As 2020 comes to a close, can we all agree that using the term “the new normal” when referencing life in COVID-19 times should come with a forfeit? 2020 has been, on a whole, utterly dreadful and we have to get used to it. This is the normal now and there is nothing particularly “new” about it. In-person events have taken a big hit from COVID-19, can you honestly recall the last in-person event you attended? Interestingly, while the pandemic has generally wiped out large scale in-person events, the events industry has been relatively quick to adapt. Some potential sponsorship ideas for your virtual events can be found in virtual events platforms.
Virtual events have taken over. Without the geographical limitations of in-person events, virtual events can provide you greater opportunities to reach your intended audience. This is potentially beneficial to both you, as the event organiser, and event sponsors. Though events have gone online, an indispensable aspect of organising an event is sponsorship. It might seem rather peculiar at first but there are a number of ways to effectively monetize an online event. With Delegate PLAY, you have options aplenty!
Consider monetizing your virtual event through selling banners and pop-up ad space. Having banners highlighting specific sponsors throughout the virtual event can enhance the attendee experience as they are allowed the autonomy to click on links that may interest them. Also, these banners need not be present throughout the event. You can have different sponsors to fit the theme of different segments of your virtual event (e.g. registration page, home page, exhibition hall).
Virtual event booths
Similar to an in-person event, a virtual event should also have virtual sponsor booths. While the face-to-face interaction between attendees and sponsors are lost, there are ways around this. An example would be to build customised virtual spaces so that interaction between attendees and sponsors are not entirely lost – just slightly altered. Whether it’s a virtual hall or virtual presentation, branding and sponsor placements should still be in the picture!
This might be bending the rules just a little bit but hear us out! It takes inspiration from proven models that already exist in established live streaming services (a.k.a YouTube). Nonetheless, video ads are a great way to get sponsors on board your virtual event. What you want to achieve is a seamless transition from event to ad and back to event. A good method to do so would be to place these short sponsored video ads during the breaks of your virtual event.
Special talk sessions
Having these at your virtual events will definitely add more attendee touchpoints. An online talk session can be customised to include important segments such as live chats, video calls, Q&A functions or appointment calendars. It is important that we do not limit ourselves by assuming that such virtual talk sessions only be 1-way conversations. By allowing the opportunities for 2-way conversations, it encourages audience engagement and (hopefully) audience satisfaction!
EDM Banner/Dedicated EDM
The acronym, EDM stands for Electronic Direct Mail and is another method in getting sponsors to be part of your virtual event. Chances are you’ve already used EDM to build an email database of potential customers and prospects. In preparation for your virtual event, reach out to sponsors and have them be your EDM. Since you’ll be sending the email to event attendees, they are very likely to be opening these emails and engaging with it – which works as a great selling point to potential sponsors!
In-event push notifications
This is an appealing option which can help bring more attention to the sponsored content and potentially create better outcomes for your sponsors or exhibitors. In-event push notifications gives you and your sponsors the option to target messages to any specific group of attendees at any time. They’re simple and to-the-point, which works as a great point of monetization. But a word of caution, there needs to be balance when it comes to sponsored notifications. No one enjoys constantly being sold something!
At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to maximise click-through rates from the most relevant attendees. What this means is that placing these ads, booths and banners at the right place is crucial. The chosen location has to gel with the products and services provided by the sponsors. So, have a think and give ‘em a try as you plan your next virtual event!
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