Association Connect

Expand Your Virtual Event Revenue—Before and After the Event

By Craig Lauer | August 25, 2020

Did you know that some of the most valuable sponsorship opportunities are before your virtual event even starts and after it ends? With this in mind, we’ve put together this list of potential virtual sponsorships to help you expand the monetization of your online event before or after it occurs. Some of these opportunities include traditional digital sponsorships that you may have already used in your live events (like gamification and social media), while others get a bit more creative.

PRIOR TO THE VIRTUAL EVENT

Don’t miss the opportunity to expand your virtual event revenue before the event starts. 

  • Offer newsletter sponsorship promotion. You can easily include this within confirmation, reminder, and post-event emails.
  • Sell ads. Pre-show promotions and exhibitor guides are great advertising platforms.
  • Promote sponsors on social media. If you have a presenting sponsor, get the word out by including them in all of your digital marketing efforts, including in your social media posts. You can even allow sponsors to engage with attendees prior to the event to start building connections.
  • Include digital ads on registration pages. Just as you would for an in-person event, you’ll likely have a registration page or website that offers prime real estate for sponsorship. Just be sure to make it clear that they are sponsoring the event so people don’t get confused about who the organizers are.
  • Offer home delivery giveaways. You might think that virtual events exclusively present digital sponsorship options, but organizations should look for ways to deliver unexpected value. If you do want to include giveaways, you have the option of sending sponsored giveaway items directly to your attendees either before or after the event. This tactic will help attendees remember their experience and increase the likelihood that they will attend future events.
  • Provide a digital event bag. Curate all of your sponsorship content and important event links within one “know-before-you-go” correspondence. You can provide your sponsors with information about the number of attendees who clicked on their materials and how they interacted with their content. These metrics will prove to sponsors that their participation was effective and will encourage them to sponsor future events.
  • Enable sponsored registrations. The sponsor’s contribution can be used to pay for registration of non-members. This is a win-win for both the sponsor and association. This free trial can entice non-members to become members, as well as increase attendance at the virtual event (while the sponsor is viewed as providing goodwill within the industry). 

As you plan your virtual event, make sure you are taking advantage of any advertising opportunities that may otherwise be missed and think of ways you can entice sponsors and attendees to engage in future events.

AFTER THE VIRTUAL EVENT

There are also numerous revenue opportunities after your event.

  • Provide sponsors with access to leads. Ultimately, sponsors participate in virtual events to connect with prospects. Providing access to leads and other registrant data is critical to a valuable sponsor package and will make them more likely to offer future sponsorships. 
  • Create an attendee survey. And include a sponsor logo and promotion in the survey to reinforce that branding.
  • Host VIP pre- or post-event gatherings. Consider having a sponsor organize a VIP session or small event after your main event, the same way you would for a physical event. Whether it’s a special happy hour networking opportunity, an exclusive meeting, or an activity that only VIP ticket holders will be able to access, these post-event sessions can strengthen the connections that were made at your event—ultimately increasing the overall event value for attendees and sponsors, so they’ll be more likely to participate in future events.
  • Promote sponsors in your event recordings. After your event is available on-demand, include short “bumper videos,” promoting your sponsors ahead of the content. 
  • Partner with sponsors for corporate social responsibility initiatives. There’s no better time to use cause marketing to partner with a sponsor and create a message that resonates with your audience. 

Whether it’s finding ways to increase the value of your event for attendees and sponsors after the event has ended, or identifying even more advertising opportunities, make sure you’re not overlooking post-event revenue generators.

Want to hear even more ideas for expanding virtual event revenue? Get in touch. While your event experience for attendees and exhibitors is crucial, don’t forget about all the opportunities before and after your event to maximize your ROI!

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