Virtual events can extend the reach of physical events including conferences, trade shows, and annual meetings. Physical events with digital extensions provide event producers with additional means for revenue, gathering sponsors and exhibitors to participate without having to travel to a physical venue location.
Like physical events, virtual events generate revenue through sponsorships. The only difference is there is no physical space for sponsors to set up booths. Rather, there are virtual spaces and multiple locations within the environment to place sponsors for monetization. The inventory can be segmented and included into a number of different packages, which can then be sold to potential sponsors.
Here are some of the most popular sponsorship options within a virtual event:
Games engage attendees in your event’s content, while fostering connections and networking among attendees – and, between attendees and sponsors. You can sell sponsorship packages around individual games, enabling sponsors to incorporate their branding and messaging in the game. In addition, an exclusively sponsored game can enable the sponsor to determine the content for the game itself (e.g. a Trivia Challenge game, in which the sponsor provides the questions and answers).
Social Media Integration
Public events generate a lot of chatter on social media. Virtual event platforms allow producers to integrate social media within their events to allow attendees to share and participate in the social chatter. You can include a sponsors hashtag or social handle into the events social media presence or link to a sponsor’s page via banner ads in the Lounge or Auditorium areas.
Webcasts that make up your event can be monetized. You can sell individual sponsorship of a webcast, allowing the sponsor to brand the console. Or you can sell groups of webcasts or tracks with similar content. A webcasts sponsorship can also include a list of attendees and an “exit action” to direct viewers to the sponsor’s virtual booth at the end of the presentation. You can also sell sponsorship of vendor-specific webinars, allowing exhibitors to take center stage and provide a presentation on a topic they choose. Exhibitors have found that when they are able to provide the presentation and give a short presentation before the main topic, the viewers they attract are more qualified prospects.
Preferred Placement on Microsite or Registration Page
The mirco-site or registration page for your event includes important information regarding the event including speakers, date and time, topical overviews and schedules. This is also a great place for sponsors to get exposure from the audience. You can leverage your event microsite to list and promote your sponsors. List their logo, publish a brief description of the products and services they provide and hyperlink to their web site.
Email Blast Mentions
To help generate an audience, producers will utilize emails to targeted lists of people they want to attend their event. A part of a sponsor package you can include a listing of your sponsors, so that they’re featured alongside your event content. In addition to inclusion in email to promote your event, list and mention sponsors in related emails, such as the confirmation and reminder emails.
Banner ad inventory varies across platforms. Multiple ads can be served up in a continuous rotation. The ad unit can link to an external web page, or to a digital space within the environment. It can also be an effective way for promotion a sponsor space or a sponsored session. Tidbit: Some providers like INXPO’s provide banner units at IAB-compliant sizes, allowing sponsors to re-use creative assets from their display advertising campaigns.
Short video messages that play in selected areas of the environments such as the home lobby are great places to highlight a high-level sponsor. Attendees could “opt” to view the video ads by clicking on the video player and the virtual event platform could track the number of unique viewers who clicked to play the videos.
Marquee messaging refers to scrolling text that appears within the digital environment. Events can include a series of marquee messages that rotate throughout the event, or can be scheduled to appear at specific times. Producers can utilize marquee messaging to list and promote sponsors. The marquee messages can include hyperlinks to external web pages and to digital spaces within the environment.
Badges and Prizes
If your virtual event includes prizes and giveaways, the “Prize Center” is where the rules and conditions along with images and descriptions would be found. You can sell sponsorship of the Prize Center, allowing one or more sponsors to be associated with the giveaways or sponsor their own giveaway program.
Pre-Populated Briefcase or Show Bag
Virtual event attendees have a personalized briefcase or show bag that allows them to save and store content that they found interesting during the event like whitepapers and case studies. Sponsorships can include content from one or more sponsors that are pre-populated into attendees’ briefcases (e.g. a solution sheet from the sponsor(s)). Doing so, allows the sponsor to generate wide visibility and awareness to a piece of their marketing content.
Navigation Bar Links
To attract interest and traffic to a particular sponsor space, sponsor messages can be placed in locations like the main navigation of your virtual event. The main navigation typically includes hyperlinks to“Lobby,”“Auditorium,”and “Lounge.” A package may include one or more sponsors to have a direct link to their space from the primary navigation links.
In-show emails are used to push out a sponsor’s message to the event attendees. It is a highly valuable direct form of contact that many attendees respond to in return. Sponsors reap an additional set of valuable contacts from visitors who choose to reply.
Virtual events can serve as a highly effective means to connect with your audience, all while generating new sources of revenue for your company. The key to success is leveraging all the tools within your online event platform to provide the maximum value to sponsors, while creating a memorable experience for your attendees.
To learn more about how INXPO can help build your perfect virtual event experience please visit www.INXPO.com/online-events, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 312-962-3708.