Hybrid and virtual event sponsorship is mutually beneficial for organizers and sponsors.
For organizers, it offsets costs, which is crucial. Hybrid and virtual events are great formats for organizers to maximize their event sponsorship offers. The online aspect of hybrid events and virtual events extends the attendee reach and broadens the range of offers. This can be desirable for potential sponsors.
For sponsors, a well structured hybrid or virtual event sponsorship offer allows them to stand out from the crowd, connect on a deeper level with participants and get access to valuable data.
Sponsorship has been around for as long as events have. But with hybrid and virtual events, organizers can upgrade the whole event sponsorship offer.
Here are five tips to implement a hybrid or virtual event with sponsorship.
- Find the right sponsors
- Create the right pitch
- Offer interactive hybrid and virtual event sponsorship
- Extend sponsorship beyond the event
- Structure the hybrid and virtual event sponsorship opportunities
1. Find the Right Sponsors
Hybrid and virtual events allow you, the organizer, to look for sponsors you might not have had the opportunity to pitch to before. Hybrid and virtual events reach broader audiences than just physical events. Participants from different locations who cannot or do not want to be on location can still attend. Keeping that in mind, you can and should broaden your search field when looking for potential sponsors.
Use social media
When creating your event, you know the tone and goals you want to fulfill. You know the profiles of your attendees and what their interests and pain points are. With that clear vision in mind, you can go on social media platforms to find sponsors that match. LinkedIn is particularly helpful. Look up groups that align with your event. Reach out to members who might be interested in what you have to offer.
Research similar events
If a company sponsored an event in the past that is similar to yours, there is a chance that the sponsor will review your pitch. Your unique angle here is that you are pitching a hybrid or virtual event and can offer more interactive sponsorship opportunities.
Post your event where sponsors can find you
There are platforms where you post information about your event so potential sponsors can find it and actively contact you. They are essentially matchmaking platforms to bring together sponsoring brands and sponsorship opportunities.
You can check out a few and see if they work for you:
2. Creating the Right Pitch
A hybrid and virtual event gives you a lot of sponsorship ideas to pitch. Since there are so many opportunities to offer, you have to have a really clear pitch that you can sell in 30 seconds on the phone, in a few short paragraphs in an email, or in a DM (direct message on social media platforms).
The major topics you want to cover quickly, concisely, and clearly are:
- Who you are
- Goal of your event
- Unique angle of your sponsorship package
- Benefit to the sponsor
Once you have that down you can add in more details like the below.
Sponsors love numbers. They are factual, straightforward and measurable. Information sponsors want to have are:
- Attendee count
- Countries represented
- Percentage of attendees that are decision makers
- Demographics of attendees
- Social media engagement
- Newsletter subscribers
If the event has happened in the past:
- Year-over-year event growth
- Survey results
- Media coverage
More than just logo placement
According to LinkedIn, the average person sees around 5,000 ads a day. To survive such a bombardment of advertisement, people just mentally block it out, or they complain about it spoiling the event’s atmosphere.
Sponsors are aware of this. Covering your hybrid or virtual event with only sponsors’ logos isn’t going to be a great offer.
That’s the beauty of hybrid or virtual events. You can take your sponsorship package to the next level with interactive and unique ideas.
3. Offer Interactive Hybrid and Virtual Event Sponsorship Ideas
What can be better than to offer your sponsors the opportunity to interact directly with your attendees. Plan your hybrid or virtual event with these key opportunities in mind.
Hosted sponsored sessions
Hosted sessions are included in the event agenda and are hosted by the sponsor. Sponsors create relevant content that your attendees will find interesting, and combine it with details about their products, services, offers, etc.
This is huge. Sponsors aren’t just a logo on the agenda. They are integrated into the event agenda. They have direct contact with the audience and can have open discussions about needs and offers. Learn more to create hosted sessions.
Image: Hosted session created by the sponsor with logo integration.
Hybrid and virtual event booths
Booths make people think of exhibitors. But we can think outside of the box and offer it to sponsors too. Booths can be offered for hybrid and virtual events. They are dedicated sponsor rooms which online visitors can join impromptu and where they can start conversations. The virtual booths will not be found in the agenda, as they are not event sessions per se. They are a replica of a real life booth, where a representative is available for providing information and answering participants' questions. Learn more about virtual booths.
Image: Virtual booths allow for spontaneous connection.
Offering a virtual booth is nice, but sponsors need to be able to collect participants information. This is done by allowing participants to easily find the sponsor they are interested in, fill out their contact details, and leave a message for the sponsor.
After the event the sponsor can view the profile of the participants that leave their information. They can easily download the information in a .xls file, upload it to their CRM, and pursue the opportunities that were generated from your event. Learn more about lead retrieval.
Image: Lead retrieval allows sponsor to easily see which attendees interacted with them.
Of course you can offer a sponsor banner ad, but we are looking to be more interactive. Offer a sponsored poll. The sponsor creates questions they really want answers from your audience. They then get to receive the answers to the polls and get valuable data directly from your attendees.
Don’t forget the value of push notifications. During your hybrid or virtual event, prompt attendees to visit virtual or onsite booths and hosted sessions. Learn more to create push notifications.
4. Extend Sponsorship Beyond the Event
Just because your hybrid or virtual event ends, doesn’t mean the sponsorship opportunities have to as well.
First, an event website stays online after the event has occurred. That means the sponsor's information and logo stays there too. This can drive long-term traffic from back links, which is always desirable.
Image: Event website sponsor logos generate long-term traffic from back links.
Second, depending on how you structure your event, you can offer long-term networking. What does that mean? After the hybrid or virtual event is over, attendees can go on your event platform and still plan meetings with each other. That means your sponsors can too. This extends the lifetime of the sponsorship opportunities you offer them. Learn more about long-term networking.
Image: Meetings and connections even after the hybrid or virtual event is over.
5. Structure the Hybrid and Virtual Event Sponsorship Opportunities
Every event organizer needs to structure the sponsorship opportunities according to the event that is taking place. However, there is no need to start with a blank slate. It helps to see how other event organizers have fully utilized the features of the b2match event management platform to take their event sponsorship offers to the next level.