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Should I Sponsor a Virtual Event?

Featured Image - Should I Sponsor a Virtual Event

As most companies and brands know, event sponsorship is a great way to get in front of a captive, targeted audience. The opportunity to grow brand awareness, generate and capture leads, and to convert sales is almost always worth the initial investment. 

But does the same hold true for virtual events? 

The good news is that virtual events can provide even more benefits and a greater return on investment (ROI) than a traditional physical event. 

To help you decide if virtual event sponsorship is right for you, we’ve listed all the reasons why you should sponsor a virtual event!

Why You Should Sponsor a Virtual Event

1. Access to a MORE targeted audience

Typically, when advertising your brand, you will cast a pretty wide net. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to create ads for a specific and targeted audience demographic but marketing efforts are still relatively open in the hopes of reaching as many people as possible. 

Virtual events can take a lot of the guesswork out of marketing your brand or product. Virtual event organizers and planners design their event content and marketing strategy with very specific audiences in mind. They are industry-specific or speak to a particular type of person. 

When considering a virtual event sponsorship opportunity, consider the event’s audience. If the target audience overlaps with yours, it means that your work at the event will put you in front of a fully qualified audience. Your product or service, and your involvement in the event, will warm attendees to you, potentially leading to an easy conversion or sale. 

The event’s content and the theme will pre-qualify the attendees, and open the door for you. For example, if you are a company that specializes in travel insurance, sponsoring a virtual conference targeting travel agents will be a beneficial fit. Or if you are in the wellness industry, sponsoring a health and fitness virtual trade show would be on-brand. 

2. Increased analytics

Virtual events present a treasure trove of attendee data. This data can help you follow up with leads and address gaps in your future marketing campaigns. 

A live event that uses an online registration and ticketing platform can provide details about the demographics of attendees like age, gender, profession, and distance traveled to attend but a virtual event platform can give you so much more. 

Traditionally, once an attendee enters the event venue, they become hard to track. Event organizers can do a headcount at keynote addresses or watch traffic flow on a showroom floor, but there are no hard numbers. During an online event, virtual attendee behavior can be better observed. 

An event organizer can track where attendees go, which sessions, presenters, or virtual booths they interact with most, and even provide insight into how they interacted with your sponsored session. All of these data points can be used to improve advertising and to increase the effectiveness of the lead capturing process. 

If your sponsorship package includes an interactive element, it is likely that you will be able to obtain contact information for each participant and follow up with them more easily and quickly. A virtual event means that you don’t have to rely on a sales team capturing this information and bringing it back to the office before lead nurturing can begin. Use an email automation tool and you can send a follow-up email before the event is even finished! 

This is important because you will want to strike while the proverbial iron is hot. When the connection between your brand and the positive event experience is at its highest. 

3. Global reach

One of the most significant benefits of a digital event is the ability to reach a global audience. 

As a brand or company, global reach can be costly. It means investing time and money into researching each market and then placing spend behind penetrating the ad space in each of those markets. 

An organizer’s event marketing campaign can do much of this for you. They have already researched their audience and, as mentioned above, more or less pre-qualified them for you. Depending on the details of your sponsorship package, you can expect that your sponsor logo will appear on the event website, on social media platforms, in a banner ad, in a sponsor recognition section, and throughout the virtual venue. This will not only put your brand in front of event attendees but any potential or curious individuals that, for whatever reason, didn’t register to attend. Sponsoring elements during the event, like a scavenger hunt, a keynote speaker, or a virtual booth can help your brand stand out to attendees.   

Essentially, your sponsorship will enable you to reap the benefits of the event’s audience research and access an audience that you may have otherwise been unable to. 

4. Lower cost of participation

Virtual sponsorship will cost you less than a traditional sponsorship. 

With a physical event, you may have to:

  • Send a team to work a sponsor booth, costing you wages, and potentially travel and accommodation. 
  • Manually gather leads and devote time after the event for follow up
  • Create branded materials to hand out at the event

At a virtual event, these expenses are much lower. For starters, your sales or marketing team does not have to travel anywhere to participate. They can work directly from the office or their home and immediately funnel contact information to the appropriate parties to follow up. 

Costs of printed materials disappear as you can create downloadable PDFs or create a video to showcase products. 

Without face to face interactions, many brands believe that virtual events lack value. But, with available live chat features built into most event platforms, it is possible to answer all questions and network in a very real way. And if the event organizer is providing you with attendee data in real-time, you and your team can easily reorganize and strategize as necessary. 

Beyond saving you money on staffing and travel, virtual event sponsorship is often less expensive. Event organizers are aware of the perception of virtual events as providing less value and in order to entice you to sign on, they may drop the price providing even greater returns to you. 

Current global circumstances have necessitated a shift away from large, in-person gatherings to virtual, online events. And while the future is uncertain, the ease of access and popularity of these types of events means that they are likely here to stay. Failure to transition to virtual sponsorship roles will negatively impact your marketing efforts. 

Virtual events provide a number of benefits to organizers, attendees, and sponsors. This type of sponsorship may force you to think outside of the box a little but doing so can put you in front of a large, qualified audience, generate warm leads, and create a positive return on your investment. 

 

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