Sponsoring a virtual event is a great way to obtain qualified leads. However, in order to get the best return on investment for your virtual booth, you’ll need to attract visitors to your booth. 

You don’t want your sales staff standing around all day. You want them talking to attendees and qualifying leads throughout the event.

It takes 7-13 touch points on average to close a sale, so we’ve put together 11 touch points that you can do before, during, and immediately after sponsoring a virtual event to get visitors to your booth and close sales.

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1. Utilize Gamification

Gamification can be a great way to incentivize attendees to interact with virtual sponsor booths, sessions, and more! Attendees can rack up points for visiting and scanning their badge at your booth or other event attractions. These points can appear on a leaderboard to add a healthy dose of competition, as those with the most points or that achieve a set goal can win prizes!

Event owners set the gamification rules and utilization, so interested sponsors should work with the event owner to ensure that attendees get points for their visiting booth. Sponsors could consider sponsoring one of the prizes for extra exposure.

SugarCRM used the Social27 Event Platform gamification features during one of their recent virtual events to encourage participants to visit all of the sponsor microsites. This resulted in higher levels of engagement and 3,637 Exhibitor Booth Microsite visits throughout the event (with 842 attendees at the event).

2. Recommendation Tool Integration

Ask the event organizer if they will be leveraging a recommendation tool to help attendees find relevant sponsor booths to visit. These tools provide individualized recommendations on relevant sponsors and exhibitors to your attendees throughout the event experience.  

Social27’s Recommendation and Prediction Engine provides exhibitor booth recommendations to attendees based on their selected interests. The tool can also direct attendees to your sponsored sessions, happy hours, and roundtables or help them set up a meeting or demo with a representative from your company.

This is a helpful way to not only attract visitors but to attract the right visitors. 

Less time flagging down uninterested visitors and more time taking meetings with qualified leads? Sounds like a recipe for success!

3. Sponsor Sessions or Roundtables

Consider sponsoring a session, Boardroom, or Roundtable discussion in addition to creating a virtual booth! 

Sponsoring a session is a great way to provide value to your target audience while getting the word out about your company. You can link to your virtual booth right from the session page to encourage viewers to visit your booth before or after the session.

Sponsored Roundtables and Boardrooms can allow you to meet directly with attendees in a face-to-face setting. These are great for product demos, Q&A sessions, employee recruitment, and more.

4. Display Your Logo on the Home Page 

Sponsors can have their logos displayed on the event home page, registration page, and pre-event promotional emails from the organizer. 

This is often included in certain levels of sponsorship or as an add-on. 

Getting your company name and logo out there can help attendees know to look for your booth. You can have your logo link to your website so that they can learn more before visiting your booth.

5. Leverage Interstitial Content 

When you watch a YouTube video, you can expect to see a quick pre-roll ad from a sponsor. You probably watch the ad because you want to stick around to watch the video. But these ads are curated to the target audience of the video, so much so that you may become intrigued. Maybe you become interested in the product and click on the ad to check out the company’s website. 

This technique can be adapted for virtual events.

Interstitial content is an underused promotional tool in the event space. There is often downtime while attendees are waiting for a virtual session to begin or in-between event sessions. This is the perfect time to provide short-form video content to get attendees interested in your product or service and encourage them to visit your booth! 

6. Sponsor a Happy Hour 

Consider planning a sponsored happy hour to get your name out to attendees. Get creative and aim to provide a memorable experience that will get people talking and posting about your company!

Past sponsors on Social27 Virtual Event Platform have come up with some really inventive happy hours including cooking classes hosted by a celebrity chef, virtual escape rooms, yoga classes, and more! Check out our blog on creating happier virtual happy hours for more tips and ideas.

7. Promote Through Digital Channels

Utilize social media and your own digital network to let people know that they can find you at the event! 

You might be nurturing some leads right now that will be in attendance and stop by your booth where you can accelerate the sales pipeline. You could have passive followers planning to attend that you could engage at the event.

8. Leave Your Virtual Sponsor Booth 

If you build it they will come. Or will they? 

You and your staff are probably used to chasing down attendees during in-person events to pull them over to your booth. If you’re leveraging the other tools on this list, getting attendees to visit your virtual booth may be less of a grind. However, it’s still a good idea to branch out!

Some of the best connections at events are made over lunch, in the hallways, or during happy hours and that’s still true for virtual crowds! Your sales staff shouldn’t be afraid to venture out and start conversations in the networking lounge, happy hour chats, or to reach out one-on-one to attendees that fit your target audience. Mingling with others can help start more authentic conversations that help you reach attendees that often find overtly salesy interactions at booths off-putting or intimidating.

9. Provide Value at Your Virtual Sponsor Booth

Visitors want to obtain something of value from your booth. At traditional in-person trade shows and conferences, attendees love to visit booths to collect free swag or informational resources to take home. Be sure that your virtual visitors also have that chance! Consider providing downloadable resources or curating a fun digital experience like a virtual photo booth!

Social27 Virtual Event Platform allows sponsors to curate Playlists of videos, brochures, PDFs, and more to tell their business’ unique story and demonstrate their product benefits. This playlist can trigger a lead generation form to help you gather qualified leads with an interest in your company. The platform also allows you to provide downloadable resources to let attendees take a piece of your booth with them. These resources can be anything from a sales sheet to a quick reference guide, to a customized virtual background!

10. Send Out Pre-Event Gifts or Samples

In addition to providing fun takeaways at your booth, you can work with the event owner to send out pre-event swag, gifts, or product samples. The pre-event gift package is a great way to bring some of the free gift fun of in-person events into the digital space. 

It’s an underutilized strategy that can have a big impact. Currently only 34% of virtual event organizers send gift bags to their attendees. Virtual or physical gifts are both great choices. If an organizer is open to doing gift bags, providing branded items or a sponsored virtual gift can be a great way to catch attendees’ interests before they log on for the event.

11. After the Event

If you’ve utilized the strategies above, you likely had a lot of meaningful interactions at your virtual sponsor booth. That’s great! However, there is still work to be done.

One of the greatest benefits of virtual events is the wealth of data and information gathered from them. At the close of the event, your team should have a list of curated leads from badge check-ins and interest forms obtained from booth visitors. 

Follow-up is an important part of fostering relationships and closing sales. Try to follow up promptly with the people that checked into your booth during the event or requested information. 

You’ll want to reach out to them while your product or service is still fresh in their minds.

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