Create Virtual Events that Sponsors Will Love

Virtual event participant

The ROI on experience is incomparable - We know that proving return on virtual events for your sponsors is an important part of being able to put on the best event possible so we’ve whipped up this guide to making your virtual event sponsor friendly. Handily you can also send this article to your potential sponsors to prove ROI to them too!

The numbers don’t lie

Before we hit you with our amazing tips for events that blow your sponsors and attendees minds, let’s look at some stats from Wild Apricot’s 2020 research.

  • 84% of organisations who had already run a virtual event in 2020 spent less money on virtual events than in-person events.
  • Only 10% of respondents who had already run virtual events said that they were unsuccessful. That means 90% were successful!
  • People who ran virtual events felt that they exceeded expectations more than 55% of the time.
  • 64% of organizations reported running polls or surveys during an event was successful at increasing attendee engagement.
  • Over a third of organizations reported seeing more attendees at their virtual events.
  • 72% of virtual event attendees were not known to the organisation before.
  • 83% of organizations who saw a high percentage of new members used social media to market their event.

With lower costs in hosting virtual events and a huge opportunity to bring in new people with them, it’s hard to believe people are still on the fence. If your event is designed for digital and planned to perfection, these impressive percentages only increase so let’s get into the practical stuff!

Make it easy

If you want more people to come to your virtual event, ensure signing up or registering is as easy as possible. Make sure there’s also clear instructions alongside the super easy registration process for those attendees who haven’t had time to grab their morning coffee before checking out your event!

The same goes for sponsorship applications or getting information from sponsors; don’t use complicated or long processes. Reach out to them directly and ask how they would prefer to share information; we’ve all got our favourite tech solution so be amenable to using theirs.

As the old saying goes; keep it simple, stupid!

Data talks

Make sure you pick an events platform with epic data recording and reporting features. Explain to sponsors which metrics are important and how you’re tracking them. They don’t care that they’re getting 300 ads around the virtual conference hall, they care who is clicking them or talking to their reps. Sponsors care about results, rightly so:

  • Ad clicks.
  • Engagements with representatives.
  • Visits to sponsor stands.
  • Emails collected.
  • Qualified leads.
  • Purchases made.
  • Positive mentions on social media.

Consider how you’ll be presenting that data too – nobody wants to trawl through reams of numbers on spreadsheets. Offer some sexy graphs, highlight the important numbers and provide your sponsors with reports which are easy on the eye. A platform that offers beautiful data reporting as standard will save you a lot of time and impress everyone.

Make your virtual event engaging

The main factor in successful events is engaged attendees. For sponsors this is doubly true as if attendees aren’t engaged with the event platform they won’t be connecting with your sponsor.

We’ve covered how to host a banging virtual event elsewhere but here’s a few things that will make any event more engaging:

  • Uncluttered interface with limited information on the screen at any time.
  • Easy to use platform which works across devices.
  • Accessibility options like captioned videos and image descriptions.
  • Intuitive interface which makes interactions feel easy and natural.
  • Easy booking or scheduling options for post-event follow-ups.

Experience is everything

Your sponsor wants maximum visibility at your event but allowing that to overshadow the core purpose of the event itself will only result in a disappointing result for everyone. Focus on what you want attendees to get out of the event and on giving them an experience to remember.

Once you’ve ticked the experience box you can slide sponsor ads, talks and other opportunities into it. Keeping the mission of the event at the core and fitting sponsorships into it not only makes the event more enjoyable for attendees but also means the sponsor blends in seamlessly with the event goings on. Nobody wants to click on an ad but checking out that talk by your sponsor or swinging by their stall in the main hall feels like just another part of the experience.

Your sponsor should have a say in where, when and how they appear in the event but be clear that you know who your event is targeting and what the core purpose of the event is. A complete events platform can offer support and advice to you and your sponsors to ensure the event works for everyone.

Sell the opportunity

Sponsors will have lots of questions for you about the benefits of your event so prepare in advance and open any pitch by addressing them.

Kick off with who will be attending; if their target market won’t be at your event you might as well leave that Zoom call now.

Next it’s worth covering what they’ll get for their investment. Whether they’re looking for brand awareness or hot leads, talk about how that can be achieved through your event and how you can prove results after the fact. Make sure you drive home how these results can only be achieved through an event like yours.

Finally explain how involvement in your event will help them reach their broader business goals. How does this sponsorship tie in with their current marketing activities and their goals for the company more generally? Speaking to their larger aims shows that you’ve done your research and are interested in them specifically, not just anyone who’s prepared to show you the money!

Rise to the occasion

If you’ve already hosted a virtual event, use the stats from that to prove the value of your next one. If not, commit to making your event the best it can possibly be by enlisting the help of an experienced team like ours. 

Once you have a successful event under your belt, selling your next one is much easier, because - as we said at the start -the numbers don’t lie! Get in touch with our team to get the ball rolling on your experience-first virtual event.

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