We’re seeing the wheel starting to turn as more and more organizations wrap their heads around virtual events as a solution to keep things moving now. As we’ve been coaching our clients on their virtual event needs we have heard a number of them voice concern over retaining a sponsor who had signed on for an “in real life” (aka: IRL) event, or outlining the value to new sponsors for an “in virtual life” (aka: IVL) event.
During this time it remains clear to us that events still need sponsors to reach their goals, and sponsors still need events to reach their audiences. We see a lot of sponsor value in virtual that may even supersede live. So, here are some talking points for the sponsor conversations you’re having now:
1. Access to a wider audience.
Many organizations can actually reach a wider audience right now without the hurdles of travel costs, accessibility, or distractions. Many are seeing an exponential increase in engagement from audiences around the world who could not have travelled for the live experience. These attendees see the value in the content, connection, and cause you’re providing - and your sponsors will too. When you consider an increased viewership from virtual event archives, the reach is even more expansive.
2. Making a more personal impression.
We’re all tuning in from home - sometimes with wet hair, often with kids screaming in the background. The lines between work life and home life have blurred. There is a chance here to make a deeper and more personal impression on our audiences. The right brands with the right virtual events will land in a much more meaningful way today. We think Uber & Quip are examples of brands doing a great job getting personal and being impactful. Let’s see who’s out there in your sphere making a difference despite the circumstances.
3. Data driven ROI.
With virtual there are even more robust metrics, analytics and statistics to delve into. Sponsors can see their engagement levels live, and even react to what audiences are gravitating towards for increased return. You can show them more about which of your attendees participated in any sponsored sessions, clicked their links, asked a question, and more. They can come away with a more engaged group for follow-up, and bring more concrete data to their post-event ROI discussions.
4. People are clicking!
Many people have more time on their hands right now. They’re clicking and interacting online, and looking for meaningful engagement right now. They’re curious and eager, and potentially more open to your sponsor’s messages, offers or direct follow-up.
5. Opportunity to experiment.
Though they’ve been around for a long time, virtual events are entering a time of innovation like never before. This gives your sponsors the chance to break from the standard content and stand out. Yes, sponsors will still want a seat on your virtual panel, but bringing in other elements such as great video content, custom Q&A and polling, live demos, shopping integrations, ask an expert live chats and opportunities for intimate 1:1s, virtual celebrity meet & greets, at-home mailers or discount codes, etc. Many of these options give your audience something to look forward to and a way for your virtual sponsors to stand out from the rest.
We hope that these points will help you feel more confident when approaching sponsors with a virtual ask. We know they are looking for these opportunities too!
We’d be happy to ideate around your unique event and audience to create innovative and engaging packages for your sponsors. Sign up for a free 30 minutes consultation here, or reach out to us for more information on how we are elevating event sponsorships in the new normal of virtual.