It seems like a lifetime ago that meetings were live and in-person and sponsorship opportunities were also in-person. The deliverables were heavy on networking and access to prospects – we were almost guaranteeing our sponsors that they could meet who they needed to in a meeting, on the tradeshow floor, etc. In some cases, we even provided personal introductions for high-dollar sponsors and VIP members. An add-on sponsorship option, usually never really given much value, were the digital options. This included signage on the website, meeting app, or some sort of digital listing.
Now, with live meetings on hold, we are leaning on those digital offerings more than ever. The side-dish of sponsorships is now the main course. Without handshaking and card-swapping, how do we guarantee that prospects are seeing sponsors’ logos and information? The same way we always did but never heavily utilized – data metrics.
I am currently recommending to my sponsorship clients that they prepare by collecting digital impressions across the board for their upcoming sponsorships. Sharing information and providing education in these new conference formats is easy, however, the challenge is developing personal connections in Zoom rooms and other virtual meeting platforms. Every day, companies and associations are finding new ways to do it – and that’s great – but if we don’t have the same type of engagement as we would in a live format, we need to be able to support the effectiveness of the sponsor’s investment with hard data.
Ideas for this include:
- Website visits
- Event marketing email opens, % rate
- Click thru rate on company listings
- Meeting app engagement
- Metrics related to meeting platform usage
There are companies that provide deep analytics beyond what is listed above, such as Feathr, Hookit, and KORE. However, even an inhouse IT or communications team can help track basic analytics related to your events. The important part is packaging any results and sharing a post-event summary with your sponsors. That touchpoint after the virtual conference, with that data, will leave sponsors with a positive impression and more likely to return to the next event – be it in-person, or virtual.
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