaks between sessions partners might offer some sort of entertaining and memorable content like games, contests, virtual tours or product trials.
After the event Getting in touch with attendees after the event is crucial . While doing this, don’t forget to mention your event partners once again and encourage participants to visit their websites and buy their products.
Attracting sponsors to virtual events isn’t an easy task yet it’s doable. 2020 made all of us change our working environment and sponsors aren’t an exception. Because of the new virtual and hybrid formats of events some sponsors may have a lot of doubts. As an event organizer, your role is to inform and guide potential sponsors about:
The benefits of virtual event sponsoring
The goals that a sponsor is able to achieve as well as the metrics to measure the success in meeting these goals
The ways to engage a sponsor before, during and after virtual event
Thoughtful communication will help potential sponsors to make informative decisions about partnering with your event. Most importantly, it will make your offering more professional and appealing that will surely attract more sponsors to your virtual event.