When Bill Gates wrote, “Content Is King,” I’d bet he never thought the phrase would be repeated as often as it is.
Monetizing Events, Part 1: Sponsorship Revenues
Whether an event is physical or virtual, content drives audience; audience drives sponsors; and sponsors mean revenue opportunities for the host. Unique content also means more revenue opportunities, as does continuing professional education, but we’ll get to monetizing the audience in Part 3 of this series.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on monetization in the form of revenue derived through sponsorships, as virtual events afford more sponsorship opportunities than physical ones.
Registration and Login Pages
Highlight partners and sponsors who commit early or sign on for a “platinum” sponsorship package as part of the event access pages. Both registration and login pages have room for sponsor logos. These logos can be static images or contain action items such as links to their websites, product pages, or event contact forms. Custom questions might also be offered to “platinum” sponsor(s), however I would limit these to avoid making registration cumbersome.
Event marketing and communications is no longer only about pre-event messaging but also extends into live-day and post-event communications. Think about the following opportunities for both your physical and virtual events:
Registration confirmation emails can be sponsored or highlight a series of “platinum” sponsor and partner logos.
Pre-event reminder emails can be sponsored.
Day-of-event reminder emails can be sponsored.
The 6Connex messaging tools that are available to show hosts allow for real-time reporting, showing who among those registered is currently in the event and who has yet to join. You can send emails to select groups through this powerful messaging tool, and these emails can contain sponsor logos.
Emails such as a post-event thank-you, sorry we missed you, and promotion of the on-demand period can highlight event sponsors and even contain a custom question as part of a survey.
Show hosts can create announcements to drive attendees or segments of attendees to different chats, webcasts, booths, surveys, etc.
Sponsors also have access to this differentiating feature from 6Connex, which allows for messaging to attendees in booths at the discretion of each sponsor with booth admin rights. These in-booth announcements can be created in advance or in real time.
In a physical event, there’s only so much wall space and only so much opportunity for prominently placing signage. In a virtual event, there are many more ways to integrate your sponsors and partners into an overall agenda and content plan for your program. A few ideas to consider are
Co-branded event marketing—You can use this on all marketing materials, registration and login pages, and once in event on the branded experience wrapper.
“Main Stage” branding in a named auditorium or any room—For example, in the XYZ Networking Lounge, the sponsor’s logo can be superimposed on the floor or walls of the space.
Placement of booths on an exhibit hall or exhibiting sponsor board offers prominent placement or larger logo space.
Rotating banners can be placed in any room or space and can also be a part of the always-visible navigation bar structure for the event itself. They can also change for your on-demand period and even be time-bracketed for live-day focus or event sponsorship by the hour/minute, displaying correctly for attendees in any global time zone.
Every event attendee loves to receive useful information when checking into the event, as well as event swag. The virtual event bag, briefcase, backpack, or whatever it might be called to resonate best with your audience can be pre-populated with content. The 6Connex show bag can additionally support external links, driving attendees to sponsor websites, sponsored spaces within the event, sponsored webcasts in the event, or sponsored polls, for which attendees are rewarded upon completion. New content can be added for on-demand periods, containing a notice to attendees that there’s something to check out in their bag.
Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 of this blog series, in which we highlight six additional ideas for sponsorship revenues, followed by attendee revenues.