Just as knowing which professional speakers to use for virtual keynotes is essential to success, knowing the best strategies for recruiting sponsorships will be paramount to your ability to meet your revenue goals. Here are four tried and true tips to help you create innovative and valuable virtual sponsorship packages.
Know Your Sponsors and Target Audiences
Corporate sponsors have specific and varying needs when it comes to sponsoring events, and that information is crucial when developing a virtual event sponsorship strategy or revising your pre-COVID-19 strategy. Here are a few strategies to consider:
Leverage Past Sponsor Relationships.
When creating your virtual sponsorships, working with your loyal sponsors will be key to shaping your packages. Have a conversation with your past sponsors at different monetary levels to get a feel for what they need and want in their sponsorships. Not only will you get great insights on how to develop your tiered virtual sponsorship structure, you are also showing that your organization values their input and support. Building a strong rapport will also come in handy when upgrading them to higher sponsorship levels.
Research Potential New Sponsors.
Corporate sponsors have goals and social responsibility programs that they need to consider when sponsoring an event. The key is to find those sponsors and properly verbalize that your event will help them reach their goals.
You can start researching companies that have a strong presence within your industry, plus similar events or organizations that closely match yours for ideas. Work with your colleagues, board and committee members to leverage personal relationships for introductions.
Another strategy to consider is looking for sponsors who may not be in your industry, but their target market matches your attendees. Sponsorship marketing expert Meg Fasy of FazeFWD provided a great example of this in a PCMA webinar. She explained that Drybar sponsored an event because their target market matched the event’s attendees, which in this case were mostly millennial and Gen X women. Properly articulating who your attendees are and how the event aligns with a potential sponsor’s target market is crucial to this strategy.
Create Unique Virtual Sponsorship Opportunities.
Be creative with your sponsors and design unique opportunities that either match their past monetary level or increases their level of support to create memorable virtual experiences. Try some of these to add a fun and interactive element to your virtual conference:
Know Your Event Goals
Developing S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) event goals will help you design a strong and effective sponsorship strategy for a virtual platform. Once you have established goals, you can then figure out how sponsorships can help you achieve those goals.
If you have net revenue goals, you can create a strategy to reach and exceed them. Using insights from your conversations with loyal sponsors, you can create tiered sponsorship level packages at a variety of price points. Betty Vrcek, former Community
Development Specialist for University Hospitals has raised more than $2.1M in event sponsorships. She provided the following example of how you can map out your sponsorship strategy:
“Using a chart to create a road map on how you can reach your revenue goals will help you create strategies and track your progress as you are soliciting for sponsorships,” says Vrcek. “Your chart should be a living, breathing document to allow you to adjust your strategies as you get closer to your event.”
Know Your Virtual Platform
Knowing what is important to your sponsors will not only help you develop attractive sponsorships, but can also help you evaluate and choose the right platform for your event.
Virtual platforms vary drastically with the features they offer (or don’t offer), such as:
Some platforms were designed with strong sponsorship recognition at the forefront, while others were built for heightened attendee experience. Knowing what your sponsors want and the capabilities of your chosen virtual platform will help you develop the most attractive sponsorship packages.
For more information on virtual platforms, take a look at our recent blog post, “The 10 Best Virtual Event Platforms for 2020 According to Hundreds of Event Planners.”
Know Your Pricing
Pricing your virtual event sponsorship packages can be more difficult than in-person event packages because you are essentially moving from “tangible” to “intangible.” There are several factors you should consider when pricing your sponsorship packages.
In a recent ASAE article, Natalie Zundel states “We are all way-finders now. There are no handy roadmaps, instructions, or how-tos for handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Association fundraisers will have to break new ground to prove successful.”
The Bottom Line
Not every sponsor is virtual sponsorship candidate.
The best keynote speakers take the time to know their audiences, and the same is true for your success in aligning virtual sponsorship partners.
Companies who haven’t had the budget for live events are now seeing virtual events as a new opportunity to partner with organizations and increase brand awareness.
How To Get Professional Speakers For Your Virtual Conference
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