Monetizing Events, Part 2: Sponsorship Revenues
In Part 1 of this series, we highlighted five ways an event host can drive revenue opportunities through the sponsorship of virtual events and how more sponsorship opportunities are possible in virtual events than with physical events. Today, we’re offering six additional ideas for generating sponsorship revenue:
Booth levels and sizes, whether in physical events or virtual, have been a traditional way to distinguish between levels of event sponsorship. The exciting part about virtual events is that for many smaller sponsors, the virtual sponsorship can “level the playing field” in some ways, as no longer is that 10 x 10 booth located in the back corner of the exhibit hall, where few attendees reach or circle back to for a second or third pass. 6Connex offers many ways to distinguish between sponsorship levels:
- Booth templates can reflect sponsorship levels, offering more signage and more opportunities to present content to attendees.
- Broadcast messaging can be offered only at certain sponsorship levels.
- Videos and webcasts can also be offered at only certain sponsorship levels.
- You can limit the number of staffers or of content items allowed in virtual booths.
- Just as one might drop a business card into a fishbowl at a physical booth, a virtual booth can have a “virtual fishbowl” that lets attendees enter to win prizes.
Presentations and Videos
Offering content opportunities as part of a broader sponsorship package is another way to drive revenues or encourage your sponsors to sign up for the next-level sponsorship package. You can present this type of content via designated theaters or other spaces, including from within booths. Note that these sessions do not have to compete with your event theater sessions or webcasts; you can offer them at times you’re not offering other programming. You can do this as an extension of your event, as an option during your designated exhibit hall time, or after the fact in on demand. You can also dedicate rooms to product videos, highlighting a select group of sponsored material that attendees can watch at their leisure.
This is a robust feature offered only by 6Connex with many options that can easily be monetized. Clickable signs in a booth or room can be used for a wide range of purposes, including
- An immediate notification to the contact person in the booth (or in any room on the 6Connex platform), whether during live event days or by email during on-demand days
- A form for attendees to indicate their area of interest so that the right team can follow up, driving better qualified leads with actionable buying signals to sponsors
- Chat-queue is a feature that allows attendees to indicate they would like to speak with someone “now” from the sponsor’s staff. Rather than initiating a direct chat or posting in a group networking panel in the booth, the 6connex queue functionality is like taking a number at the deli counter at the food store. It allows attendees to simply make a request, and then booth staffers can see who has requested to speak with them and the right booth staffer can connect with the attendee in real time.
- This feature also offers the ability to promote physical events at which the sponsor will have a booth. This lets attendees who might also be going to that future show sign up for an appointment to meet with that sponsor or vendor, and speak with experts, or even see a demo! (Now, that’s a solid lead.)
Game Mechanics and Activities (e.g., Treasure Hunt, 5K)
In a virtual event, there are many options for interactive elements. You might offer attendees the opportunity to earn points, which they can use to win either recognition or prizes. Prizes can be as simple as branded swag or more coveted items like electronics, rounds of golf, or dinners with CEOs. You can reward not only interaction with content but also actions that support various organizational efforts. Some ideas tied to monetization include:
- Offer sole sponsorship of the event Leaderboard for added brand recognition
- If the event includes prize giveaways, allow any sponsor to include branded swag as a prize
- Offer giveaways in your prize center as part of premium packaging only, extending brand recognition for the sponsor outside of the event
- Include hidden elements in the event for attendees to find and win points when they click on them. (For example, LabRoots had hidden mice, and Hootsuite had hidden owls.)
- Save time in the agenda for attendees to go out and run that 5K, so physical activities they enjoyed when attending your in-person events are still available to them in the virtual environment. 6Connex offers forms to support this kind of initiative.
With a virtual event, sponsorship levels can also include a number of promised leads. For example, premium sponsors are guaranteed 500, 250, or 100 leads from the event. These leads are typically attendees who have visited the sponsor’s booth, attended a sponsored chat, or viewed sponsor content from any location within the event. But what happens when those numbers fall short at the end of the event when statistics are reviewed?
Event hosts can ask sponsors what attributes they value most in leads. Each sponsor might answer that question differently, so it’s a good idea to offer a few suggestions, such as where the attendee is located (perhaps it’s a state or country), their job title, industry, or whether that attendee viewed the keynote address, for example. 6Connex’s robust reporting drills down to many attendee factors, allowing the hosts to create lists of attendees who have exhibited certain behaviors in the event or who provided certain answers on their registration form with specific answers. These lists can then be compared to attendees who visited a sponsor booth, deduped, and provided to sponsors to complete the promised lead numbers.
While a physical event is broken down once the show dates pass, an on-demand period, which might last from a few weeks to up to a year, can follow the live days of a virtual event. Use this time to showcase additional sponsors through messaging, continued marketing, and even new webcasts hosted by these sponsors, which also add value for attendees and can drive new registrations, resulting in new sponsor leads.
Look for Part 3 of this blog series, in which the focus will be on revenues driven through attendees.