Partners and sponsors who invest in your event expect a tangible value in return.
The perception of value is rarely the same for an online event as for an in-person event. A digital event may indeed give partners the impression that they will get much less in return but in reality, it’s quite the opposite as virtual events can be an excellent opportunity in bringing real value to partners!
In this article, we show you how event organizers can convince partners to sponsor digital events and guarantee their satisfaction.
Why do brands invest as event sponsors ?
In order to promote your online events to your partners and sponsors, you need to start by understanding the goals they have in becoming partners.
The 4 main reasons for a brand to sponsor an event are:
- Gain awareness
- Generate commercial leads
- Reinforce their thought leadership
- Maintain customer relationshiips
Even if these objectives are normally carried out with face to face events, doing them through the digital format can bring out interesting aspects.
The specificities of digital events to promote partners
1) Awareness: make your partners visible at every stage of the event
Digital events offer many opportunities in terms of getting visibility to your partners:
- In your email communication to registrants, you can feature logos or introductory texts of partner brands.
- A partner can sponsor a session or a thematic course.
- Each partner has a dedicated page on the event website, like a virtual booth where they can showcase their content and present their product or service offers.
- You can offer advertising banners on the event website
- You can post sponsored videos or messages at the beginning of the sessions, or between two video sessions.
- Partners can host their own dedicated table in the online networking space where participants can freely join.
2) Commercial lead generation : more specific data, and digitally adapted ways of meeting
Partners can generate sales leads in several ways at a digital event:
- Following the sessions they present
- Following business meetings they have with participants
- Following contact or information requesets done live from the chat
Even though there’s no physical meeting, these opportunities are just as real than during face-to-face events!
To convince your potential partners of this, here are several ideas you can put forward:
- Online, the data collected is more thorough. For example, you can track the time spent on a session, the questions asked, etc.
- Online, the sales cycle can be spread out over a longer period. The contact with the audience does not stop at the end of the event, since the site remains online, and the replays can be consulted afterwards. Lead generation can therefore continue for longer.
- The format of business meetings through appointments are digitally adapted, thanks to videoconferencing.
- In addition, you give your partners every chance to succeed in their business meetings by adjusting to the behavior of participants in this format.
3) Thought leadership : opportunities to host sessions
When it comes to demonstrating thought leadership, or expertise and vision in one’s field, digital events bring the same value to brands as physical events.
Hosting a session or participating in a roundtable discussion online allows partners to demonstrate their expertise just as well as if the session had taken place in person.
However, digital has an added benefit : once the session has been recorded and broadcast either live or simulive, it is available as a resource for the partner who can reuse this expert content later on their own site, in other replay resources, etc.
4) Customer relationship : let your partners invite customers and offer them optimized spaces to meet and discuss
One of the reasons for a brand to partner with an event can be to use this opportunity to build a closer relationship with their customers.
Digital events also offer this possibility. If partners can’t interact with customers in person over appetizers, they can still:
- Invite customers to the event, or offer promotional vouchers to get a ticket
- Host a networking table in a more relaxed atmosphere than a formal presentation or business meeting
Be specific in defining and describing sponsorship package options
As with an in-person event, the value of the packages depends on the level of compensation you offer to your partners in return.
When defining the different levels of partnership (Platinum, Gold, or Silver for example), it is essential to specifically describe the benefits included.
This will help your partners to fully appreciate the value of sponsoring your 100% digital event, making their investment decision easier.
« Our clients have often told us that their partners, who are used to paying a certain price for a face-to-face sponsorship package, are reluctant to invest a similar amount for the 100% digital version of the event.
However, we have seen that with careful consideration on the design of the partner packages and with solid onboarding of partners, it is possible to value the sponsoring packages at the same value as in person. And, most importantly, this ensures a high level of partner satisfaction at the end of the event. »
François Floribert, inwink CEO