Event sponsorship packages

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How to create profitable sponsorship packages for virtual events

Posted on 01/28/2022

Sponsorship packages are a powerful way to attract sponsors to your event. Discover their unique benefits, the different types of sponsorship packages, and what assets to offer in a sponsorship package.

What is a sponsorship package?

According to the ICC’s Advertising and Marketing Communications Code, the term sponsorship refers to “any commercial agreement by which a sponsor, for the mutual benefit of the sponsor and sponsored party, contractually provides financing or other support in order to establish an association between the sponsor’s image, brands or products, and a sponsorship property, in return for rights to promote this association and/or for the granting of certain agreed direct or indirect benefit.”

In the context of event organizing, a sponsorship package is a bundle of assets offered by an event to a brand in return for compensation. It is a marketable product that attracts potential sponsors to choose your event.

Sponsorship packages benefits 

Sponsorship packages are a great way to bring in more sponsors for your event. They offer some outstanding benefits, including: 

1. Strengthen credibility

Sponsorship packages boost an event property’s credibility. They show that you have a strategic approach to sponsorship and your event possesses valuable assets to offer. And, if a brand is willing to support the event, it signals to the audience a greater level of trustworthiness and drives registrations.

2. Boost reach

Sponsorship packages usually split benefits across many brands, so they allow event properties to reach much larger audiences.  

3. Increase budget

Sponsorship packages are proven to be effective in attracting sponsors. As a result, they can help event organizers increase their budgets and elevate the attendee experience by attracting better speakers, investing in better technology, and providing better event entertainment.

What are the different types of sponsorship packages? 

There is no one-size-fits-all sponsorship package that suits all events. Nonetheless, we can broadly distinguish three different types of sponsorship packages. 

1. Tiered Sponsorship Packages

The event organizers create different sponsorship levels in tiered sponsorship packages, with various benefits included in each package. The higher the level, the more exclusive benefits sponsors can get. Tiered sponsorship packages are typically fixed and limited in quantity, but there can be leeway to fit prospective sponsors’ needs and commercial objectives.

2. À la Carte Sponsorship Packages 

À la carte sponsorship packages are flexible, as the prospective sponsors can pick and choose the assets that best align with their needs and commercial objectives. For instance, some specific sponsorship assets may be better brands looking to boost their awareness within the event organizer’s industry, while others may be preferable for lead generation.

3. In-Kind Sponsorship Packages 

Alternatively, event organizers may offer in-kind sponsorship, whereby sponsors provide goods or services in return for sponsorship or to be named “official supplier.” This arrangement proves particularly beneficial in large conferences and trade shows where the event organizer has to acquire a myriad of services such as A/V, entertainment, catering, branding, swag, etc. 

Apart from offering these different types of sponsorship packages, some events may opt to provide title sponsorship. In that relationship, a brand can own all the rights and be integrated directly into the event title (e.g., EE British Academy Film Awards).

What to offer in a sponsorship package?

Marketing Communications

Recognizing the event sponsors in marketing communications is a valuable asset to any brand since it can boost exposure among the event’s target audience.

Therefore, a standard inclusion in sponsorship packages is placing the sponsors’ logos across communications such as the event website, registration landing pages, and email invites. Depending on the sponsor’s tier, this could be limited to placing the logo at the bottom of these communications or dedicating an entire profile to their brand.

Apart from including a sponsor’s logo in promotional images, the event organizer can also offer dedicated pre-event social media posts or email blasts delving into the sponsor’s brand and why it is involved in the event.

Email Marketing 

When building the event registration system, organizers can include an opt-in option for attendees to receive communications from sponsors or partners. Sponsors can be given contact details for those who do so, which represents a valuable addition to sponsorship packages.

Speaker Opportunities 

Another interesting item to include in a sponsorship package is a speaker opportunity. A speaker slot does not necessarily mean that event organizers give people time and space for a sales pitch within each session. Instead, the speaker can be included in panels discussing specific industry topics related to their company’s expertise.

As event speakers, they won’t only get an introduction from the host acknowledging their companies as sponsors. They will be recognized as a voice of authority which can translate into the brand they represent.

Virtual Backgrounds

In a world of intense competition for attention and recognition, an opportunity for brand exposure has never been more valuable. Virtual backgrounds within live streams give sponsors’ logos or branded graphics continual exposure and thus significantly impact brand awareness among viewers.

Advertising 

Placing ads for sponsors is a recurrent item in sponsorship packages and proves even more effective in virtual events. Indeed, event organizers can set up rolling ad displays alongside the main live stream showcasing the sponsor’s logo or brand message. Attendees can then navigate to the sponsor’s website more seamlessly, review their offerings, and talk to the brand’s representative at the event.

Brochures

For in-person events, sponsors are often given a chance to distribute brochures. In the virtual space, flyers can be digitized, made into a business one-pager or slides, and offered through a resource’s hub within the virtual event environment or via a files tab located within sessions.

Gamification 

Sponsors can get involved in several ways with virtual events using gamification, such as engagement missions or fun games for prizes. The content of the games can be related to the sponsor’s brand or industry. For example, the game could be a jigsaw puzzle that includes the brand’s logo or a word search including words from the sponsor’s brochure.

Otherwise, the prize for the game’s winners can be “presented by” the sponsor. This simple recognition attaches the brand with a special moment for attendees and will likely foster positive brand associations.

Swag 

Swag and corporate gifting are not restricted to the face-to-face experience. Event organizers can offer sponsors the chance to send branded gifts and merchandising (pens, notebooks, mugs, t-shirts) to attendees’ doors and make them an integral part of the event experience.

Sponsored Sessions 

If the event features multiple sponsors or is hosted across multiple days, including sponsorship of specific sessions within sponsorship packages proves exceptionally relevant. Sponsors themselves can decide which event session is best aligned with their brand and target audience. Then, event hosts can announce their names at the beginning and end of sessions (e.g., “this session is presented by”) and place ads running alongside the live stream throughout the session.

Virtual Booth 

Invariably present within in-person conferences and trade shows, sponsor booths have been successfully adapted to the virtual space and represent profitable assets within sponsorship packages.

Indeed, virtual booths can be fully customized to fit the sponsor’s brand identity and objectives. The sponsor can decide if they set up a drop-in where a member of their team is there at all times to interact with visitors or prefer pre-recorded content.

Distinctively, virtual booths offer sponsors more in-depth data on attendee behavior and streamline the process of follow-ups with visitors.

Sponsorship Package Example 

Gold Sponsorship Package:

– Event title to reflect sponsorship: “Event sponsored by…” in all communications

– Logo and company profile on the event website

– Verbal acknowledgment at the beginning and end of each session

– 2min video message before the keynote session

– Live background featuring brand logo on the keynote session

– Credits on all marketing activity such as email marketing, social media, and ads

– 3x social media posts promoting brand and involvement in the event

– Email blast to attendees promoting brand and involvement in the event

– Virtual sponsor booth and full access to data analytics on booth’s visitors

– Speaker participation in a roundtable talk

– Place at post-event networking session and 1:1 speed networking

– Invitation to post materials on session’s file tab 

– 5-second rolling ad display within sessions

Silver Sponsorship Package:

– Logo on the event website

– Verbal acknowledgment at the beginning and end of each session

– Credits on all marketing activity such as email marketing, social media, and ads

– 1x social media posts promoting brand and involvement in the event

– Virtual sponsor booth

– Invitation to post materials on session’s file tab

– Place at the post-event networking session

– 3-second rolling ad display within sessions

Bronze Sponsorship Package:

– Logo on the event website

– Credits on all marketing activity such as email marketing, social media, and ads

– Virtual sponsor booth

– Place at the post-event networking session

Accessibility in Virtual Events Ebook

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