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40 Effective Virtual Event Sponsorship Ideas for 2024

Andrea Amorosi November 29, 2023
Table of Contents
10 min read

Virtual events are more relevant than ever. According to a recent Linkedin survey, 79% of event organizers state that virtual events have spurred new opportunities for their organization, while 66% state that they’ve seen a boost in ROI in comparison to physical events.

Virtual event sponsorship can help elevate your event by broadening your reach, providing more funding, increased awareness, generating new leads and audience (members, supporters, future sponsors or donors), and improving your attendee experience. Beyond this, virtual event sponsorship can help you reach organizational objectives faster and more effectively. 

To help you get started in attracting the right companies that are a value match with your organization, here are 40 effective virtual event ideas, plus how to get a sponsor and what to include in your virtual event sponsorship packages. 

  • What is virtual event sponsorship?
  • 40 Effective Virtual Event Sponsorship Ideas
  • How to create virtual event sponsorship levels
  • How to get sponsors for your virtual event

What is virtual event sponsorship?

A virtual event sponsorship is a partnership between your organization and a company that is supporting and collaborating with you for your virtual event. 

With virtual event sponsorship, your organization gets more funding while increasing your reputation by associating your organization with well-known companies known for making an impact in causes related to your mission or values. According to a study by Hinge Research Institute, growing brands are three times more likely to use partnerships, such as sponsorships, in their marketing strategy and as a result, see two times more profit than others. 

Types of event sponsorship include:

  • Financial - The most common type, where a company will provide monetary support for your event. 
  • In-kind - Where businesses provide goods or services as a contribution to your event. 

40 Effective Virtual Event Sponsorship Ideas

Before the Event:

  1. Social media partnered posts

Include posts on your social channels that introduce your sponsors or highlight key attractions that include your sponsors. 

  1. Sponsor spotlight blog posts

Create interview blog posts with sponsors that highlight shared values, why they’re of interest to your members, and more. 

Source: https://sloclassical.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SLOCA_19-20_blog_sponsorspotlight-01.png

  1. Segmented sponsored email blasts

Send out emails that advertise your upcoming event, including sponsors that are matched with your segmented member audience groups.

  1. Promotional livestreams

Promote your event and your sponsors with live-streams through Instagram or Facebook. It’s an effective way to generate interest and virtual event engagement from your audience; 82% of audiences prefer watching live video over static content [Hubspot].

Source: https://www.alphr.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/instagram-live-who-is-watching.png

  1. Targeted ads

Use targeted ads to promote your virtual event that match member segments with relevant sponsors.

  1. Virtual focus group

Hear from your sponsors about what they would like to get out of your virtual event sponsorship and incorporate these ideas into your event.

  1. Email signatures

Add banners to your staff’s email signatures that promote your virtual event and feature your sponsors.

It’s a top way to generate leads [Hubspot].

Source: https://letsignit.com/blog/event-managers-how-to-take-advantage-of-your-email-signatures

  1. Event landing page

Depending on their sponsorship tier (more on that later!), feature your sponsors on your landing page such as in your event video, include their logo, and more. 

  1. Sponsored attendee gift or package

Get attendees excited with a package that includes materials and gifts for the event such as pens and pencils, paper, socks, and a T-shirt from your sponsors. 

During the Event:

  1. Event loading screens and waiting rooms

Take advantage of waiting time between virtual sessions and feature your sponsors’ logos or video messages.

  1. Opening video

During the opening video of your event, include sponsor logos or even a brief message from your sponsor depending on their sponsorship tier.

Source: https://vimeo.com/blog/post/virtual-event-ideas/

  1. In-video advertisements

Include banner ads or in-video ads that feature your sponsors during breaks for virtual sessions and workshops.

  1. Sponsor MC

Offer top-tier sponsors the opportunity to appear as the master of ceremony and introduce sessions.

  1. Livestream CTAs/ads 

Feature sponsors in pop-up CTAs during your virtual event live-streams or sessions, especially if you have interest streams related to your member segments.

Source: https://blog.video.ibm.com/streaming-product-updates/live-video-cta-add-clickable-video-overlays/

  1. Thank the sponsors

Thank your sponsors at the end of segments and after your event’s introduction and include their logo. 

  1. Virtual event background for attendees

Create downloadable backgrounds for attendees to use during the event that features your sponsor. 

  1. Virtual game breaks

During virtual breaks, give attendees the option to participate in games hosted by sponsors for membership discounts or other prizes donated by your sponsors. 

Source: https://ubersnap.com/blog/18-virtual-event-ideas-to-boost-engagement-with-your-audience/

  1. Virtual entertainment

If you’re hosting a virtual conference, close out the event for the day or end the event with virtual entertainment such as a concert that includes the logo of your sponsor.

  1. Coffee Breaks

Allow sponsors to fund virtual coffee breaks with gift cards for coffee or by sending a mug with the sponsor’s logo in your pre-event package. 

  1. Breakout rooms

During breakout sessions, include sponsors as hosts or mediators where relevant.

  1. Networking groups

If you’ve segmented your networking groups by interest, pair these groups with relevant sponsors.

https://imageio.forbes.com/specials-images/imageserve/1220226068/Laptop-screen-webcam-view-diverse-people-engaged-in-group-videocall/960x0.jpg?format=jpg&width=1440
Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelcyvjoseph/2020/05/18/four-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-your-virtual-networking-events/?sh=5a774eef2466

  1. Ice breakers

Feature your sponsor in creative ways during ice-breakers, whether that be in the name of as part of the activity itself.  

  1. Virtual booths

If you have a virtual booth exhibit, feature your sponsors. People can enter the virtual room and speak to your sponsor about their products or services.

  1. Panel moderator

Pair sponsors with specific knowledge to relevant panels or roundtables as a moderator.

Source: https://influno.com/virtual-panel-discussion/

  1. Solutions demo

Include relevant solutions demos from sponsors after event sessions, especially if it’s highlighting a top member pain point or a key interest for businesses or professionals who are part of your association or organization.

  1. Expert panel

Either have your sponsor appear as a member of the expert panel or feature them in an ad during the video stream. 

  1. Session Tracks and streams

Include relevant sponsored content or support (whether it be video, infographics, or other resources) or have companies sponsor a session track and include their logo.

  1. Virtual happy hour

Include sponsors by featuring them in any gift cards or items you send for your virtual happy hour. 

Source: https://www.letsroam.com/explorer/zoom-drinking-game/

  1. Virtual lunch

Include virtual lunch gift cards from your sponsor, or depending on the sponsor’s business, have them provide the lunch entirely. 

  1. Virtual shopping mall

Offer a virtual shopping mall that features sponsors and lets attendees shop from and interact with sponsors.

  1. Case studies

Have sponsors co-present case studies with valued customers and highlight how their solution solved a need that’s top of mind for your members.  

How to Write an Awesome Case Study That Converts

Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/write-case-study-converts/323397/

  1. Prize draws

Have event sponsors donate prizes or host prize draws during session breaks. 

  1. Virtual swag bag

Give sponsors an opportunity to include branded swag such as gift cards, discounts, and more. 

  1. Freemium Offers

Where relevant, include sponsored services or products/services from the sponsor to attendees at no extra cost for a certain length of time.

  1. Closing credits

Feature your sponsors’ logos in the closing credits for your virtual event or speaker sessions and workshops.

After the Event:

  1. Segmented thank you email blast

When it’s time to thank attendees, include your sponsor’s logo in the same member segments as the pre-event email blast. You may even want to include sponsor-specific offers here.

  1. Post-event resource package

Bundle useful resources and worksheets offered by speakers, thought leaders and your sponsors from event sessions. Theme these bundles by interest stream and include your sponsor logos in the package. 

75,068 Resource Book Images, Stock Photos, 3D objects, & Vectors |  Shutterstock

Source: https://www.shutterstock.com/search/resource-book

  1. Highlights reel

Feature a highlights reel on your social media platforms and website that includes your sponsors.

  1. Virtual event roundup blog

Write up a blog covering key moments during the event and feature sponsors where it makes sense.

  1. Webinars

Offer sponsors the opportunity to appear in future webinars (whether it be as an advertisement, an MC, or a speaker). This nurtures sponsors to continue to support your future events. 

A marketer runs a webinar with many sign ups.

Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/why-consumers-sign-up-for-webinars

  1. Chatbot

Consider adding a sponsored chatbot on your organization’s page for when interested people land on your website after the event. 

TIP: Make sure to measure the impact of these sponsorship ideas post-event. Following up on their success can help you understand how to assess their ROI and what to include in the future.

How to create sponsorship levels for virtual events

Sponsorship levels are an important part of your event because they help nurture and attract different types of companies. They provide potential companies with options and varying degrees of commitment so you can get a variety of sponsors that speak to the different segments and diversity of your membership.

Here’s how to create sponsorship levels for your virtual event: 

  1. Determine your fundraising goals

Take a look at your event and fundraising goals. If you want to raise X amount (such as $90,000), you’ll want to designate what proportion your sponsorships will contribute. Usually sponsorship should contribute around 50% of your overall goal. From there, distribute your sponsorship tiers by funding amount accordingly. You can then determine how many sponsors per tier you will need to meet your fundraising goal.

  1. Name each level

This can be as simple as Bronze, Silver, and Gold. You can also create naming conventions that align with your organization in some way or are related to your event theme. 

  1. Tie benefits to each sponsorship level

Make sure each tier outlines the specific benefits associated with that level of contribution. You can also include how each sponsor will be featured depending on their tier. Sponsorship benefits ideas include:

  • Booth sizes
  • Banners and ads
  • Speaking and MC opportunities
  • Branding

How to get sponsors for your virtual event

Here are some key strategies for finding the right sponsors for your virtual event:

  1. Understand event goals

Create SMART goals and metrics for success for your event and determine how certain sponsors can help you achieve these goals. Write out your dream sponsor criteria. You may want to use information from past successful event sponsors. Finally, partner with companies that align with your organization’s mission so there’s a value match with your attendees.

  1. Use digital tools 

There are several digital tools you can use to help find, engage, and close on the right sponsors. Some options include: 

An online marketplace for event organizers and sponsors. Completely free, it offers filters and other features that allow you to locate sponsors that are a good fit. 

A digital platform that helps you manage your entire sponsorship cycle. This option offers a free trial, but any larger commitment will come at an additional cost. 

A sponsorship marketing consulting firm. This option will give you strategic, reputable partnership opportunities for your event. However, as a consulting firm, it will add an extra cost.  

  1. Leverage your network

Use your professional networks and platforms such as Likedin to reach out to potential sponsors that you may already know.

  1. Reach out to past sponsors

Past sponsors are a great source for your virtual event sponsorship. Pick favorites that align the most with your current virtual event and its goals/objectives.

  1. Ask your members

Consult long-standing members on organizations or companies of interest to them that are a value match. You may want to send out a poll or survey via your member website or email newsletter.

How to create your virtual event sponsorship package

Once you’ve located your potential sponsors, it’s time to build your virtual event sponsorship package. Here’s how:

  1. Write up your sponsorship proposal: Give background about your organization, including your mission, values, and member segments and demographics. Include information about the impact of your past events and initiatives. You can also use data storytelling to drive home your message.
  1. Include sponsorship ideas for prospects: Let prospective sponsors know how they can be involved in your virtual event by highlighting different sponsorship ideas and examples of how they may be featured. Use visuals where appropriate.
  2. Offer a contingency plan: Create a plan that minimizes any risks involved. Offer incentives for involvement but make sure to only ask for a small amount of the sponsorship money rather than the full amount.
  3. Compile your sponsorship package: Make sure to include essentials below.
  • Your sponsorship proposal
  • Sponsorship ideas
  • Sponsorship tiers and benefits
  • Event and organization information
  • Past virtual event sponsorship examples
  • Metrics of success from past events
  1. Find the right contact and reach out at the right time: Determine who to contact in the company you’d like to be a sponsor. Make sure you reach out at a good time and be sure to follow up at the right frequency. And remember, be personable and authentic when you speak with them!

Meeting Your Goals with Engaging Virtual Event Sponsorship Ideas

The right virtual event sponsorship ideas are crucial in helping you achieve your event and organization goals. With effective sponsorship ideas, you’ll be engaging companies that expand your network of supporters as well as increase your membership by attracting new members and retaining existing ones. Plus, it’s an easy way to grow your organization and increase your virtual event’s impact.

Looking for more ideas about engaging your attendees at your next virtual event? Read more here. 

Memberclicks Conference App is the virtual events platform for member organizations, streamlining your attendee experience and your administrative processes, so that integrating your sponsorship ideas into your event is easy.

Recommended Reading:

17 Conference Apps to Improve the Attendee Experience  

11 Strategies for Organizing a Virtual Conference

17 Event Planning Tips for Engaging, Streamlined Events 

Your Complete Guide to Virtual Events for Associations

12 Volunteer Recruitment Ideas for Year-Round Support 

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