In the past year and a half, the majority of events went virtual in response to pandemic protocols. Now that the world is reopening, attendees are offered a new way to attend events: hybrid.
But hybrid events are not only beneficial to attendees. For those supporting your events, like sponsors, it can create a spectrum of opportunities for their ROI. In fact, a group of sponsors was surveyed in an AIM Group report published in May 2020 about how they plan to react to the changing event landscape. Seventy-two percent of all respondents expressed an interest in hybrid events, and seventy-eight percent said they would sponsor a fully online event.
More than 85% of B2B organizations see a positive return on the investment of their hybrid events more than 6 months after the event date. Hybrid events are the future model of sponsorship, as they engage audiences and build relationships with customers over time.
Why Are Hybrid Events So Attractive to Sponsors?
Online events leverage innovative technologies to provide leads and sales in bold new ways.
Last year's study on events by Explori and the UFI concluded that future digital events will attempt to replicate a singular objective rather than the entire in-person experience.
Gaining sponsorships with hybrid events helps potential new markets forge access to their products or services, and generates qualified leads they might not have been able to touch during a solely live event. As an organizer, you should seek ways to engage sponsors at hybrid events and find success in both live attendance and virtual spaces.
How to Drive Value for Sponsors at Hybrid Events
Driving sponsors to your hybrid events doesn't have to be an uphill battle. Social sites, like LinkedIn, have their advantages to drive sponsors' attention to your event. Using online platforms such as LinkedIn reduces the hit-and-miss nature of networking and generating value for both hybrid event sponsors and attendees.
There are a number of insights you can use to bring these two vital parties together:
- Brand Awareness (Before, During, and After the Event)
Before the Event: Sponsor-branded videos can run before keynotes and sessions to help your audience engage with the event.
During the Event: Try renting out a part of the screen to some of your sponsors. You can dedicate anywhere from a fifth to a third of the space on the screen for sponsorships.
After the Event: If you’re using a good hybrid event platform, you surely have an app. Make use of it by sending event-related content that boosts awareness about your sponsors.
- Booths (In-Person and Virtual)
Booths allow your sponsors to engage prospects directly with 1-1 engagement tools, office hours, and Q&A sessions, which is a major draw for prospective sponsors looking to attain new leads and enter prospective new markets.
Virtual booths make for a more streamlined attendee experience - that’s why sponsors at hybrid events love them! In the past, you would only see a one-size-fits-all booth option. Now, individualized sponsor spaces are available that will let visitors view any type of video or presentation safely and without distraction.
- Access to Data Insights
Virtual elements to your sponsorship packages can provide more than exposure and impressions; you have data and metrics to share with your sponsors and exhibitors. Digital components in a sponsorship package can provide measurable results, and layouts can tell you how many people clicked on your company's logo.
The aforementioned virtual booths will not only give you the number of users, bounce rates, and other basic metrics but will give you advanced insights. They'll allow you and your exhibitors to see what video a user has watched, whether or not they asked any questions, and which CTAs they clicked on.
- Sponsored Swag
One of the most common ways to include sponsorship in your event is through branded swag. For instance, this could be anything from the name tags you get at registration to the bags you get at your seat. Offering branded promotional items to an in-person audience is a great way to make them feel involved, and it provides attendees with something tangible. Giving the same swag bag as virtual attendees provides opportunities for hybrid event sponsors.
Swag is also beneficial for gamification. Gamification can bridge your in-person and virtual attendees, and as they compete against each other, they earn points. Once they get enough points for engagement, they're free to choose an item from the swag store!
With the potential to split audiences between two different events, hybrid conferences can make attendees and organizers conferences more engaging, entertaining, and fun for all. Virtual aspects in conjunction with live offerings offer opportunities for sponsorships and increased interaction with audience members.
To maximize your efforts and satisfy sponsors at hybrid events, you need the right platform. MeetingPlay brings Fortune 100 Company events to life and allows you to satisfy both VIP guests and virtual attendees. Team up with MeetingPlay for all of your hybrid events in 2021!