When it comes to designing a sponsorship package for your virtual event where do you even start?
Perhaps you’re so used to running physical events where the opportunities are more obvious. For instance, sponsors could give away promotional merchandise such as branded pens or lanyards, or they could host an award ceremony or seminar.
Now you might be wondering how you can provide sponsors with the same opportunities when moving into the online space. But, fear not, the options are endless. It’s time for you to get creative and push the boundaries of what you think is possible!
The most important thing is to ensure that you demonstrate the return on investment that sponsors will enjoy when they partner with their hard-earned cash. Essentially, you need to give them a reason to sponsor your event in the first place as they need to see the value in it.
Otherwise, what’s in it for them?
There are lots of other virtual events that they could sponsor instead, so structuring your sponsorship package in the right way, and communicating the benefits to your sponsor, is vital to getting them on board.
In this post, we’ll guide you through the process. from explaining exactly what an event sponsorship package is to the different types of sponsorship packages available, to how you should pitch to potential sponsors. Yes, that’s right, we’ve got all bases covered!
Let’s dive in.
What Is an Event Sponsorship Package?
Your event sponsorship package is basically your pitch to sponsors about why they should choose you. It tells them everything they need to know about the event, and most importantly, what they can get out of it.
After all, your sponsor is helping to fund your virtual event, so they are going to want some sort of benefit in exchange.
This might be increased brand exposure, an extended audience reach, or the opportunity to sell more of their products. Whatever the reason, it has to be something that will appeal to their interests.
When done right, an event sponsorship package is a mutually beneficial contract between the organiser and the sponsor. Essentially, it’s a win-win!
To ensure you meet these needs, you need to start by identifying the goals and objectives of your sponsors. You need to find out what they hope to achieve from sponsoring your event to ensure you can tailor your package to suit.
How Does an Event Sponsorship Package Differ for Virtual Events?
In terms of the differences between a sponsorship package created for a virtual event vs a package created for a physical event, it all comes down to the timeline and environment.
For instance, with virtual events, the opportunities to connect never stop and participants can access content at any time that is convenient. With the iVent platform, our 365 virtual environment means content is readily available.
For sponsors, this means they can engage with attendees for a longer period of time, most notably through ‘on demand’ content.
Another difference is, of course, the setting.
At physical events, there is typically a venue, exhibitor booths, presentations, and lots of promotional merchandise. However, instead of thinking that these are simply removed from virtual events, there are actually lots of fantastic alternatives.
At virtual events, you can expect to see logo placements in auditoriums, sponsored sessions, banners, videos, prizes, and even food delivery! Yes – that is a possibility for a virtual event, it’s about thinking outside of the box.
Keep it interesting for your attendees and give them a reason to sign up to your event. In turn, this will pay dividends for your sponsors, as they are getting their brand in front of a large audience.
Best Practices When Designing Your Event Sponsorship Package
When it comes to designing your event sponsorship package there are lots of things to take into consideration. After all, sponsors are a crucial source of revenue, so it’s important to build a sponsorship package that is both attractive and competitive.
Let’s start with the importance of understanding the value of your virtual event.
Know the Value of Your Event
As we’ve touched on, sponsors aren’t going to part with their money without good reason.
Therefore, it’s your job to give them those reasons and to truly communicate the value of your offering. Be prepared for your sponsors to ask lots of questions as they delve deep into what they can gain from sponsoring your event.
Go through all of the details with them including who you are, the delegate profile, the number of attendees you’re expecting, your event brand, and most importantly, the sponsorship opportunities on offer. You want them to truly understand the ins and outs of your event so that they feel encouraged to invest.
The more you know about your event, the easier it is to pitch to businesses that are closely aligned with your brand.
Identify New and Existing Sponsors
If you have existing sponsors from previous events, then make sure you reach out to them first. You’ve put so much time and effort into building these relationships in the first place that it seems silly to just cast them to one side.
They should naturally be your first port of call and it shows that you value the connection you have made. Make sure you test the waters first and see if they are interested, by explaining the different opportunities on offer. Be prepared for a mixed response, so have a list of potential new sponsors who you would also like to reach out to.
If you’ve done your research and identified your key offerings, then you should already have a good idea of who these sponsors will be!
That’s why step one of the process is knowing the value of your event, as this allows you to pinpoint which brands would benefit from a sponsorship opportunity.
Also, it’s good to bear in mind that a good sponsor doesn’t always have to help you financially. Instead, they could give up their time with planning and promotion. This can really enhance your online event and help you deliver the best experience.
Prepare Your Pitch
Any good pitch starts with preparation. As the classic saying goes ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail!’.
And this couldn’t be more true when reaching out to your sponsors. The most important part of your pitch is to put the sponsor’s needs at the forefront. Like with any other type of sales pitch, it should always be about the company.
Whichever aspect of the event you’re talking about, make sure you tie it back to the specific sponsor and the benefits they can enjoy.
Before pitching to a sponsor, make sure you collate some key pieces of information which support the value of your event.
- The number of attendees you are expecting
- The profile of the audience
- Brands who have sponsored your event in the past (if you have run this event before)
- The type of content you will be offering
Presenting sponsors with as much information as possible is great in terms of getting them on board, so have key statistics and data at hand.
With the iVent platform, all of this information is available through our data and analytics feature. This provides you with invaluable, transparent data 24/7, 365 days a year, allowing you to measure the success of your event at any time.
By presenting this information to sponsors, you’re giving them confidence and reassurance that it is worth their time and investment.
Explain the Benefits of a Virtual Event
This nicely follows on from our point above, but emphasising sponsorship benefits is key. For some of your sponsors, this might be the first time they have ever delved into virtual events so naturally there will be a level of uncertainty.
It’s your responsibility to show them what’s possible and to help ease any of their doubts.
One way of presenting how your event will work is by showing them a product demonstration that walks them through the format step-by-step. You could also create a presentation that will help answer their questions by combining a range of text and visuals.
You should also bear in mind that sponsors might not understand what is truly possible by sponsoring your virtual event – especially if this is an area they’ve never experimented with yet. They might fall into the trap of thinking this is a standard webinar where branding opportunities and engagement is limited.
With the iVent platform, your creativity will never be hindered! From fully customised booths to a branded virtual event lobby, there is plenty of space for your sponsors to take advantage of.
Also, one of the biggest benefits that you can offer your sponsors is a speaker opportunity, where they can directly connect with attendees. Above all of the other features available such as positioning their logo on your booth or providing branded banners and videos, this opportunity is by far the most valuable.
Structure Your Event Sponsorship Package
Now that you have taken the above points into account, it’s time to structure your event sponsorship package.
There are two main types of sponsorship packages that you can offer to existing and potential sponsors.
Let’s start with the ‘tiered’ sponsorship model and find out how that is built.
Tiered Event Sponsorship
This type of package includes a variety of features, depending on the sponsorship level.
Basically, the clue is in the name – there are different tiers depending on the wants and needs of your sponsor. It’s wise to have a minimum of three different packages with multi-tier pricing, as this reduces any ambiguity and confusion.
Having everything standardised, also saves you time and effort instead of personalising each offer for individual sponsors.
To create a tired sponsorship package, follow the steps below:
1. Create tiers
First and foremost you need to decide what features are available at each level. Usually, the tiers are broken down into ‘Platinum’, ‘Gold’, and ‘Silver’, but these are by no means set in stone. This is your opportunity to get creative so think about making it sound fun and appealing to your sponsors.
2. Align tiers with your revenue goals
The next step in the process is to work out how many quantities of each tier you would need to sell to achieve your revenue goals. The more limited the quantity, the more you can charge sponsors as they are getting an ‘exclusive deal’. This will also encourage sponsors to commit to your virtual event early as they won’t want to miss out on the great features.
3. Assign sponsorship benefits to each tier
The higher the tier, the more high-value benefits the sponsor can enjoy. What you choose to include at each level is entirely up to you but it should be representative of what the sponsor has paid.
A-la-carte Event Sponsorship
The a-la-carte sponsorship package is an alternative to the tiered model above.
This particular package is more suited to sponsors who are looking to achieve specific goals and outcomes. In contrast to the tiered model, this allows for a greater level of flexibility and customisation which is attractive for a lot of brands.
Whilst this does require more time and effort, a-la-carte packages gain a higher volume of sponsors as brands can cherry-pick which offerings they want.
Below is an example of an a-la-carte sponsorship package that caters for the different stages of a virtual event.
1. Before the event
- Include your sponsor’s logo on your event registration page and any other promotional marketing communications to get their brand in front of your audience.
- Shout out your sponsors on social media to generate some pre-event hype.
- Promote your sponsors’ speakers to encourage your audience to attend their sessions.
2. During the event
- If your virtual event is using gamification, include challenges where attendees need to interact with sponsors and visit their booths in order to collect points/ prizes.
- Promote sponsor offers and/or giveaways that can be included in different gamification challenges.
- Enable sponsors to use live chat or live video to connect with attendees directly.
- Include links to downloadable resources provided by the sponsor, such as brochures or promotional leaflets. With the iVent platform, you can upload an unlimited number of resources in our digital hub.
- During breaks, attendees could view a short video advert designed by your sponsor.
- Place the sponsor’s logo on your booth or in the virtual lobby.
- Enables your sponsors to host competitions and/or giveaways.
3. After the event
- Include the sponsor’s logo in the post-event email or survey that is sent to attendees.
- Offer sponsors the opportunity to send branded gifts to participants either pre or post-event.
How to Design an Attractive Event Sponsorship Package
Understanding how to design an attractive event sponsorship package is crucial to getting sponsors on board.
The most important thing is to structure your event sponsorship package in a way that offers real value to sponsors and encourages them to invest. The more value you provide in exchange for funding, the more likely those companies are to sponsor your event year after year.
It’s about creating a proposal that gets their attention and allows them to see the benefits up for grabs, whether that’s increasing brand awareness or generating more leads. If they can’t see the value or relevance of your event in relation to their own brand, then they’re not going to give up their time or money.
It’s your job to sell your event, and to convince them it’s worthwhile.
At iVent, we know that showing your sponsors how they can maximise their ROI is key. After all, they want to know what they are getting out of it. With our virtual event platform, the options are infinite. We provide a whole host of ways to engage your delegates with sponsors such as exclusive speaker presentations, networking opportunities, and pitches that bring them closer to their audience than ever before.
We also build fully bespoke event lobbies to showcase your brand and your sponsors brand, giving you full creative control. To find out more about how we can help, get in touch with a member of our team!