We’ve all have the back and forth struggle of the value of virtual events for our industry. Some say it’s the future. Some say it’s a stop gap. Regardless, virtual events are here to stay. With that, it stands to reason in order for virtual events to be a game changer for us, our sponsors and exhibitors will need to see the value. How do we deliver value to our sponsors?

Before I dive into the 3 reasons, you should take a look at an incredible post by Kevin Gough of snöball. He delves into the 5 Reasons Why Your Virtual Event Can be Powerful for Sponsors. A well written master piece that should be in the front and center of all event professionals minds.

1. Measureable Data and ROI

Why oh why does everyone talk about data and ROI? Simple. Data and ROI are the present and future of all measurable aspects of why we spend money to gain money. If we are spending more as a business, than it seems to reason we should be gaining more from that spend. If not, it’s of no value.

That is the direct approach of ROI. However, data can tell us so much than revenue attribution from a sponsorship. The good ol’ days we cared more about brand awareness and brand image. Nowadays it’s all about the benjamins. In our world of proper image and and branding, impressions are playing a larger role. No longer are clicks the only metric of value.

How so? Not to get political, but take diversity as an example. A company wants to promote how they are inclusive and diverse, the more impressions the better. Reason being, the more eye balls on their ad, their message, the better image presented for them.

It’s a psychological fact, we remember images for what we want to see them as. AKA we remember what we want our reality to be. Therefore, presenting the image multiple times will help set the realities straight.

So, when you are speaking with your sponsors, get down to the true goals they want to accomplish. Of course the standard is all about making revenue, but the CMOs and the rest of the C-suites do have other goals they need accomplished that their other digital assets are being used for. Why not tie it all together for your event sponsorship.

How to accomplish measurable data and ROI?

Ads, ads, and more ads. Digital ads can be static, gifs, videos, and even as simple as a logo. What you do with these ads is what truly matters. Placing them correctly on your site or virtual platform is the key to delivering the correct value to your sponsors. Are they keen to get in front of a particular group? Place the ad where you know those attendees will be gathering…for example a session or community area.

2. More Attendees

Oops…I said it. Almost every virtual event I have seen or taken part in to date, has crushed their attendee goal. If you market your virtual event correctly, you should be seeing a massive increase in registered attendees.

With such a massive increase in your sponsor’s target audience, you are now putting them front and center to present their message. This is a huge opportunity for you as a show organizer to pat yourselves on your backs and say, “that’s right, we are the authority on value for your target audience. We can help you get in front of them and stay top of mind.”

“That’s cool Show Organizer, but your event is ONLY 3 days long, how are you possibly going to get my target audience to keep me and my brand top of mind.”

Why, re-targeting, silly. We can re-target your ad from our site where all of your audience goes for valuable content. BINGO. Now the sponsor says, wow! That’s what we do for our other digital marketing efforts. This make more sense that random ads.

You see what happened there? You are harnessing the extreme value you hold with their target audience and delivering them measurable ROI.

How do I get more attendees?

The easiest way is by marketing correctly. The next easiest way is to harness your power. What I mean by that is to harness your members and attendees to market for you. These days they call it influencer marketing or brand ambassador marketing. Essentially you are putting your brand, and maybe a sponsors brand, in front of your audience and having them easily share through email and social media. This is so powerful that snoball, the event influencer marketing platform, was able to help GMID go from 2,000 registered attendees to 15,000 registered attendees in only 3 weeks.

3. Longer Events

It’s funny really. Event professionals have been trying to extend the life of their events for decades. With us being thrown in the virtual event world, we have the opportunity to create massive events.

We are no longer bound by space and time…well maybe time but you get my point.

Your event does’t have to live only for 3 days or 5 days. It can be a month long, it can be 365, it can be whatever you are capable of handling.

This is hugely valuable to your sponsors and opens up a whole new world of sponsorship opportunities. For millennia we have been saying we need to stop with the status quo and same offerings for sponsors. Now, more than ever, is our chance to do so.

How do you extend the life of your event?

With the proper strategy of marketing and sales as well as technology, you can deliver your event in whichever shape or form you desire. It’s all a matter of mindset and your ultimate endgame which is a continuous circle of value produced and given to your audience and members.

Yes, I want live events to come back but that does’t mean you can create excitement and tease your audience through a virtual setting all leading up to your event. Don’t stop there! The event isn’t the end game. Its a continuous community for you to deliver valuable content to your audience and members and of course in return delivering massive ROI for your sponsors.

The End

Or rather the beginning to a whole new world for our event industry. I for one am extremely excited to see what unfolds. Although we were thrown into this without choice, we as an industry have embraced virtual events and the value they produce. It will be very interesting to see how we combine virtual and live in the near future. Hopefully we don’t go back to status quo.