Planning4 Min Read

Supporting Sponsors: Maximizing Sponsorship Value While Pivoting to Virtual Events

While you pivot to virtual events, you’re probably wondering how to maximize sponsorship potential. You rely on sponsor revenue to power your events, and need to demonstrate ROI to keep sponsors happy. It can feel overwhelming, especially in the absence of live events, face-to-face meetings, and physical signage.

But it’s not as complicated as it may seem, especially if you have an event app that supports robust sponsorship features.

Here are a few ways you can use your event app to promote sponsorship at a virtual event. 

Sponsored Splash Screen

If possible, consider customizing the splash screen that pops up when someone launches your virtual event app. This is a perfect spot for sponsorship, and offers high visibility. Every person who opens the app will see the sponsor messaging, likely multiple times during the event. 

sponsored splash screen in virtual event app

Keep in mind that you’ll only have one splash screen available, so consider offering this placement to one of your top-tiered sponsors.

Sponsored Push Notifications 

For any announcements or updates during your virtual event, such as reminding attendees when a session begins or schedule changes, push notifications are effective and offer another sponsorship opportunity. 

Push notifications can come “from” any of your sponsors, and can be sent to all attendees or specifically segmented groups. For example, if you have a sponsor that wants to offer a discount code to people who work in tech, you could create a user group for “tech” and then send the push notification only to that group. Think how much more targeted the sponsor message becomes when it’s sent directly to the attendee’s phone, similar to a text message.  

Sponsored Banner Ads

Similar to the splash screen, sponsored banner ads offer high visibility in the virtual event app, meaning your sponsors will love seeing their messaging front in center, and just a click away from their target audience. Maybe they have a discount code or a product they want to highlight? Banner ads are a perfect spot. They’re highly visible, and can be hyperlinked to the sponsor’s website or product page. 

sponsored banner ads for virtual events

Sponsors can include tracking information in their hyperlinks in order to measure impressions and conversions from your event. Knowing they can understand their ROI will make it easier to justify their decision to sponsor your virtual event, and hopefully keep them coming back.

Sponsor Profiles 

Creating profiles for each of your sponsors only takes a few minutes, and it’s a great way to boost brand awareness. Plus, once you create sponsor profiles, you can easily link them in the event app to where they’ll be most helpful, such as…

  • Sponsored sessions
  • Speaker profiles for sponsor companies 

Also consider having the option to “book a meeting/demo” linked in the sponsor profiles. If your sponsors have Calendly links, CTA links, or a link to a specific landing page, they can all be nested within the sponsor profile. It’s an easy and efficient way to get leads.

Sponsor Logos

If you watched the eventMB webinar “Pivot to Virtual,” then you already know how easy it is to place a sponsor logo in a webinar or virtual conference set-up. If your event includes a featured presentation, add sponsorship to each of the slides. It’s easy, yet effective.

sponsor logos at virtual event

Keep in mind too that you can easily link to any webinar or live stream within the app, so that sponsor recognition carries over. You can also make the feature icon leading to the webinar or live stream a specific sponsor’s logo. 

Sponsored Titles 

Adding “brought to you by” to any of the session titles or descriptions can definitely make your sponsors stand out. Just don’t get carried away. They’ll have more impact if used sparingly!

Sponsored Event Game 

If you’re ready to bring gamification into your virtual event, why not use it as another way to provide value to your sponsors? The game’s name can include “sponsored by” messaging, and you can also ask a sponsor to provide the prize (swag, product giveaways, etc.). 

virtual event gamification

The prizes can really create a buzz at your virtual event, so make sure and promote them in pre-event emails and during your virtual event. 

virtual event gamification

Going beyond the game name and prizes, you can also sponsor individual challenges in the event app. Simply have sponsors send out a gamification code after a session wraps, via a push notification, or any other virtual medium they choose. Attendees can claim their points by entering the codes right in their virtual event app.

Remember, there are multiple ways to include sponsorship in your virtual event app. Use some or all of these tips to show your sponsors how valuable a virtual event can be. You’ve got this.

Nina Dermody
Nina Dermody
Content Writer. Avid reader. Lover of all cooking competition shows. Will stop for any and every dog she sees walking down the street. Connect with Nina on Twitter or on LinkedIn.