SPONSORSHIP OF YOUR VIRTUAL EVENTS

A blog written by iSi LIVE to provide you some valuable insight into what it is that we do and what we take pride in. This is from us, to you, in an effort to inspire a better webcasting future.

By iSi LIVE

SPONSORSHIP OF YOUR VIRTUAL EVENTS

ISI Live provides many organizations with webcasting support of their events, AGMs, Conferences, etc.  In our experience, many of these events have a list of long-time sponsors which are recognized in many different ways, but what rarely ever happens is that these sponsorship opportunities are extended to the webcast of the event itself.  Live streaming your event has always extended your reach and is a great compliment to an in-person event.  You have a captivated audience on a webpage for long periods of time and by creating a highly dynamic webpage and using several tools of engagement (polling, quizzes, slides, bios, downloadable content, questions, etc.), you can keep viewer’s attention in a real and meaningful way.

Pre-COVID, we’ve all attended these types of in person events. Sponsors are given print recognition in handouts, maybe mentioned for fronting the bill for a coffee break, a big tradeshow booth and if you really shell out the coin, a 5 min on-stage speaking engagement.  As an attendee, you are grateful for these sponsors.  You get to window shop on behalf of your organization in between sessions and maybe even enjoy some fresh cut fruit, croissants and some bulk brewed coffee.   These sponsors also offset the cost of attending so you can connect with your peers and enjoy a nice conference.  You may even get a few pens or stress relief balls to bring home and leave in a drawer for eternity.

In light of COVID-19, showcasing sponsors via virtual events is front and centre. Some of these events were already taking a hybrid in-person/ virtual approach.  Now the approach is exclusively virtual and the adoption of this strategy is not going away.

As an organizer, sponsorship is imperative to offset the great costs it takes to plan and execute one of these events and you are grateful for sponsor generosity.  Without it, any membership fees and cost of attendee admittance wouldn’t scratch the surface of the overall costs of putting on these events, so you definitely want to give them the most bang for their sponsorship buck.

IDEAS FOR WEBCAST SPONSORSHIP

The real estate of the webcast page itself provides opportunities for a sponsor to be showcased.  This is undervalued but highly effective and by extending the sponsorship opportunities.   Leverage the website and individual pages for the live and archived event to continue to provide engaging ways for the audience to interact with the content.  The obvious and conventional approach has been a “Sponsor” section – maybe a larger and more desired placement of banners and logos but really how much value you are extending to your sponsors? Provided below are a few ideas on how you can better showcase your sponsors and drive up the value you can bring when webcasting your event:

Free StuffEveryone loves free stuff!  Provide downloadable coupons, free trials, give-aways, etc.

Calls to Action – Give you sponsors real world leads by creating calls to action for your viewers such as sign ups for a newsletter/mailing list, direct links to sponsor website, info on products, request a meeting/call, get a quote.

Commercials – Take a conventional broadcasting approach and offer the playback of commercials either in between sessions, during breaks or even automated pre-roll before a viewer’s video starts

Speaking EngagementsThis is a common approach taken for in-person events but extend that to the webcast as well. Use pre-recorded video that can be played back or even create a virtual tradeshow area where each sponsor can pre-record their elevator pitch

Sponsor Shout out –   This would normally be done for in-person events but it only makes sense to extend to the webcast audience.  Use breaks between sessions to highlight all the organizations helping to make your event possible

Graphic Overlays/Lower Thirds – Use the lower third graphics area to showcase a sponsor.  Every time a new speaker is shown on camera – so will your sponsor’s brand

Polls, Quizzes, QA, Slides, etc. – Polls ”brought to you by Company X” is another great way to highlight a sponsor’s brand.  Leverage all the engagement tools you plan on using and folding them into a sponsorship package

Sponsored SessionsProvide sponsor recognition of the webcast itself – by day or session or the entire conference

SUMMARY

When webcasting your event, you have a captivated audience which provides many opportunities in camera or on the webpage itself to draw the viewers’ attention. Utilizing a live stream for an in person or virtual event you can lean into some of these rarely used strategies and create compelling sponsorship packages.  Heck – the sponsors may come up with their own suggestions as to how they would like to be presented to an audience and webcasting your event gives you a lot flexibility to accommodate.  Use any or all of these sponsorship ideas to monetize and create a new revenue stream for your virtual events!

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