The world of event marketing has been undergoing a revolution for years. The pandemic has accelerated these changes dramatically. Offline events began to be transferred en masse into virtual form and…. it has stayed that way. There is talk of gigantic growth – the global virtual events market is predicted to be worth almost $658 billion in 2030. In Poland, it is also impossible not to notice the change. The Clickmeeting platform reported that in 2021 alone there was more than 320% more interest in online events than two years ago. What change does this bring for advertisers? How can you capitalise on this trend by advertising your brand at such events?
Table of contents
- Advantages of online event sponsorship
- Possible forms of exposure during an online event
- How to make even better use of the power of online event sponsorship?
Advantages of online event sponsorship
To begin with, let’s answer one key question – is it worth it? After all, it is obvious that virtual events bring a lot of benefits both to the organisers (lower costs, unlimited number of participants, less work) and to the participants themselves (no need to leave home, possibility to replay the recorded event). But what about advertisers, for whom investing in exposure during events has been an important part of product or brand promotion? What are the advantages of just sponsoring virtual events?
Reaching an unlimited number of potential customer
The principle is simple – the more attendees at an event, the more potential customers who may be interested in your brand and what it offers. So it is natural – unless the organisers set limits – that an online event reaches more people, beyond physical limitations such as where you live.
Being a partner or sponsor of stationary events requires a lot of work – and in the case of sponsorship stands, for example, it is difficult to do without being physically present at the event site. In the online world, you take care of everything remotely, and your employees can get right back to their jobs after the event.
Organising an offline event takes a lot of money. After all, you have to pay for the room (and in the case of large events, the prices are not insignificant), technical service or catering. This all adds to the cost of being a sponsor of such an event. And although it is not the rule, sponsoring online events is often simply cheaper (of course, it all depends ultimately on the sponsorship package chosen).
More precise analytics
This is something that most online marketing professionals love virtual events for. When dealing with classic events, there is no way to get such precise statistics on attendees, their preferences, activity or brand experience. With online events, the matter is made easier, with algorithms able to give us details such as engagement, number of downloads of branded content or chat metrics.
Ability to adapt activities to the course
Sponsors can analyse the effects of their activities and change them acoordingly during the course of the event. Being able to react flexibly in real time to what is happening at the event enables them to generate more valuable leads. And, in turn, achieve a more satisfactory return on invested funds.
Possible forms of exposure during an online event
From the sponsor’s point of view, the form of brand exposure is the most important element of an event. At first sight, the opportunities available virtually may not seem particularly different from those offered to us by organisers of offline events. On the contrary, the online space offers even more opportunities to promote the brand. What are they and which are the most effective on the Polish market?
Naming rights, or event naming rights, are of course the most expensive, but undoubtedly the most distinctive form of brand sponsorship for an event. It most often involves including the brand name in the title of the event. An example of this is the Orange Warsaw Festival music event, of which Orange Polska is the title sponsor.
Any well-planned form of brand exposure (its name or logo) will influence potential customers. These can include, for example:
- Placement of the sponsor’s advertising banner and logo on the event platform and on the page where tickets for the event can be purchased.
- Posting of sponsor information on social media dedicated to the event.
- Honouring the sponsor’s message in the chat during the event.
- Exposure of brand materials on a waiting screen (e.g. before the event starts).
- Sponsorship of participants or players (e.g. brand exposure on clothing in the case of sports events broadcast online).
Most online events are promoted with dedicated websites. This is where all event and event agent information is posted; it is also where ticket sales often take place. At some events, organisers even create dedicated tabs dedicated to sponsors. It is worth using this space to familiarise potential audiences with the brand’s mission and offerings.
Adverts shown during breaks in transmission
Advertising spots or brand-promoting graphics are an effective way of filling space for a break (e.g. between panels) during the streaming of an event. It is good here to take care to create a creation dedicated just for the occasion. When the ad relates in some way to the theme of the event, it is much better received by the audience.
The appearance of a brand representative during a panel at an event is a phenomenal tool to build brand credibility (while giving it long exposure). This method is great for events, congresses, training sessions or business conferences. Make sure, however, that such a sponsorship panel relates to the topic of the event and brings real knowledge to the participants. Remember to introduce your brand, but don’t treat it like an advertising block. That’s what other tools are for.
Free material from the sponsor
Valuable digital downloads created by the sponsor, as well as discounts on services or products, are a good way to make event participants feel recognised. For smaller events, you may even be tempted to send physical gifts – this will make something that was previously virtual suddenly become tangible.
Free material from the sponsor
Gamification is one of the best ways to engage participants in virtual events. Engage them in a simple game with prizes (e.g. during the break of the event). On the one hand, this will provide more brand exposure and on the other hand, a memorable experience for the participants.
Although expo zones with partner stands are primarily associated with large congresses, trade fairs and other stationary events, it is also possible to implement them at virtual events. Online expo zones are usually highlighted during the event as one of the tabs that participants can look at at any time.
A dedicated brand stand has a networking function – simply appoint a stand supervisor to represent the brand to potential customers. Many event organisers provide the opportunity to create live Q&A sessions via virtual meeting platforms for sponsors and attendees.
Such a post should be personalised appropriately by including, for example:
- brand logos and appropriate advertising graphics,
- product sheets containing information on the offer,
- contact details and social media links,
- downloadable materials,
- discount coupons.
How to further harness the power of online event sponsorship?
How to select events? How do I measure the effects of my sponsorship activities? Which events are worth sponsoring? These questions are asked by every brand representative who is thinking of investing part of their budget in this form of marketing in Poland. Let us briefly discuss what you can do to make the most of the power of the tool of virtual event sponsorship – all from the perspective of a Polish advertising agency that specialises in event marketing.
1. Choose events with a target group identical to yours
Sponsor those events that share values similar to those of your brand. This helps you find common ground for further negotiations and will carry benefits for both parties. Moreover, it increases your chances of reaching more people potentially interested in your product or service.
If possible, you can also look for events directly related to your industry. A big advantage of sponsoring events with a related theme is that you appeal to the same customer group – so you know a lot more about them right from the start. And this makes it easier to choose the form of brand exposure at the event and create promotional materials.
2. Take advantage of 1:1 contact opportunities with customers
Sponsor partner stands are your most important place and this is where almost all your brand’s involvement in the event should focus. After all, this is where you have the chance to make direct contact with your customers. What’s more, at many events it is also possible to create an attendee list with more advanced filtering according to the criteria you specify. Based on this, you can send personalised e-mailings, SMS or push notifications to selected meeting participants.
3. carefully analyse all data obtained
Online events are able to provide a lot of valuable data for later analysis. Unlike stationary events (where we have to rely mainly on surveys filled in by attendees), here we have plenty of opportunities to study the actual behaviour and preferences of attendees. These can include:
- the number of people available at the event (along with changes, e.g. drops in interest during given panels or speeches),
- involvement of participants during the event,
- chat statistics,
- presence at the sponsor’s stand,
- number of downloads of sponsorship material,
- survey results.
Where to find online events in Poland?
The answer to this question is simple. Well, you can look… everywhere. Many organisers of major events, conferences, congresses, webinars, cultural, gaming or sporting events or online concerts offer special ready-made price packages to potential sponsors. These are broken down into the amount the brand is prepared to invest along with the exposure opportunities offered in the package. This allows you to decide whether you want your brand to appear only on the website or whether you expect your own stand in a separate tab. It’s worth keeping an eye on the pages of popular events in your industry, as well as sites designed for event organisers, such as SponsorMyEvent.
If you are looking for maximum benefits from this type of marketing, an effective match between the event and your brand, as well as a high return on investment, it is worth enlisting the help of an advertising agency experienced in the Polish market. Dedicated agencies not only search for events, but also negotiate with organisers, select forms of brand exposure, create promotional materials, and keep an eye on the event.
Are you looking for an agency to plan from A to Z the exposure of your brand at a virtual event in Poland? Get in touch with our experts!