I’m sure it comes as no surprise that over half of businesses planning on investing more in their virtual events in 2021. It’s no secret this new way of meeting is here to stay, and we are here for it! But since virtual events are here to stay, that means that it’s time to take a serious look at your virtual event sponsorship kit and determine its value for your virtual event sponsors. Because at the end of the day, sponsorship revenue is a huge way to ensure your virtual events are a profitable initiative for your business. In fact, stats show that in 2020 the average virtual event sponsorship cost was $8,456. A few of those paired with higher tier options could add up to big bucks pretty quickly for your business.
So, the key to ensuring your virtual event is profitable?
Making sure your sponsors are getting more of what they want, and less of what they don’t want.
After doing hundreds of virtual events in 2020, we’ve got the systems down and we’re ready to share our tips for giving those sponsors exactly what they want. Let’s dive in!
Want: Return on Investment
This one is so important we wrote an entire blog on it, friends. Check it out! Sponsors want a return on their investment. They’re giving you their hard-earned cash in hopes of getting leads, product sales, prospective client connections, C-Suite introductions, thought-leadership influence. Realistically, ROI is different for every business and you need to ensure you understand what your sponsor’s goal is to provide them with a return on investment with their virtual event sponsorship.
Don’t Want: Useless Virtual Event Sponsor “Benefits”
Please, please, please, don’t just come up with sponsor benefits to make sure your sponsorship kit looks “full” of value. Every single item in that pretty little guide needs to be tied to a real benefit for your sponsors. Let’s be honest, no one is going to make boatloads of money off their logo buried in a marketing email only 1/3 of your attendees will open at best. Just keeping it real. Is it a bad thing to offer? No. But make sure you’re giving them more to make up and help make them real dollars and connections.
More and more sponsors are straying away from boring old sponsorship benefits and looking for more creative sponsorship options, especially when it comes to virtual events! They want to be able to pick and choose, a la carte-style, what they think will work best for their business and give them the most ROI.
Don’t Want: You to Decide Their Benefits for Them
Just like you know your business best, your sponsors know their business best. It’s fine to provide suggestions, but really listen to WHY they’re sponsoring your event. Don’t assume you know without listening first. Then, give them their options, how they will contribute to the goals of the sponsor’s organization, and let them customize.
One goal for many sponsors is to increase brand awareness and get their name out there. The best way to do this? Exclusive sponsor opportunities. A single sponsor for a big-ticket feature of your event. Whether it’s a session or happy hour, a C-Suite networking event, a VIP virtual microevent, the list goes on. They want to be the only sponsor in the room with more opportunities to make genuine connections to grow their business.
Don’t Want: To Be Contacted About Every Event
Businesses want to know that you’re really thinking through your event strategy. Part of that is making sure you have the right sponsors at the table, not all the sponsors you can get. They need to know that their vision and mission align with your event and that is why you’re asking. Don’t make them feel like just a box to check off on your list.
Virtual Event Sponsorship is Not a Fundraiser
Technically, yes, your virtual event sponsors are raising money for your organization and their event. But unless you’re a nonprofit hosting a fundraiser or conference supporting your cause, sponsorship is not a fundraiser. Sponsors are looking for concrete advertising value and benefit they’ll receive from handing over their money to sponsor your event. They’re not doing you a service by giving you money, they want results. Plus, typically ad budgets are bigger than philanthropic budgets, too, which doesn’t hurt. So, show that value, friends. If you need help crafting a virtual event to impress your sponsors, the Eventistry by Alecia team is ready to help.