Most events hosted across the globe have only a finite revenue stream, sponsorship in most cases is the highest contributor to earnings that an event does. For years now, event professionals have figured how and what to demand sponsoring any physical event, but due to the current crisis posed by the pandemic events are now pivoting to virtual. The virtual ecosystem is new to most people; especially various brands that sponsored events as part of their event marketing strategy.
This posed a big question that every event organizer asks, which is, “How do I structure sponsorship deals for virtual events?”
Now that we are 20+ virtual events old, we have some insight and ideas to share around this.
[hubspot type=cta portal=6784438 id=f0429707-ae3e-428f-aee0-eb8dfdff4f78]How to Evaluate Virtual Event Sponsorship?
Event organizers can get enterprise brands to sponsor virtual events should they successfully showcase the value of it. However, many event profs who are not yet aware of the potential, often find it difficult to present the case of sponsoring a virtual event. But here is how enterprises can evaluate them and organizers can learn about its potential.
Virtual Events are not Webinars - Personalized Interaction
Webinars are not virtual events, they are just a video communication medium mostly with one to many or many to many modes of communication. While, virtual events are more about interaction, experience, and networking.
There is no comparison between a simple “Get registered” and “Attend now”. The online events have capabilities to host multiple parallel webinars, live video streaming, one to one meetings, let people grab a virtual seat and network, host discussion sessions, live polling, live Q & A, host virtual exhibition booths, and many more USPs compared to a webinar.
Branding Opportunities are the same - Ride on their Reach
Having a nice company description and Brand logo travelling across the large mesh of the internet is more or less the same as it was in physical events. However, the digital reach of any event organizer can get you a great deal of brand visibility should they have a strong social media presence. Forget social media alone but many event organizers have the best and the most accurate contact database that can be leveraged through systematic email blasts.
Finally, if your event organizer is a digital marketing pro, his event website should attract the maximum possible relevant traffic, and having your logo placed appropriately can get your brand the best of digital visibility.
Physical Space Vs Digital Space - Better engagement, warmer leads
Digital spaces are whereas an exhibitor or a sponsor you can host all your product collaterals like a product video, downloadable brochures, an employee as a logged-in user to answer client queries, company details, and virtual business cards dropbox.
As these spaces are digital they incur less production cost and cause less lead leakage. Additionally, these offer event professionals the ability to measure every dimension to calculate RoI.
Speaking Opportunities - Less intimidating, more personalized
Digital speaking opportunities are much up-close and personalized, unlike physical events and much like your Instagram lives. Your audience can share their reactions, ask questions, and vote. This solves dual purposes, first it lets the audience feel that the speaker is approachable and hence the audience has a larger attention span. Secondly, speakers can leverage the comfort of remote sessions and live interaction to make their session more personalized.
For, brands opting for sponsored speaking opportunities can get a lot of demographic insights and leads depending upon the ability of the virtual event platform the organizers use.
Shh!! Some of our clients charge around $15,000 for speaking opportunities as a part of the sponsorship package.
Networking Facilities - The real deal
Real-time face to face is priceless, they offer much warmer business opportunities and are difficult to get your hands on when compared to any digital channel, especially for B2B brands. Virtual events, unlike webinar that allows event organizers to facilitate networking discussions based around a session, a theme/topic, or a brand itself. This is real gold!
Matchmaking - The power of event technology
Virtual events that use technology with matchmaking features can be a premium offering. It sends suggestions based on a person’s industry, profile tags, and interest to sponsors, who can then approach them with a suitable proposal.
The matchmaking feature is like a lead sensing machine that is much under-utilized and undervalued. Both event organizers and sponsoring brands must consider this beforehand.
Sponsored Sessions - Invest in value
Sponsoring sessions is another way to get your brand and voice out there. There is this amazing speaker who is going to talk about a very critical topic, naturally, that session will have most of the audience's attention and sponsoring such an event is letting the expert speak while you leverage their ability to attract the audience to get your brand visibility.
Virtual Exhibitor Setup - Direct business opportunities
Virtual booths are another unique proposition that virtual events provide sponsors and exhibitors with an online space to market their product or service by hosting videos, product collateral, and other details. Premium sponsors can also avail associate login for a marketing executive that allows him to network with attendees virtually.
Can't decide between Hubilo and Swapcard features? Check out this honest comparison and decide for yourself! Read more
How to Structure a sponsorship deal for Online virtual events?
Sponsorships packages are basically an opportunity that is sold as a product and so it is extremely important to structure it appropriately.
Here are a few steps that I recommend to event profs while they work on their sponsorship packages.
Value, Volume, or both? - Ask yourself this and the following questions and answer them.
What amount of revenue do you expect to receive through the sponsorship?
Are you already well-received organizers and have goodwill or a brand?
Are you just starting and cannot afford the price premium for your sponsorship?
Finally, do you want to sell more sponsorships that are affordable or a few with premium pricing?
Three ways to structure your sponsorship: Basically how software products are priced
Multi-tier Pricing: This is similar to software product pricing, pay for as many benefits as you would opt for.
Yes, you already know about this, but wait there's more to it. Keep reading.
Skimming Pricing: This more or less works out on the charge as you proceed. Based on the response you expect, quote a price for a certain time, then increase or decrease as per your strategy, as you near your event, based on the response you get.
A La Carte Model: This is to gain more volume of sponsors and sell more sponsorship. Price each benefit individually and sell them as a “need to buy” basis.
Structure - Virtual Event Sponsorship
Top Tier Block - Visionary Brands
Your gold sponsors get the most benefits that are available in every aspect possible; branding, business leads, networking, and virtual space.
Benefits can include:
Featured Virtual Speaking
A chance to have your sponsor talk about their business, case study, reports & research, product roadmap, technology updates, etc.
30 minutes video session with Q&A
On-demand Video file
Access to 2-3 employees during the event
Special email blast with company details
Session promotions in social media
Logo space on the event website, sponsored sessions and social media posts
Company details on event webpage
Sponsored Event Promotion through Email
Social media coverage and featured snippets, etc.
Business & Networking
Virtual Exhibition Booth to host live products and demos
Facilitated 1:1 meeting with 7-8 attendees
Additional Login access up to 2-3 for attending virtual booths and networking lounges
List of all delegates and a certain percentage of attendees database
Advanced networking with Matchmaking - pre-scheduled meetings
Sponsored networking lounge sessions
Similarly, organizers can frame the Gold and Silver package with fewer benefits compared to the Platinum Package.
Note: Make sure to highlight premium services to make the prospect prioritize their budgets vs their requirements
A La Carte Model
A La carte models are framed keeping in eye the affordability and larger volume of sale.
You can charge separately for the following features:
In order to set up prices here is what you need to find out.
What is the avg.cost of acquiring business for the industry your event is targeting?
What is the avg. lifetime value of 1 lead generated through your event?
Consider charging 10-15% premium for audience quality over your fixed costs
Consider another 15% of your fixed costs for the fixed value you provide through facilitate meetings
Decide your earning margins above the fixed cost + Premium audience charge + Opportunity charges + Earning margins
Pricing is a critical part of any business and hence this needs careful deliberation. Get your data, revisit your physical event packages, and set all the pieces of the puzzle to get the right price point.
Not having a physical venue to book, travel, and accommodations, physical event production costs will make a proportional change in your fixed costs but value your event offers is still intact, even increases for some cases.
Remember virtual events are all about focusing on experience and delivering exceptional content. While you have the experience of designing and delivering the content, to deliver the right experience for engagement and networking get your event an online event platform.
8 Sponsorship Opportunities Virtual Event Platform has to offer
Now it’s your turn to Structure a Sponsorship Deals for Virtual Events
Taking some perspective, putting down the pen to paper start structuring and pricing your events sponsorship package. Remember to work on finding what it costs to brands to bring business or brand themselves, get necessary data, and work out a strong case for them to trust you with their marketing buck. Virtual events are here to stay and so you need to have sponsorship deals for Virtual Events worked out.
Passionate about Marketing & Branding, Archan is an avid Lover of Social Media Strategy, Especially, LinkedIn. A Technology Enthusiast Loves to Write about Event Tech solutions, Connect with me on LinkedIn