Marketers are using innovative approaches to ensure digital-first events create value for digital sponsors.
We know virtual events are facing challenges in the effort to create engaging, enticing activation opportunities for sponsoring brands. We’ve taken a look at the road ahead for digital-first sponsorship strategy; this week we’re sharing some of the turn-by-turn directions we see moving the industry forward.
Here are a handful of promising trends in the world of virtual event sponsorship:
Changing up the medium or platform on which your event is being broadcast can open up opportunities for cross-brand presentations and affinity-driving affiliations. Potential tactics include sponsor.com-hosted broadcasts, social media crossovers, and cross-platform embedded experiences.
2. Supercharged Moments
Personalized celebrity greetings spice things up!
Digital attendees are just as entertained and engaged by specially crafted, deeply memorable moments. Brands can sponsor personalized celebrity greetings, facilitate guided wellness breaks, or act as digital concierges for attendees.
3. Unlockable Extras
Sponsor-curated alternative media streams enrich the experience.
We’ve seen how effective gamification can be—take it a step further with special perks, content, and media augmentations that attendees can gain access to through engaging with sponsors. Branded badges and virtual backgrounds, moderated book clubs, and curated playlists can all enrich the experience for attendees.
4. Corporate Social Responsibility Collaborations
Collaborative CSR initiatives are a win-win for sponsors and causes.
Although attendees are physically distanced, events continue to offer a unique opportunity for people to join together in support of a shared cause. Sponsored volunteer drives, cause-based competitions, and co-branded social initiatives help sponsoring brands communicate their CSR identity.
5. Facilitated Virtual Networking
Sponsor-hosted lounges help people connect virtually.
The desire for attendee-to-attendee connection is deeper than ever. Sponsors have the opportunity to host virtual lounges, offer special access to high-profile personalities, or power recommendation placements.
6. Branded Fuel-Ups
Virtual event attendees will still thank sponsors for keeping them caffeinated.
Trays of Danishes and yogurt parfait-powered networking breaks might be off the table, but sponsors can still host food- and beverage-based moments for virtual attendees. Food deliveries, local restaurant coupons and promotions, and branded meal kits offer plenty of opportunity for sponsors to reach attendees through their stomachs.
7. At-Home Experience Kits
Swag for digital attendees can be just as memorable when it’s enjoyed at home!
Rather than traditional swag distribution, sponsors have the opportunity to create custom branded experience kits for attendees to enjoy at home. These can range from modest giveaways to more elaborate “welcome kits” for select participants. The at-home channel can pay big dividends especially if you’re already shipping equipment or other items to speakers, moderators, and other attendees.
Are you looking for ways to make digital sponsorships create value for your event? Get in touch with our team of strategists to discuss the best path forward.
As brands continue to go deeper into digital-first event strategies, explore emerging hybrid architectures, and embrace brand communities, the trails blazed in 2020 are opening new ways forward into 2022.