5 Easy Steps To Getting Virtual Event Sponsors
Virtual sponsor spaces can enhance the experience of online events. In addition to providing attendees more places to engage and network, they are also an excellent source of revenue.
Let’s explore easy ways to obtain virtual sponsor interest.
Step 1: Identify Sponsor Opportunities
The first step is to identify places in the virtual platform that offer good exposure for sponsors. Take a moment to review the attendee experience and then meet with your platform vendor to discuss options. Here are a couple things you might ask:
- What materials would sponsors need to provide for these areas?
- Are there any tips and tricks you can share from your experience working with other organizations?
There are no bad questions here. Your conference vendor knows the platform and should be able to help you make your selection.
Step 2: Create Tiers
The next step is to arrange your sponsor options into levels or tiers. One approach your organization might adopt is Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. The higher the level, the better the exposure and interactive elements.
Here are a few examples of sponsor placement in a virtual conference:
- Visibility on banner(s) in the site
- Virtual exhibit booth
- Appearing in the virtual exhibit hall
- Introducing a live session
- Sponsoring a raffle or prize drawing
You might consider limiting each tier to a certain number. For instance, offering only one Platinum spot creates exclusivity and can increase interest.
Step 3: Define Your Sponsor Market
Most professional associations have a large pool of potential sponsors. It can be helpful to take a moment and consider the theme of your event and the value it offers.
Once you’ve done this, create a list of the sponsors that you feel would be a good fit. Your list should include the appropriate business contact to send the information to.
Since online events have global reach, you might consider marketing to companies in other countries.
Step 4: Draft a Sponsor Proposal or Prospectus
In an internet full of ads and advertising opportunities, companies have no shortage of places to promote themselves. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for new and strategic places to introduce their brand. Keeping in mind that sponsors want to advertise in the right places, try to put yourself in your sponsors shoes while you write the proposal.
While a sponsor might receive numerous proposals each month, you can help differentiate yours with your writing style and focus. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Explain the purpose of the event and value it offers to virtual attendees
- Lay out the sponsorship tiers from Step 2
- Be careful not to over-promote. Instead explain why sponsoring your event would be a good fit for them
- Describe the audience that attends and what they are interested in
- Mention the turnout and engagement metrics of past events
If this is the first year you are hosting a virtual conference, you might not have any substantial data to support engagement metrics.
Instead consider quantifying your conference with things like:
- The size of your membership
- How many attendees you expect to attend given cost and past in-person event numbers
- Offering a special introductory sponsor price for this first event
Step 5: Deliverables and Follow Ups
Once your sponsor has signed up with you, be prepared to send them a clear list of what you need from them. Depending on the level of sponsorship, they might be providing you with a number of deliverables.
After the event concludes, be sure to follow up with your sponsors. A phone call or web meeting is best for this. You can share participant engagement metrics and ask the vendor how it went for them. Did it meet their expectations? What things could have been done differently? Finally, be sure to ask if they would consider sponsoring again at your next virtual event.
Virtual sponsorship is an excellent means to increase the attendee experience and revenue of online events.
Reviewing your conference theme and audience will help you build a list of relevant sponsors. Tiered pricing levels offer prospects convenient options for getting involved.
Crafting a well styled proposal that demonstrates the benefits of sponsoring at your event will help set you out from the crowd.
Once you’ve completed your event, take steps to follow-up with sponsors early and find out what worked and what didn’t. Don’t be afraid to ask what they would like improved on; then see whether they are interested in signing up for a future event.
Remember that even first-time virtual events have opportunity for sponsors!