Virtual Events: What's In It For Sponsors?

In our last blog post, we discussed different strategies and tactics for keeping virtual event attendees engaged, receptive and immersed. It’s equally important to do this with your virtual or hybrid event sponsors, too – and make sure that they can (and do!) take advantage of all the new touchpoints and opportunities that online events can offer.

It can be daunting when you’re trying to pitch the value of your virtual event to sponsors. It’s especially intimidating because many event organisers have only just started to run virtual events, so there isn’t the historic data available that our sales teams typically rely on when selling sponsorship packages.

But there are many ways that you can monetise an online event: a mix of creative, exciting and new opportunities coupled with the more traditional opportunities that can translate into the new digital environment.

With data-rich environments, boundless audiences, and powerful new tools, there is a lot that you can offer them – and you have the chance to be super innovative with what you include.

Let’s take a look at the general benefits of sponsoring a virtual event, as well as the touchpoints you can propose.

The benefits for your sponsors of going digital

Lower cost and lower waste

Gone are the days of ordering or printing reams of flyers, brochures and leads forms! Now, in terms of sales collateral, all that your sponsors need to be armed with is engaging videos and/or downloadable PDFs, as well as relevant, up-to-date content.

Not only does this cut costs, but it’s much better for the environment as waste is significantly reduced; not just paper and ink, but courier transport, too.

There’s also no need to rent furniture, pay for shell schemes, hire stand designers… so many associated costs with in-person events are removed when going virtual.

And instead of lanyards, branded pens and stress balls, they can offer swag in virtual form – whether a discount code or redeemable voucher, gift cards, or a physical item mailed out to delegates. There are varying opinions on the value of swag, so this gives your sponsors the opportunity to provide something that will not go to waste if unused.

Huge data opportunities

What’s lost in personal contact is completely made up for in data depth – everything that happens within your virtual event platform can be tracked and measured. All aspects of our platform have been optmised for analytics, offering rich data that can be captured and downloaded. That means more information and more qualified leads.

This includes:

  • Registrations
  • Demographics
  • Engagement rates
  • Networking
  • Booth visitors and duration
  • Brand impressions
  • Video plays
  • PDF downloads
  • Chat capture and download

The data opportunities can be overwhelming, so you will need to be strict on what you track. You will also need to keep your delegates in mind and be completely transparent with them before your event about what you will be sharing with your sponsors.

Limitless, worldwide audiences to truly encourage inclusivity & diversity

One of the most exciting parts of virtual events is that delegates can attend from anywhere in the world. All an attendee needs is a decent internet connection in order to access your conference and fully immerse themselves in your content. On Malga, there are no maximum capacities, and performance isn’t hindered by larger audiences.

This means there is huge potential for who will see their branding, products, and what they have to offer.

Better engagement, warmer leads

Arming your sponsors with the ability to download relevant engagement data will help to reduce the follow-up time with their prospects.

Instead of a delegate walking away into the mist with a brochure or a business card, your sponsor has much more control of the post-event follow up. Whether a chat transcript, brochure download, or video call, they have that data - and can have relevant and warm conversations after your event.

One thing to bear in mind is that it is a digital experience, and you therefore to consider how delegates will behave online when a sponsor is representing themselves, then optimise that journey as much as you can.

Touchpoints – the old and the new

Touchpoints are crucial for your virtual sponsorship offering. These are the opportunities for your sponsor to get directly in front of a prospect, whether en masse or one-to-one. Some of these apply to in-person events, too, but are reimagined for a virtual environment.

As well as branding, booths and collateral, we would encourage you to offer a bundle of touchpoints in your sponsorship packages. The opportunities are vast, as well as fast developing. We have split these into before, during and after your virtual event, but some might be applicable to all three!

Before the event

  • Blog post opportunity
  • A highlight in your event email marketing
  • Email bundles, e.g., featured content with aligning messages
  • Teaser pre-event live streams – whether hosting or presenting
  • Website links
  • Downloadable content on your event website behind a lead-capture form
  • Video interview
  • Podcast

During the event

  • Sponsor showcase
  • The option to offer prizes for sessions – quizzes, social media competitions etc.
  • Entertainment breaks
  • Presentation session
  • Interactive workshop
  • Hosting targeted networking or roundtable sessions with pre-selected guests
  • Sponsored icebreakers
  • Environmental banners at the event – utilise your blank space!
  • Pop-up ads and notifications
  • Promotional videos on a loop between presentations
  • Q&A moderation
  • Optional short-and-sharp demo sessions
  • 1:1 virtual meetings

After the event

  • Post-event survey sponsorship
  • Pre- or post-event gatherings
  • Newsletter, follow-up panel discussions, etc.
  • Provide them with recordings of sessions they were involved in
  • White paper/expertise knowledge share

You can promote your sponsors for months in advance and re-share content from your event long after your virtual or hybrid event is over – providing you with excellent content opportunities, and sponsors with further touchpoints.

BONUS: Don’t offer everyone everything – or forget the attendee experience!

If all your sponsors have the same packages, you dilute the experience for everyone involved – including your delegates.

An overload of sponsor information is dangerous and will switch your audience off to any messages outside of your content. You must also ensure that sponsor content feels genuine and unintrusive, naturally fitting in around your event content.

There are a huge number of touchpoints to choose from, and sponsors have different budgets. Understand what their goals and objectives are, what they consider to be ROI, and shape their package accordingly – think quality over quantity. Having these different options will open your online event to more sponsors who are currently considering their options and navigating this new arena, too.

Malga: a virtual-hybrid events platform designed by event organisers, for event organisers

🚀 Help your sponsors and exhibitors to skyrocket their ROI from your virtual or hybrid event! Malga provides them with tools to boost their return, as well as great opportunities to generate and access targeted leads - including:

📋 Pre-event registration
💬 Instant chat
🎥 One-to-one video calling
👥 Social sharing
💻 On-demand webinars
🎤 Live Q&A sessions

See the tools for yourself - book a demo today and take a tour of our virtual events platform, or get in touch to discuss how we can translate your virtual event goals into tech.

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