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Get More Out of Your Virtual Event Sponsorship Investment Bookmark

Get More Out of Your Virtual Event Sponsorship Investment

Photo credit: Pixabay

As events and meetings have gone virtual, event sponsors have had to change their approach to getting the most out of their sponsorship dollars. Adapting to virtual events has been a boon for sponsors who have brought innovative ideas to the new platform, proving that just because we can’t be face-to-face, doesn’t mean sponsors can’t see excellent ROI on their investments.

As is the case with in-person events, sponsors who lean into the event with energy and innovation will have far more success than those who remain flat-footed. Besides, it’s more fun to be part of the action, so why sit on the sidelines and hope for the best?

Here are five ideas to differentiate your business, fill your sales funnel, and get more out of your investment in virtual event sponsorships!

Event Promotion on Social Media

If you’re sponsoring a virtual event, let the world know about it! Write a blog post about the event and its importance to the industry and share it on social media. Create event-specific profile pictures for your social accounts in the weeks leading up to the event to let your audience know you’re sponsoring and attending. Your event promoters will love the help spreading the word about the event and will happily share your content with their own social media audience. It’s a win-win for sponsors and promoters alike.

Part of Sales Process: Awareness / Top of Funnel

Schedule Appointments with Attendees for the Day of the Event

In the lead up to the event, some of your social posts should have “Schedule a Meeting” as a call to action. Review the agenda of the event and schedule virtual Zoom calls with participants before the start of the event, during networking breaks, or even for the day after the event. To encourage attendees to schedule appointments, it’s crucial to be proactive. Some ideas for calls-to-action for scheduling appointments could include:

  • Discounts or free stays at your property
  • Access to a whitepaper your firm has created within your niche (that appeals to attendees)
  • Free use of a service you offer (SEO assessment, branding for prospect’s next event, etc.)
  • Enter to win an item in a giveaway
  • Your organization will make a $10 donation to a specific charity in the attendee’s name (This one needs to get used more — people love it!)

Part of Sales Funnel: Influence / Middle of Funnel

Engage in the Networking Portions

Don’t be shy — be visible in the networking portions of the event! While many sponsors or exhibitors will have a virtual booth, that doesn’t your whole team should be hanging out there. Have some of your reps join other chatrooms, visit other exhibitors to meet attendees, and participate in any event-themed conversations. Just like at in-person events, some of the best relationships come from the serendipitous nature of networking. Virtual events needn’t take that opportunity away.

Part of Sales Process: Awareness / Top of Funnel

Have a Proposal Ready to Go

While this doesn’t work for all sponsors, if you can offer a proposal for a specific service or offer a special rate at your property, consider putting your best foot forward right from the off. Making this offer exclusive to attendees may get you some extra exposure and marketing support from the event promoters. Also, consider making it a limited time offer in order to condense your sales cycle and deliver a measurable ROI on your sponsorship investment within a specific time frame.

Part of Sales Funnel: Buying Decision / Bottom of Funnel

Set Up a Drip Campaign

With the email addresses you’ve collected with your giveaway, whitepapers, and networking skills, set up an email drip campaign. Your sequence should balance calls-to-action by providing helpful resources over the course of weeks and months. The key to drip campaigns is to influence decisions rather than be too salesy. Demonstrate expertise, thought-leadership, and nurture the relationship. A sample drip campaign might look like:

  • Sending a “It was nice to connect with you!” email Day After Event
  • Key Takeaways from the event (link to blog highlighting key takeaway and event high-points) Week After Event
  • A list of resources or tools related to the theme of the event to help attendees learn more or solve problems) Two Weeks After Event
  • Send a link to a blog post that you wrote about a study, lesson, or resources related to the theme of the event One Month After Event

Part of Sales Funnel: Influence / Middle of Funnel

The power to get the most out of your sponsorship dollars is exactly where it should be — the sponsors. The opportunity to build awareness, meet and influence decision-makers, and move your sales needle should be an exciting endeavor. Those with the energy and effort stand to thrive in the virtual landscape!

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