10 tactics you can do now to make money from your online events.
As the COVID19 pandemic tightens her grip on the world,
event planners are turning to online events to continue delivering their
message. Many have made great progress with understanding the opportunities
hosting an event online can provide with a significant reduction in costs being
the obvious one. Some more experienced online event planners have taken it a
step further and are charging for access to their content further increasing
the cost margin. As your audience potential grows exponentially now that time
and distance are redundant, your event with its millions of eyeballs can become
a very attractive sponsorship opportunity to the right brand. Sponsorship can
be an efficient revenue stream to further increase the ROI of your event.
Sponsorship has other benefits too, such as building
positive associations with companies that share your values or purely providing
your audience with the entertainment factor as sponsors get creative with their
valuable placements. We all watch the Superbowl for the ads right?
A key benefit to online sponsorship over traditional
sponsorship like physical banners and event announcements is the opportunity to
demonstrate the benefit to your sponsor via digital data reporting. Other
sponsorship deals also allow you to share the customer data with them such as
registration details for their own marketing purposes. Simply put – the ROI for
digital sponsorship is easy to track and can provide more lucrative
opportunities over traditional sponsorship.
What can you offer a sponsor? Start with looking at your
assets to see what spaces can be utilised. Remember your audience experience is
the most important factor so only if the sponsor fit is natural, don’t try to
cram in sponsor placements as it’ll only detract from their effect and make the
online experience way too salesy if not spammy. A tiered approach can help here
with the most expensive sponsorship options getting the most real estate and
then so on, but remember to limit the number to only a handful at most. The
number will depend on your event – the audience size, type, and duration.
We’ve compiled 10 online sponsorship
tactics that you can use to drive revenue today, plus deliver other positive
outcomes such as engagement, ROI analysis, relationship building and more.
1. Banner ads on your online event site or event app
If you’re streaming your event or offering on-demand it’s a
great opportunity to drive revenue by offering banner ads which link to sponsor
sites. It’s a great way to offer branding opportunities for sponsors as well as
associate your online event with industry associations or businesses associated
with the event content. You can provide your sponsor with helpful ROI metrics
like number of impressions, time spent on page, unique visitors,
click-throughs, audience demographics and more. Your presenters may also like
to utilise this option to promote their business. Other options include
offering sponsorship opportunities to suppliers in exchange for a discount on
There may be multiple opportunities on your event site such
as your registration page. This is great real estate as every attendee needs to
go to this page. Plus, depending on your sponsorship deal you can negotiate to
share the details of your registrants with the sponsor. Remember here you’ll
need to clearly state in your Terms and Conditions how you’ll be using their
data to ensure you’re abiding by privacy laws. The last thing you want to do is
risk a negative experience with your audience for the sake of a sponsor.
Event apps are now common place at live events, and they can
also be a great tool to engage remote attendees. Apps are convenient solutions
for providing instant access to information about events, sessions, presenters
etc., plus sponsorship opportunities such as banner ads, pop-ups, sponsored
messages or logos on different screens.
There may be multiple opportunities for sponsorship and
advertising on your event app. As these apps normally have multiple screens/pages,
there are multiple opportunities for sponsorship. Speak to your event app
provider to explore what sponsorship options you have.
As with banner ads, event planners can demonstrate ROI with
your sponsors by providing analytics as mentioned above.
2. Sponsored video ads
In addition to banner ads, event organisers can offer
sponsors the opportunity to show videos. If relevant, you can show these in
between presentations, before a breakout session or before a session starts
like a YouTube Pre Roll. Again, the ROI can all be demonstrated via analytics.
Videos can be embedded in your event website, on an event app or even within
your event comms such as at the bottom of an eDM.
3. Branding on presentation slides or the
‘skin’ of your live stream
Another option for sponsor branding is to include the
company’s logo as part of the border of your event website’s ‘skin’ – also
known as the template. An example would be to include their logo or message in
the header or footer of the live stream website skin such as “This presentation
is in partnership with Company X”.
4. Sponsored Media Walls as Virtual Background
With all eyes on your video, the background behind your presenters is a simple and
subtle yet highly effective way to integrate sponsorship. Think of it like a
virtual media wall and you can give your sponsors the option to design the
background based on their message such as a repetitive watermarked logo or
something entirely different. If you have multiple speakers you could even
offer different speaker backgrounds to different sponsors based on their
content. Again you could provide the sponsor with the number of viewers,
impressions, time engaged and more as data to measure ROI.
5. Sponsor call outs or segments in your
‘This conference is proudly brought to you by….’.
It’s one of the most obvious sponsor placements and if
included at the beginning of the event video, you can guarantee as least 90% of
attendees will hear it based on average video viewership data. You could couple
the announcement with a logo that appears on screen and a script provided by
the sponsor, similar to a radio read.
If your sponsors wanted to get more creative you could let
them sponsor the networking element, ice breaker or break out session. For
example, Lipton Ice Tea could sponsor the initial ice breaker intro where you
get attendees or speakers to introduce themselves and answer some fun questions
to warm up the crowd. You could get Wriggly gum to sponsor yoga break session -
after you’ve had attendees watching a 2 hour session, they’re sure to get
restless and start to wriggle.
There’s so many possibilities on fun ways to naturally
integrate a sponsor and make it enjoyable for your attendees too.
6. Branded sponsor polls
Similar to the creative sponsor integrations, you can offer branded sponsor polls
throughout your online event. One of Encore’s most popular digital tools is
Event Poll – a live audience polling platform that lets you ask questions and your
attendees respond in real-time using their mobile phone or computer. With over
10 question formats you can use it to stimulate discussion, vote, ideation,
survey, trivia, Q&A and feedback. Whether you integrate the sponsor into the
question, into the question template design or host a sponsored poll the
options are endless. For example, a sponsor could host an online trivia with a
prize as a nice breakout session. You could offer a branded skin for your
event’s Q & A segment so when attendees submit their question, it gets
displayed on screen on the sponsored Q & A.
7. Sponsorship in Email Placements
If you are sending email invitations, event updates or other
communications, you can offer sponsors the opportunity to include their logo or
banner creative in the footer of the email. This would also link through to
their site or a campaign page. You can provide them with data such as recipient
numbers, open rate, click rate and more. Being digital you also have the option
to offer sponsors the ability to test their creative or messaging by sending to
a small segment f the database with the winning creative (base on clicks) sent
to the wider audience. It is more legwork for the event organiser but depending
on the sponsor’s spend it could be a nice value add and incentive to help
improve their ROI.
8. Promotion via event social media
In the lead up to the event, you can offer the opportunity
to promote sponsors via your social channels. Be sure that the posts are
relevant to your audience, for example:
We’re proud to partner with Company X as part of our event.
During our presentations you’ll hear from their CEO on [insert subject]. Then
include a link to their site.
As with social media you can give them the opportunity to
post a video, a link to their site or campaign or static images. Be sure to ask
sponsors to include posts on the event on their socials too to spread the word.
9. Keynote presentations
Sponsorship of your keynote presentations is a great
opportunity as all attendees will be focused on this session. For example
‘This presentation is brought to you by Company X’.
10. Offer sponsored Virtual Event Bags
Not only is this sustainable, a virtual swag bag is
also a great way to surprise and delight attendees whilst giving sponsors great
exposure. You can give your sponsors the opportunity to curate what goes into
attendees' swag bags, be it coupons or vouchers, a free trial for a software,
or an online course. The bag would then be shared directly with your attendees
for them to access via email, social media, or the event app, either before,
during, or following the event.
A virtual swag bag also provides reporting data
such as how many people accessed it and how they interacted with the items in
the bag, which you can share with sponsors and use to help inform what
materials attendees found most valuable.
Digital sponsorships are nothing new, they're just usually
implemented in conjunction with other, physical branding opportunities such as
brochures or giveaways. When planning a fully virtual event, you can focus
solely on the digital part and capitalize on the real estate you do have
Sponsors can also be offered access to your attendees
contact details. Permission is of course vital, so you need to enable attendees
to opt in to receive communications from the sponsor.
Another option is to offer a number of tickets to your event
to sponsors for colleagues to attend.
Consider every touch point of the online event you’re
producing – there will be multiple ways you can add sponsorship opportunities.
Anything that your attendees are looking at or interacting with is an
opportunity to incorporate sponsor.
Encore have helped hundreds of clients pivot and turn their onsite event into successful online experiences. Whether you're organising a company announcement, an ongoing training series, a mutli-day association conference or an interactive webinar, you can count on Encore's in-house team of digital experts to provide you with the right technology to get online. Explore our range of online event solutions today and get in touch to start discussing your options for meeting in 2020.
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