Amongst the many challenges faced by organizers is that of driving value for event sponsors.
Every organizer knows that sponsorship is critical to a successful event - not only in terms of financial backing but also because of positive publicity, increased brand awareness, reach, and prestige that it powers. So, after bringing a sponsor on board, it’s extremely important to be able to give that sponsor the ROI that you’ve promised them - or else you risk losing them for future events.
But the growing popularity of hybrid events and the fact that 86% of B2B companies see an increased ROI of their hybrid events within 7 months of conducting it—presents a great solution to tackle this challenge.
Gone are the days when you would slap sponsor logos on merchandise. Thanks to the virtual and in-person components of hybrid events, organizers have more and better opportunities to drive both brand awareness for sponsors and lead generation as well.
Here’s how to go about driving value for sponsors at your next hybrid event:
Mike Butcher, the Editor-At-Large at TechCrunch, explains how sponsors’ expectations have changed over the years while reiterating the importance of understanding them from the beginning, stating "A lot of these sponsors don’t just want to have a sponsor sticker slapped onto an event. They want to do something that has a real conversational element to it.”
So discussing your sponsors’ objectives from a hybrid event at the outset will allow you to produce tailor-made sponsorship opportunities and results. Keep in mind that an essential part of managing sponsor expectations is clarifying what you can and cannot do with this event.
For instance, sponsors could be seeking a high level of interaction with the target audience but may be unsure of what results could be achieved through a hybrid event. Accordingly, you can share engagement metrics from previous virtual or hybrid events you’ve hosted as well as touchpoints you’ve planned for the upcoming event with them. This can help you and your sponsors agree on a goal that you are both comfortable with.
Whilst you are having these important discussions with your sponsors, you will also need to be scouting and evaluating virtual event platforms that can help you drive the results you desire ie. happy attendees and happy sponsors. What are the basics that your virtual event platform will need to have?
An exhibit booth is perhaps the oldest strategy for driving value for sponsors at an event - and that holds true today. By enabling sponsors to set up booths at both the physical and virtual venues, you double the exposure they receive.
Each booth acts as a hub for sharing branded content, marketing collateral, and downloadable assets. And as each booth can be staffed by a company representative, sponsors can offer product demos and hold private conversations directly with attendees.
Importantly, each virtual booth comes with a ‘Register Interest’ button for attendees to express their intention. This is a simple but powerful way for Sponsors to collect leads.
Plan in activities and touchpoints that drive visibility and awareness for event sponsors. Here are a couple of ideas:
Protip: Gamification is your best friend here as it can nudge attendees into completing actions that can drive value for them and your sponsors.
So far, we’ve focused on creating value for your sponsors during the event. But what happens once the event is over? Post-event insights are crucial to retaining sponsors for the long run as it can help aid strategy, product development, decision-making, and budget allocation. To this end, event organizers can share attendee data, survey and poll results, and insights from other activities to reveal what resonated the most with the sponsors’ target audience.
Here are some crucial metrics you can share with your sponsors:
The key to attracting more sponsors lies in creating value for them by building brand awareness and accelerating lead generation. Their primary interest lies in accessing your audience base, establishing their domain expertise, and capturing qualified leads.
Hybrid events give you ample opportunity to deliver these demands. Start by recognizing your sponsors’ needs, and then using the unique benefits of a hybrid event to meet them. All it takes is a little creativity, a little thoughtfulness, and a powerful virtual hosting platform like Zuddl to pull it off.
Be the first to know about the latest virtual and hybrid event strategies, interviews with industry leaders, and more, delivered right to your inbox.