Here’s a bold and exciting prediction: 2022 is going to be an excellent year for corporate events. Sure, you’d expect us to say that because it’s our business. Hear us out! After two tough years due to the pandemic, live events are starting to take flight again. Plus, technology and event planners are finally starting to catch up to the breakaway trend of virtual and hybrid events. There’s so much to learn and so much to do, as ever. But today, we’re breaking it down.
Let's focus on how to improve sponsor and exhibitor traffic and make your hybrid or virtual event exceptional in 2022.
Sadly, virtual and hybrid events are generally quite generic. With an alarming amount of us suffering from Zoom fatigue, asking your attendees to attend yet another generic video conferencing platform for your event won’t inspire hope or traffic.
That’s why we offer beautifully branded customized experiences, dashboards, and graphics for your events. Making your event pretty - and relevant - is the first step to attracting sponsorship and exhibitor traffic. Because as much as people say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we all do it!
And we don’t just mean that you can and should offer sponsors and exhibitors a customized experience. We mean that for event planners, too. You can customize the tools you use. We have a fleet of products ranging from a full-service approach to solution specific approach. That means you get precisely what you want, for exactly what you need, no more, no less.
So, for example, if your focus right now is on how to monetize your event. You can use a customized package that only takes advantage of those features such as premier branding opportunities, selling premium tickets, seat upgrades, and data-driven gains.
Or, if you’re looking for the complete works, then look at the suits of cool stuff something like our MeetingPlay Virtual has to offer! Just at a glance, we can provide custom dashboards, branded interfaces, intelligent virtual networking with AI matchmaking, secure logins, unlimited audience sizes, 3rd-party integrations, and more!
One thing that get’s customers through the door is exclusivity. From special edition shoes to rare vintages of wine and off-piste tourism deals. You intrinsically lift a thing's value if you tell people it’s exclusive.
This is one way of leading on to something that we’re very proud of: not only can you drive sponsor and exhibitor traffic through attractive customized content, but we also offer an exclusivity deal where we won’t work with your industry competitors. That’s how you can raise your head about the rest in your field.
3. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing isn’t just young people making videos on Instagram and Tiktok. Every hobby and every field has expert influencers who people meaningfully follow and respect.
Statistics show that 49% of consumers consider influencer recommendations, and as many as 70% of millennials trust influencers over traditional celebrity endorsements.
There are several reasons why collaborating with an influencer could enhance your sponsorship and event traffic. For example:
- Kudos: Collaborating with someone well known and respected in your field could increase the credibility and kudos for your brand and your event.
- Increased attendance: If your attendee has a large and dedicated following, you could gain more attendees who are keen to interact with them.
- Content: Influencers make content for a living. By collaborating with them, you’re also in line to be part of unique content that sponsors would love to attach their brand to and drive up exhibitor traffic. It could be as simple as a Q&A session or a hands-on workshop.
- Meaningful brand exposure: Move past mere brand endorsement. Having your influencer actively engage and use your product or your sponsors makes for a more sincere and authentic engagement.
If you need help finding the right influencer for your event, then don’t worry. There are agencies that manage influencers and help pair you with the right person. You have big names like IMA and Engage Hub, who work globally. For something with a more local and authentic feel, check out The Room. It’s more akin to a matchmaking site that pairs you with someone excited about sharing your story.
And to learn more about how influencers can organically grow your event attendance, read this actionable article right here!
Gamification has become an integral part of the event industry. It’s primarily seen as a tool to improve engagement, and boy does it. It increases it by 44%!
Tell your would-be event sponsors that you’re incorporating gamification techniques in your event - it could be anything from games, quizzes, or hands-on challenges. Tell them that they can have their brand name put on it.
As well as just being good exposure, it could be a great way for event sponsors to disseminate critical messages through these immersive techniques. To learn more about the evolution of gamification, read this blog we prepared earlier!
5. Exhibition Halls
The modern event planner, attendee, and sponsor are yearning for events with more depth, particularly in the virtual realm. Take sponsors, for example; the time when a simple logo attached to a poster would suffice is over. Sponsors now want to be part of an event.
That’s why our solutions offer immersive and customizable exhibition halls. They’re not only easy to navigate, but they’re intuitive to build and edit.
Exhibition halls are great because they offer the element of exploration. They spark your curiosity and invite attendees to immerse themselves instead of remaining passive observers.
The diversity of exhibition content always amazes us, from product showcases to micro-networking experiences. They can also just be for fun. One of the most successful concepts that we’re seen at events we’ve collaborated on has been photo booths!
Furthermore, they offer the scope of collaboration. If you have exciting partners you want to work with, you can offer them their own space to customize and make their own. It’s good for you, them, your sponsors, and your attendees.
To learn more about driving attendees to your virtual exhibition hall, check out this blog here!
You’ll have been hearing a lot about the red hot trend of the Metaverse. They’re really about to shake up the event industry as we know it.
If you jump on this trend right now, you’ll have the benefit of a first-mover advantage, and you’ll see sponsors and exhibitor traffic jump up.
And in the long run, you’ll have events that are more engaging, more sincere, and more enjoyable.
They’ll have unlimited scope in both size and style, where you’ll be able to build hybrid conference spaces set in outer space or hands-on virtual workshops in the Wild West.
In short, they’ll make events more engaging, which is fantastic for sponsor and exhibitor traffic!
7. Swag Bags
Everyone loves free things. We’ve all been guilty of going somewhere we wouldn’t have due to the bait of something for nothing.
In this way, swag bags are an essential tool in an event planner's arsenal, from something as small as a pen to free product trials, discount codes, coffee cups, keychains, and more.
If you have some unique ideas on gifts to dote upon your attendees, offer your event sponsors the chance to have their name on these items they take home. Now that’s exposure that is worth paying for.
The whole world has heard of NFTs by now. And as the general public understands them, they’re wildly overpriced jpegs of animated apes (Twitter's rollout of the new profile picture NFT option was hit with both criticism and acclaim). However, there is more to NFTs than you might have thought, and they could be brilliant at pulling in sponsor and exhibitor traffic.
Firstly, companies are bending over backward to be associated with these mysterious new commodities, from the Marriott Hotel group to the Glenfiddich whisky company. They’re slowly becoming fixtures in the MICE industry too. Just look at DC Comics, which gave away exclusive NFTs to attendees who registered early for their event.
Not only will they attract sponsors, but they’ll also attract curious attendees due to their marmite-love-them-or-hate-them reputation.
Bonus: Food and Drink
Here’s one that’s as old as time, and specifically for in-person events. Just think, if you see a booth with free food or drink samples, you’re going to be inclined to go over and check it out, aren’t you? It’s as easy as that.
Ideally, the food and drink itself would be more than just something to lure traffic but would be a sponsorship collaboration in itself. So make sure to get in touch with some refreshment companies to offer them a deal they can’t refuse!
Plus, you can move beyond mere refreshments turn the food and drinks into micro-events/experiences. Offer cheese and wine networking sessions; perhaps lure in people with tasting classes from experts or virtual cooking tutorials for those at home?
So there you have - 8 ideas on improving sponsor and exhibitor traffic in 2022. If you only implement some of these suggestions, you’re going to see increases in your event goals for sure.
If you’re hungry to learn more, who are we to disappoint? Download our free ebook on designing virtual and hybrid events to maximize sponsor ROI. And, of course, make sure to try a free demo of our products at your leisure.
But before you go, let’s not forget this event industry of ours is a community after all. We’d love to hear what you think, so please drop us a comment or a message!