Your choice of virtual event platform is essential for setting the proper environment for your event.
You are the expert in content and presentation, but what provides an excellent event experience and interaction opportunities for your audience is your virtual event platform.
However, not every virtual event platform is made with your sponsors in mind.
So are you helping them achieve maximum ROI through the best experience possible? Or are you leaving value on the table?
Here are some definite ways your virtual event platform isn’t giving the best experience possible for your sponsors.
Complicated registration process
A poor or complicated registration process can set the tone for the entirety of your event.
Your sponsors are busy and don’t have time to learn the intricacies of complicated tools.
The more hoops to jump through to access your virtual event platform, the more barriers you put in front of them.
They’ll be loath to use the platform and won’t make the most of the incredible opportunity you’re providing them.
Lack of effective data and reporting on ROI
Virtual events offer potential for immense amounts of information for both you and your sponsors.
But the information should also be provided to you in a way you can understand.
Anyone can spend hours of time analyzing endless spreadsheets and calculating numbers manually, but what you need is the right data shown the right way.
As well, some virtual event platforms only report on vanity metrics, which is a kind way of saying ‘metrics that don’t matter’.
Vanity metrics can be dangerous. Your sponsors want quantifiable results from their participation.
And to get those results, they don’t need banner ad views, they need to know how many attendees took action because of that ad.
Most of all, they need real data on buyer intent (bonus if you can provide qualified leads too).
So beware of virtual event platforms that only offer vanity metrics, as these lack true revenue-generating value for sponsors.
Unintuitive platform for attendees
Your attendees are the only reason sponsors participate in your event.
So if your virtual event platform isn’t enticing for attendees, they won’t use it.
And if they aren’t using it, they won’t connect with your sponsors.
How do you know if the platform will be difficult for attendees to use? Keep an eye out for these warning flags:
- Poor accessibility. Attendees should be able to participate from different platforms and devices.
- Difficult registration process. Sign up should be painless and easy, like clicking a link or receiving a sign in email.
- Confusing and cluttered user interfaces. A bad user interface can mean your attendees get lost or miss valuable information.
No meeting scheduler or facilitated matchmaking
The best way to close a deal is an in-person meeting, but a 1:1 video call will serve just as well.
So when your sponsors find a hot lead, the faster they schedule a direct meeting, the better.
But if you can’t offer an easy way to schedule meetings or find potential leads, you’re leaving a lot of value on the table and limiting the effectiveness of your sponsorship offering.
By adding facilitated matchmaking to your event, you help both sponsors and attendees find the right people to meet.
Facilitated matchmaking or meeting schedulers are your sponsors’ ticket to approaching leads and generating revenue - so don’t neglect them!
Matchmaking tools are excellent for connecting attendees at virtual events and are core to a great experience. Learn about our own facilitated matchmaking platform here.
Uneven promotional opportunities
Attendees don’t want to join a living pop-up ad. Your virtual event platform needs to balance out your sponsor needs with the attendee experience.
Some attendees participate to find solutions to issues. These can be your sponsors’ products or services, so promoting your sponsors will help those attendees achieve their goals.
However, they don’t want sponsors in front of their face, preventing them from enjoying the other aspects of your event either.
There’s a delicate balance. We recommend virtual event platforms that offer native promotion for sponsors, as this provides great visibility for sponsors while maintaining a positive attendee experience.
And while you should offer your sponsors the freedom to promote their brand, too much can be bad. It’s your event after all – you should have the final say on what happens and when.
So be careful of giving sponsors too much freedom and flexibility. You should always be able to moderate and control what goes on at your event.
Virtual event platforms can offer your sponsors valuable opportunities, like audience interaction, trackable content and more. Leave your email here for a demo of our virtual event platform and sponsor capabilities.
As you can see, there are a lot of things that can go wrong!
However, striking the perfect balance takes time. Your event and brand will determine the optimal amount of control and promotion for your sponsors.
For example, the level of appropriate promotion for sponsors is greater at a trade show, where the focus is on new products and services, compared to a conference, which is more about connections, content and discussions.
So when testing virtual event platforms and the sponsor applications for your own event, ask yourself these four questions:
Is it easy to use and understand?
Your sponsors are busy people (like you). Lengthy onboarding process or unnecessary downloads to join the platform are huge turn-offs.
The best virtual event platforms are simple and intuitive.
While the term ‘virtual event platform’ sounds intimidating, at their core they aren’t too different from popular social media platforms - people use them to connect with others, and expect to do it with ease.
Those have incredibly simple sign in and registration flows, and virtual event platforms should be the same.
Make sure your virtual event platform is easy to use, for both you and your sponsors.
The more your sponsors use the platform and the tools provided, the better their experience will be - but they have to use it first!
Is it versatile enough to cater to my sponsors’ needs?
Your sponsors come with different reasons and values, and you do your best to provide them with a reasonable and effective package to help them achieve your goals.
So you deserve a virtual event platform that’s like yourself - flexible and ready to go above and beyond.
Your virtual event platform should be able to cover (at minimum) the most common reasons for sponsorship, like:
- Lead generation
- Brand awareness
- New product launch
Otherwise, you’re limiting the potential of your sponsorships and your event.
My colleague researched the most common questions sponsors need you to answer. I invite you to read more here.
Does it offer potential for continuous revenue generation?
Digital experiences are all the rage, and the best thing about them is they can exist even when there are no people around.
Consider a booth at a physical event. No reps means no deals.
However, at a virtual event, good virtual event platforms allow sponsors to generate leads and revenue even when they aren’t present at the booth.
Whether it’s through lead capture forms or capturing booth traffic, you and your sponsors have data that physical events cannot provide.
So use a critical eye when evaluating the sponsor features of your virtual event platform. Look for potentials to add:
- Passive lead gen opportunities like sign-up forms, newsletter registrations or gated content
- Full branding to make it as sponsor-friendly as possible
- Content like brand videos, product demos or whitepapers
And much more.
Does it provide the right data to prove ROI?
Virtual event platforms offer your sponsors quantifiable information on their participation.
For example, instead of guessing how much traffic they had, they’ll know exactly who visited their booth and the actions they took.
This helps your sponsors segment attendees who requested more information from those who visited their booth but left without requesting more information.
As well, you can provide exact numbers on traffic to sponsored sessions, leads generated from sessions and booths, and more.
Buyer intent, lead generation, session participation, content effectiveness - if your sponsor wants to know, your virtual event platform should be able to tell them.
Effective reporting is a vital feature of any virtual event platform (aside from connecting your attendees together in a simple, effective manner).
Provide worthwhile opportunities to your sponsors
Virtual events offer great lead generation potential for your sponsors, due to the larger reach your event has, and the more powerful lead capture options available online.
And with detailed reporting, your sponsors will gain more data than would ever be possible at a live event.
Plus, getting familiar with these features and possibilities now will assist you greatly as hybrid events become more mainstream.
So if you’re looking for a virtual event platform that answers all of the above questions, and we will contact you with a demo.
Or you can email me here and I can answer any questions you might have!