According to the 2018 Tagoras Virtual Events Report, 72 percent of the organizations that have held virtual events in the past didn’t incorporate sponsor or exhibitor fees. It’s hard to believe, considering how crucial sponsors and exhibitors are for hosting in-person events like conferences and annual meetings.
Now is the time to give your partners additional, valuable sponsorship options in your virtual events, similar to the opportunities they have for place-based events. Just think how an all-day or multi-day webcast or virtual conference offers great exposure for sponsors when the learners are in the interface all day. Incorporating sponsors into the online experience gives you the opportunity to generate additional revenue, allows sponsors to reach a broader audience, and extends more of the on-site experience to online learners.
Here are some ideas to consider that can be offered in a variety of sponsorship levels at different price points.
Virtual Exhibit Hall
Provide a virtual exhibit hall that people can pop in and out of throughout the day. This program would be included in the learner’s classroom along with your virtual conference sessions. The exhibit hall course can be created as a multi-module program with each section of the course containing information about a specific exhibitor. The attendee can then select a specific exhibitor and get materials, promo videos, contact information, whatever the exhibitor would like to provide.
Many live event platforms offer the opportunity to show pre-event rotating slides before the program begins. This is a great place to incorporate a partner slide and thank them for sponsoring the event.
Customize your event interface with sponsor branding. For example, Freestone Learning Management System has a viewer customization tool that allows you to configure custom logos, coloring, and CSS. You can also customize the features that are displayed and incorporate a sponsor section with an I-frame of their website or custom html text.
Stream spotlight interviews or live vendor demos and allow for attendee Q&A interaction with the exhibitor representative. This allows end users to really have an experience similar to what they would have if they walked up to a booth on-site. Having that level of connection with your virtual attendees would be a great value-add for your sponsors.
Your attendee chat will always be more active with some seeded conversation, so why not allow a vendor to sponsor the chat section and moderate the discussion. They can prompt feedback on certain topics to help with market research.
At the beginning of each session or between sessions you can launch a pre-recorded sponsor commercial to offer additional exposure. The vendor could also provide a recorded demo for you to play.
Thank You Announcement
And lastly, you can simply include a thank you to the event sponsor in any written announcement that is visible during the whole program.
To learn more about translating the unique elements of your place-based events into the virtual learning experience, check out our webinar on Next-Level Live Online Events: Strategies from Successful Associations.