5 Marketing Tips to Get Sponsors for Your Online Event
- Design a virtual exhibition page. Give attendees and sponsors access to a virtual sponsor page so they can engage before, during and after the event. Use it to incentivize sponsors, tell your story, and show them what you’re all about. Think about adding bonuses too – like offering a live Q + A session via Zoom or call in-hours to ‘Ask Me Anything.’ Attendees can ask questions directly to sponsors, and they’ll love the special attention and extra face-to-face time.
- Create a digital event bag. The world is in love with swag and freebies! You can’t necessarily give away highlighters or neon pencils at the virtual event, but you can give away discounts on products or online training sessions. This also works to build email subscribers, too. Take advantage of your sponsor’s creative team which may be more extensive (and available) than yours, and develop creative codes, coupons and offers to connect with your audience. There’s also real swag you can send as a follow up and thank you. (Check out my go-to-pro, Rachel Leone, Queen of Promo Products).
- Extend engagement beyond the event. Don’t forget about your website in the marketing mix. Your website, aka your own media channel, can serve as sponsor central headquarters. Ask sponsors to create short videos about their business (remember videos under two-minutes are trending) and offer links and a call-to-action for more information. Take advantage too, of Happy Hours, live performances and networking. Just because social events have changed, doesn’t mean they have to disappear. Use your imagination to connect sponsors with your event and have some fun.
- Give sponsors a bigger bang for their buck. Sure, you’re promoting event sponsors on your website, registration, and with virtual tickets. Why not add email as a direct marketing tool to get straight to the in-box? Sending a series of sponsor emails with links to your virtual booth, designated expert sessions, hot seats, and again, those Happy Hours and social networking opportunities. Ask sponsors to promote this as well on social media and ask them to share the love by sharing the posts to reach an even wider audience. Combined marketing delivers best results.
- Consider multiple sponsorship options. If you think online events are limiting, change the way you think and make them opportunities to engage even more with your target audience. You can make money multiple ways with a la carte virtual sponsorship packages, that are customized by your prospects. Let businesses come up with their own ideas of what works for them, considering their budget and goals. You don’t have to totally agree, but it’s a starting point, a point of engagement.
Isn’t connecting what it’s all about?
PS: You may want to read this article, 7 Questions to Ask a Sponsor Before Your Event (Not After), before you reach out. Although it’s from my blog archives, the info still holds true. Let me know what you think!