As Chicagoland associations face the challenges of revenue declines from member dues, conference registrations, and expo fees .... one unexpected solution is revenue growth from sponsors at virtual events, according to a recently-released white paper.
The New Sponsorship Model for Virtual Events provides a playbook for generating sponsor value through virtual conferences. We combined our expertise in sponsorship development and digital transformation to develop a new event sponsorship approach for this pandemic-changed business environment.
Virtual Events are Different Than In-Person Events – in a Good Way
For decades, conference sponsorships have featured traditional – and transactional – benefits such as logo placements, brochure advertisements, complimentary tickets, and exhibit space. Sponsors have told us “recognition [at conferences] is probably the least important driver of sponsorship value” and “[as a sponsor] I want more value than a bigger booth.”
If that’s what companies thought about sponsorship benefits at in-person events, the problem escalated this year when association event planners rushed to create virtual events and moved those same recognition-related benefits to the virtual space.
But virtual events are completely different from in-person events, and the value that associations can offer is much greater. Associations that rely on sponsorship revenue can create new benefits with the potential to generate more sponsor interest and sponsorship sales than past in-person events, even during the pandemic.
Virtual Events Create New Sponsor Benefit Opportunities
The white paper describes the seven key objectives of many sponsors, and how virtual association conference can deliver on these objectives:
- Grow awareness
- Position as a thought leader
- Connect with a segment
- Differentiate perception
- Generate sales leads
- Demonstrate social accountability
- Sell product or service
“There are numerous opportunities for sponsorships in virtual event platforms that are deeper and more meaningful to companies than previously available at in-person events,” concludes the white paper. “The result can be win-win-win opportunities for associations, attendees, and sponsors.
More Details and Sample Prospectus in White Paper
The New Sponsorship Model for Virtual Events provides more insights on virtual event sponsorship opportunities and a sample virtual event sponsor prospectus. The document is available for free download.
Bruce Rosenthal, Principal with Bruce Rosenthal Associates helps associations increase revenue and member value from their sponsorship programs. He is Co-Convener of the Partnership Professionals Network.
Chris Gloede, Chief Consultant with Ricochet transforms the membership and marketing functions at associations through digital innovation.