By now, many of us have hosted a virtual event. You may have been doing webinars all along and live streaming from your onsite conference, or you may have found yourself in a bit of a panic this spring trying to get everything online.
While many people are seeing a successful transfer of onsite to online registration, and in some cases beating their registration numbers by more than they could have imagined, there are other ways to drive revenue during and after your virtual event than just pure registrations.
Include recognition during individual sessions. This can include:
- Sponsor logo on the registration page
- A sponsor slide at the beginning of the presentation
- Moderator/presenter announcing the sponsor with a brief overview of who they are
- URL for sponsor website and/or contact information listed in any of these places
- Depending on the virtual event platform being used, display a sponsor banner throughout the session
Sponsor Thank You Page
Whether you are selling sponsorship separately for individual sessions or bundling exposure for sponsorship or exhibitor tiers, you can create a thank you page for all of your sponsors that you’re already used to seeing on websites for face-to-face events. You can decide to display these logos alphabetically, or if selling tiers, by tier.
Virtual Expo Center
There are many different versions of these out there. If the expo hall is extremely important to you, you may want to look into a virtual expo company that specializes in creating interactive environments with avatars. If you aren’t looking for that experience (or perhaps it’s not in your budget), it’s still great to have a place for your exhibitors to live. You can create an area where exhibitors can have product demos or marketing videos featured, white papers and flyers, contact info, and the ability to schedule meetings.
Sponsor Beyond the Live Meeting
You may be so focused on the live event that you haven’t thought about what happens after the event. Hopefully, all of your great sessions are being recorded and posted online for on-demand viewing! This could be an added benefit for those that paid to attend the live event, an opportunity to generate more revenue by selling access to those who did not attend the live event, and a way for sponsors to live on after the blip in time that is a live event. You may decide that this is just a value add – if you sponsor the live session you automatically are listed as the sponsor of the on-demand. Or, perhaps you create another tier that allows for their sponsorship to live in after the live event or sell a completely new sponsorship package for the recorded content.
With any of these options, you’ll want to decide if your sponsors receive a list of event registrants – either for the entire event, the specific session they may have sponsored, or a list of those who actually consumed content from their virtual expo page.
Outside of the platform you are using for registration and the virtual event, you may still want to consider an event app. If you already invested in the app, or have had one for past years, there is no reason to not use it. Apps can still be great for managing networking and other communications that your registration site may not be. This can allow your sponsors another place to touch base with interested parties without being so dependent on say, sponsoring a specific session.
Emails & Blog Posts
Lastly, you may want to include some pre- or post-event email blasts that you’ll send out on the sponsors’ behalf or allow them the ability to write guest blog posts for your website. Again, these types of opportunities allow them additional benefits outside of the traditional event sponsorship which may become increasingly important while events remain virtual.
These days, all of the above options might excite some of your sponsors but what many are looking for is actually being able to provide thought leadership. If you are able to provide session availability for your sponsors to present, there is a good chance you’ll attract more sponsors for higher dollar amounts while also easily securing presenters.
Repurpose Your Content After the Event
Share the on-demand version of your event
Share the on-demand version of your virtual event. This might be an obvious one, but not everyone does this! Make sure you have a post-event marketing plan as well to continue generating interest. If it’s something you’re selling, you could also consider getting creative with pricing – selling single sessions, or the entire event at a discounted cost, or bundling it with other items outside of the event.
Replay the event
Yes, you have it available on-demand, but people do still like that live experience. Just because you have a popular topic being presented, or a rock star subject matter expert, does not mean everyone who wants to attend the live event is able. By replaying the recordings as a live event, you’ll be able to have the subject matter expert there for Q&A as well as all of the other interactivity that can take place during a live event. If you held a large event, you maybe just want to replay the keynotes or the Top 5 or 10 most popular sessions.
While this may not be possible or make sense in all scenarios, if you’re able to chop up session recordings into multiple, smaller micro-presentations, which could potentially attract a larger audience who has a shorter attention span, who just has less time to spare, or someone who only wants education on a particular slice of the content. If you’re selling these, you can also get creative with how you sell them – separately for one price, bundled for a discount, and so on.
Write a blog post (or many!)
While you listen to the recordings (or read a transcription) you’ll want to pick out topics that you think would be interesting for you to expand on for your audience. Try to make sure that your blog post(s) aren’t just repeating what your recording already says. You could also ask your speakers if they’d be willing to write these articles in addition to presenting the sessions. They may be willing to for the additional exposure.
Turn your recordings into podcasts
Yes, video is popular, but not everyone has the time to sit down and watch an entire session (especially ). But, that doesn’t mean that everyone doesn’t want to. Another option is to deliver your virtual event content as a podcast that your audience can listen to on the go. In addition to repurposing your recorded webinar content for podcasts, you can take issues and questions that came up during your webinar and create spin-off podcasts on those specific items.
With any of these ideas (as well as others) you can get creative with pricing — offering free or discounted on-demand access for virtual conference attendees, providing different registrations tiers that can include on-demand access, selling sponsorships, and more.
Jocelyn Taylor is the Senior Director of Sales Operations at Blue Sky eLearn. She has 14 years of experience in sales, marketing, and account management, spending the last 10 of those at Blue Sky.