Sponsoring events is a great way to generate leads and boost brand awareness for your business. With the ongoing growth in popularity of hybrid and virtual events, event sponsors have even more virtual event sponsorship packages and opportunities to choose from. 

Before you commit to sponsoring an event, it’s important to ask the right questions about their sponsorship packages in order to determine whether the event is a good fit for your brand messaging and business goals. We’ve compiled 10 questions to ask event owners before agreeing to sponsor their event, so that you only sign on to events that will give you positive outcomes and strong ROIs. 

1. What is the Target Audience for this Virtual Event?

This should be your first question. Afterall, the event and sponsorship details will be irrelevant to you if the event is not poised to reach your target consumer base.  

Consider your business model. The ideal event to sponsor for a B2B business will be very different than the events that a B2C-focused business would want to sponsor.  

Consider your niche within the industry and ask how the event will be reaching prospective buyers within that niche. Sponsoring a more general industry conference isn’t always going to be as effective if you operate in a highly specialized subsection of the industry. 

2. Where Are Attendees Coming From?

Also inquire about whether the event is targeted towards a local, national, or global audience. If your services are only offered within a set region, more localized events will be more effective in reaching your target consumers. If you have a product that you sell via e-commerce, wider audiences will give you a more expanded reach.  

If the event is being offered in-person or through a hybrid model, inquire what percent of the audience is expected to be traveling in for the event. The event owner has likely reserved a hotel block or provided hotel recommendations to attendees, so they should have a rough estimate of the makeup of their event in terms of local vs. out-of-town attendees.  

Virtual events tend to have a wider geographic reach. For sponsors this can be great, as it’s more efficient to pay to sponsor an event with a wide reach than to organize event sponsorships in all of your target markets across the country. You can ask about attendance at past events and how they are marketing the event to get an idea of the locations that will be most represented.  

3. What Is the Expected Attendance for This Virtual Event?

Getting an idea of how many attendees are expected to attend can be helpful when deciding whether an event sponsorship is worth the investment. Smaller events are not bad, as they can sometimes allow you to spend more time with each booth visitor. However, it’s important to consider the number of potential leads and the cost of sponsorship and attendance to ensure that you can reasonably obtain a positive ROI from sponsoring the event.  

4. Who Else is Sponsoring This Virtual Event?

You’ll want to know if any of your competitors are also sponsoring the event. Whether or not that is an incentive or a deterrent depends on your business strategy and the type of event. For a large annual conference, you can expect that there may be competitors also exhibiting or sponsoring at the event. In this case, you may want to sponsor the event anyway. Sponsoring major industry conferences or prestigious events helps you position yourself as thought leaders and well-respected members of the industry. If other major players in your market are sponsoring the event, it can be good to sponsor as well to align yourself as being in the same league as them. 

For small events, you’ll probably want to avoid events that already have a competitor attached to them. This is particularly true if you are part of a small-to-medium-sized company will a limited event and marketing budget. 

5. Where Can My Logo or Content Appear With Each Sponsorship Package?

You want your branding displayed prominently so that event attendees can learn about your company and feel encouraged to visit your exhibition booth or sponsored sessions.  

Talk to event owners about where your logo will appear with each level of their virtual event sponsorship packages. Will your logo or company name appear on the registration page, in pre-event promotional emails, on the event or organizer’s social media pages, on the homepage, or anywhere else?  

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your branding. If everyone’s logo is appearing in set areas throughout the event and promotional materials, you might want to explore some ways that you can stand out. Ask the event owners about having downloadable content, a branded photobooth, or including branded items in the attendee gift bags. 

Make sure that the event owner is going to be an active partner in working towards getting your branding and name out there to the audience. 

6. What Pre-Event Marketing or Activities Will Be Taking Place?

If this is a newer event or event organizer, you’ll want to understand how they plan to market the event to ensure that they reach the planned attendance levels and the correct audience. 

It’s also helpful to find out if there will be any pre-event activities for sponsors and attendees. When leveraging a virtual or hybrid event strategy, attendee interactions can begin long before the actual event date. This results in added value for sponsors, as they can put out content for attendees to view beforehand and start setting up appointments to take place during the event dates. If attendees visit the booth or come to a demo having already been introduced to your product or service, you can jump into more action-oriented sales conversations and accelerate the buying process. 

7. What Opportunities Will I Have to Interact with the Audience?

Your sponsorship should run deeper than a logo on the flyer. For the best results, you’ll want to have opportunities throughout the event to have meaningful interactions with the attendees. What those interactions will look like can vary greatly depending on the setup of the event, the available sponsorship packages, and your sponsorship goals so work with the event owner to identify the best opportunities for your company. 

Examples of potential interaction opportunities for sponsors on Social27 Virtual Event Platform include: 

  • Exhibitor Booth Microsites: Sponsors can build their own virtual exhibition booths, or microsites, by adding content including downloadable resources, video playlists, documents, and more. Company representatives can engage with visitors through a variety of communication channels. 
  • Sponsored Roundtables and Boardrooms: Sponsors can lead virtual meetings with small to medium sized groups via Zoom, Teams, or Social27 Meetup. 
  • Chats: Sponsors can assign booth representatives to monitor booth chats to answer visitor questions.
  • Meeting Scheduling: Visitors can schedule meetings or product demos from within the sponsor microsite. 
  • Sponsored Sessions: Sponsors can lead a keynote, panel, or other form of event session to share information with viewers and build brand awareness. 
  • Scan My Badge: Visitors can scan their badge at the Microsite to let sponsors know they’re interested in being contacted with further information about the sponsor’s products and services. 

8. How Are You Driving Attendees to Visit Sponsored Booths?

At an in-person event, it’s customary for event attendees to make the rounds around the venue and check out the exhibitor booths. The staff working at the booths still have to chase down passing attendees, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the visitors that will be interested in your product.  

At virtual events, there are a couple different ways that event owners can encourage attendees to stop by relevant sponsor booths. 

One is by utilizing a recommendation tool. A recommendation tool can provide attendees with recommendations for content, booths, and networking activities based on their reported interests. Social27 Virtual Event Platform features a Recommendation & Prediction Engine that provides personalized recommendations to attendees throughout the entire event experience to drive engagement at sponsor activations, sessions, and between attendees. 

Gamification can also be a great way for event owners to encourage attendees to engage with content, visit exhibition booths, network, and be more interactive overall throughout the event. With gamification, event owners can assign a point value to different activities such as visiting a sponsor booth and allow attendees to compete to earn the most points. They can also create challenges such as visiting every sponsor booth or attending a certain number of sessions. These points can be displayed on the Leaderboard or used to earn prizes. 

For sponsors, this can mean more content views, booth visitors, and ways to engage attendees. Sponsors can also speak with the event owner about sponsoring a prize for attendees that complete a challenge or appear at the top of the leaderboard at the close of the event. 

For more ideas on how you can partner with the event owner to drive traffic, check out our blog on attracting attendees to your virtual sponsor booth

9. What Data or Insights Can I Expect to Receive After the Event?

If you are considering sponsoring a virtual or hybrid event, inquire about what type of data will be available from the organizers or the event platform. This data can include valuable insights to help you evaluate the success of your event activities and content strategy. The data can also include the contact information of booth visitors or interested prospective customers.  

10. Will Content Be Made Available for On Demand Viewing After the Event?

One great thing about virtual hybrid events is that your content can live on after the event has ended. Attendees that may have missed your booth or sponsored session can still discover your content after the event, and those that need to revisit your content to aid in their decision-making process may do so.  This expands your potential exposure and gives you more value for your investment on the virtual event sponsorship package.

Social27 Virtual Event Platform Is Designed With Sponsors In Mind

Social27 Virtual Event Platform features everything sponsors need to reach attendees and generate sales! From different content delivery and communication channels, to gamification and recommendation tools, we help event owners create activations and virtual event sponsorship packages that sponsors will want to get involved in. 

Set up a demo today to learn more about what Social27 has to offer event organizers and sponsors!