Updated By: Jannan Poppen
One of the biggest topics of discussion in the association space is how to price virtual event sponsorships. However, before we provide recommendations and metrics, let’s talk about the virtual events themselves and their place in your members’ ecosystems.
First and foremost, view them as holistic endeavors rather than individual events. This maximizes their value and allows virtual events to find their place in your overall membership strategy. They can add huge value if they are done correctly, so let’s break it down.
Establishing Your Event’s Value for Members
You always want value at the forefront of your strategy, so the first question is, how will you maximize the content delivery and provide value for your members? Use virtual events to deliver critical information on important topics. Think about what your members need to know and organize your event to deliver high-value information on those topics.
Another major advantage of virtual events is the opportunity to expand access to members that otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend. You may be able to connect with members that have never attended a live event in the past due to the costs associated with travel or other obligations. Take advantage of the opportunity to use this platform of content delivery to engage with first-time attendees and deliver value geared specifically toward them. This should encourage future engagement and build relationships with a previously unengaged member segment.
Establishing Your Event’s Value for Sponsors
Another big opportunity in offering virtual events is the potential to engage and attract sponsors. Of course, you’ll want to identify aligned sponsors and be clear on the benefits of sponsorship. In starting the conversation about sponsorship, you’ll also want to make sure you know and can deliver on your sponsor’s objectives.
Do they want leads? Do they want names? Do they want one-on-one Zoom follow-up calls with select webinar attendees? You’ll need to consider what the sponsors’ objectives and needs are and tailor your webinars to deliver results so they’ll want to sponsor your event before you move to the next step, pricing.
How to Determine Event Sponsorship Pricing
As for the sponsorship pricing, we recommend starting with three times the amount of your costs to ensure you can deliver on your sponsor’s objectives in terms of marketing, platforms used, cost to hire the speaker, etc. Three times your cost should get you to a starting place, plus or minus 5%, based on several different factors, such as:
- Sponsorship exclusivity. Is the event exclusive? Is the content unique and something that only your association can deliver?
- Premium platform used for delivery. Is it a popular platform that you have been able to bring people toward?
- Delivering the target audience. Can you successfully deliver the target audience of the sponsor?
- Past performance. Does your past performance demonstrate your ability to execute the program and what is your success rate?
- Sponsor objectives. Are you delivering any other type of sponsor objectives?
- Timeliness of the content delivery. Is it critical and timely? Is it unique information?
Blending factors that are important to your members and your sponsors will lead you to a place where your pricing will be relative to the market value.
Although there are certainly best practices and benchmarks to consider, every association will have their own considerations that contribute to pricing. Look at your own association and what it’s delivering to determine the event sponsorship pricing that’s right, worthwhile, and honors your ability to deliver it all for your members, your association, and your sponsors.
Hopefully, this provides a starting point and guidelines to help you establish a plan of action for your association to capitalize on event sponsorship opportunities. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, as we would be happy to assist.