Virtual events provide a unique opportunity to get a group of incredible people together, with far fewer barriers to entry than in-person.
And virtual events also provide an amazing opportunity for marketers, but the rules aren’t the same as they are for on-site sponsorships. Maximizing your investment takes intentional work - but, if done correctly, can bring huge benefits. So how do you create the best chance of success?
1. Don't just focus on the day
Traditional event sponsorships tend to be very on-the-day heavy, but attendees engage differently with virtual events. The weeks leading up to the event are equally as important in getting your message out there – priming people to interact with you on the day.
Creating and releasing engaging content that piques people’s interest will drive more traffic to your teams on the day. And post-event? Don’t jump straight to hard sales, use more relevant content to connect with your leads and help sell your product.
2. Think about longevity
Virtual events are all about the content: attendees will come back to revisit what they’ve learned time and time again. So how can you make sure to remain at the front of their thinking any time they look back?
Smaller upgrades such as video sponsorships keep your company’s brand attached to content pieces that will be used for years to come. And why not try to add to the conversation? Content upgrades give you an opportunity to demonstrate the value of your brand through related articles on hot topics.
3. Create an engaging social strategy
Sponsoring an event allows you to promote your company through a brand trusted by the engineering community. If you’re only posting your usual content on social media, you’re missing out on great brand alignment.
Ask event organizers for branded graphics that you can promote on your own channels – tying your brand to that of the event in the minds of your customer.
4. Give people a reason to connect
Most virtual events give you the opportunity to offer 1:1 meeting requests with sales or marketing reps. But you’ll need to go the extra mile to make these work for you. At physical events, impromptu meetings happen naturally at your stand, but online you’re asking someone to take time out of their busy day. So how can you get them to invest in the conversation?
Define what you can offer them. Are you solving a problem for them? Offering insight? Showing industry best practice? The more specific your offer, the more likely you’ll be to get take-up.
Example of a great offer: Book a 30-minute meeting to explore the tools to better understand inefficiencies in your system
Example of a not-so-great offer: Book a 1:1 meeting to chat about our product
5. Get your engineers involved
And remember, an event sponsorship doesn’t just live in the marketing department! Some of the best traffic and referrals you’ll receive will come from ad hoc conversations on the day – so make sure your engineers get stuck in!
Get your engineering departments involved in the Slack channel, and any events with live participation – they’ll bring you leads, and get to learn from the discussions taking place!