Sponsorships remain one of the primary ways to fund events, including virtual events.
Especially in this post-pandemic world, when generating profits from ticket sales is increasingly becoming more challenging, securing sponsorships for your virtual events can make or break your virtual event’s ability to generate income. In some cases, sponsorship is so critical that it’s impossible to host the event without it.
Yet, it’s no secret that attracting new sponsors for virtual events can be easier said than done. Proving a virtual event’s value to potential sponsors can be easier said than done, and making the right impression to prospective new sponsors for your event is crucial (and challenging)
With that being said, in this article , you’ll learn all you need to know about how to attract new sponsors for your virtual events, as well as some actionable tips and tactics for securing virtual sponsorships.
Virtual Event Sponsorship: What are Sponsors Looking For?
It’s important to remember that sponsorship is a two-way deal: you need these sponsors to fund your event, but on the other hand, they’d like something of value by partnering with you (and your virtual events.)
So, what are these values they are looking for in a virtual event? Why would they want to partner with you and fund your event?
While different sponsors may have different reasons for financing an event, most of them have at least one of these three main reasons:
- Promote their brand (building brand awareness): sponsors fund events for the chance to amplify their brand exposure and build awareness among your event’s attendees.
- Connect with leads and prospects (lead generation): find and connect with your event’s attendees and convert them into leads while establishing their thought leadership and credibility in the niche.
- Sell their products or service at your events (direct sales): pretty self-explanatory, selling their products or services to your event’s attendees during and after the event to generate revenue.
So, when developing strategies to attract new sponsors for your virtual events, the key is to be able to communicate your event’s value in these three areas so you can convince them to finance your event.
Below, we will cover five actionable tactics that are based on these three areas, so you can create personalized sponsor benefits packages based on their unique business needs. This will provide your current and future virtual events with a higher chance of securing these sponsorships.
Top 5 Tactics to Attract and Secure New Sponsors for Virtual Events
The most important thing to focus on when reaching out to potential sponsors is to clearly elaborate what they will get out of the sponsorship package. So, how you communicate why you think the event is worth their time and money is crucial.
It’s very important to first learn as much as you can about prospective sponsors before approaching them with your sponsorship proposal, and you should try to identify:
- What their business is about
- Their product or service
- Their target audience (and whether it aligns with your event’s)
- Previous events they’ve sponsored in the past
Customize your message to meet their business’s unique needs, so you can convince them to invest in your event.
Here are the top five of our proven tactics to include offers in your sponsorship benefit packages while considering the three main reasons they may want to sponsor your virtual event: awareness, lead generation, and sales.
→ Create an Interactive and Attractive Virtual Booth
During in-person events, booths are important for sponsors to showcase their brand, products, or services. Booths can be a very powerful tool for sponsors to achieve their objectives in all three areas discussed above:
- Attendees can visit the booth and learn about the brand and product/service (building awareness)
- For attendees that have shown interest in your product/service when visiting the booth, you can capture their contact information and turn them into leads (lead generation)
- You can offer your product/service on the booth to encourage purchase (direct sale)
So, how can you emulate the same effect in a virtual event?
Fortunately, nowadays, there are many solutions and platforms that can help you create virtual booths that your sponsors can leverage in your virtual events.
Virtual booths actually offer more benefits and versatility in engagement and growth compared to their physical counterparts, especially in using interactive elements to interact and connect with target audiences.
Sponsors, for example, can add their companies’ logos, links to social media profiles and websites, and add assets like videos, images, and PDFs that will be valuable to the target audience.
Eventtia provides an easy way for event organizers to facilitate sponsors in creating and customizing their virtual booths, with these unique benefits:
- Sponsors can easily upload up to 10 high-quality videos in their virtual booths, as well as the ability to customize the virtual booth according to the sponsors’ brand identity.
- Personalize the virtual booth according to this potential sponsor’s unique business needs and brand identity, and objectives.
- You can allow sponsors to add up to 5 activities in the virtual booth (i.e., interactive games, keynote speeches, etc.)
Elaborating how your virtual event can offer the opportunity for sponsors to have fully-customizable and interactive virtual booths can be very effective in proving your virtual event’s value and attracting new sponsors.
In your sponsorship proposal, communicate how potential sponsors can use this virtual booth to connect with their targeted audience and attract potential customers.
If you decide to offer virtual booths in your sponsorship proposal, you’d want to s
→ Sponsored Rich Content
While virtual booths can offer many different benefits, as discussed above, they are passive in nature. Sponsors will need to passively wait for attendees to visit their booths, which doesn’t always happen.
To tackle this issue, you can offer sponsors the chance to participate in sponsored content, which can be a more proactive approach to engaging their target audience.
You can offer prospective sponsors the ability to sponsor a session on a topic relevant to their brand, offer valuable knowledge in their expertise, or even showcase a product demo at their own virtual booth.
You can then leverage Eventtia’s analytics feature to track unique attendance numbers on this content and deliver the reports to sponsors after the event to pique interest.
With Eventtia’s virtual stage, you can offer new sponsors the opportunity to engage with their audience in a more intimate environment, enabling them to establish credibility and thought leadership.
→ 1-on-1 Meeting Scheduler
Let’s say your virtual event is already a great success, and you’ve successfully attracted enough attendees, giving your sponsors sizable and measurable visibility through the virtual event.
Yet, how can you allow sponsors to monetize this digital exposure?
One of the most attractive benefits you can offer is a 1-on-1 meeting scheduler, allowing sponsors to meet 1:1 with qualified leads via your virtual event platform.
There are many virtual event platforms that offer 1-on-1 virtual meeting capabilities, but Eventtia’s networking session offers some unique benefits:
- Time zone support allows sponsors and attendees to intuitively schedule the meeting while taking time zone differences into account.
- Intuitive interface, ensuring it’s as easy as possible for attendees to schedule their 1-on-1 meetings. Visible and clear slot availability for meetings at all times.
- Analytics and reporting features to help sponsors measure their meetings’ effectiveness. Allow sponsors to keep track of relevant data such as an easily downloadable lead database, the number of downloaded files/handouts, gathered leads, and so on.
→ Facilitating On-Event Promotions
All prospective sponsors would appreciate more promotional opportunities, but it’s also important to offer the right promotional opportunities that are highly targeted to the sponsor’s ideal audience.
You can leverage your virtual event platform’s capabilities to create more targeted promotions for your sponsors, like advertising within the attendee list or push notifications on your event’s dedicated mobile app.
As with any digital marketing/promotion opportunities, you can also offer in-depth analytics of the promotion campaign’s performances: how many attendees actually saw the advert, how many attendees took action after seeing the ad, the total number of impressions, and so on.
You can sell these promotion opportunities as a part of sponsorship packages, or you can also offer them as a standalone deal to any prospective sponsor.
→ Sponsored Sessions and Breakout Rooms
Sponsored sessions and sponsored breakout rooms can be a great opportunity for sponsors to engage your attendees. They can also use these opportunities to demonstrate their credibility and thought leadership, for example by having someone from their team (with adequate expertise/experience) deliver the session.
If you are also offering 1-on-1 virtual meeting opportunities, then you can combine these two benefits together: use the sponsored session to promote the 1-on-1 virtual meeting in a more intimate and interactive way.
The secret to attracting and securing new sponsors for your virtual event is to prove your event’s value, especially in helping prospective sponsors build awareness, generate more leads, and sell more of their products/services during and after the event.
By using the tactics we’ve shared above, you can have an easier time convincing potential sponsors about your event’s virtual sponsorship experience, and so you are already halfway to securing these new sponsors for your virtual event.