What We’ve Learned Selling Virtual Event Sponsorships – Association Field Report (September 4, 2020)



Today’s field report is on the topic of what is happening in virtual sponsorships, specifically sales. Pretty exciting things are happening!

We’re currently out in the field selling a lot of virtual sponsorships. I know many of you are too. Overall, these are selling well. I have a couple of observations for you that might be helpful.

First, avoid assumptions when it comes to your previous sponsors and organizations that have not sponsored with you in the past. We’re finding that some of your existing sponsors may have made a decision – corporate wide – that they’re not doing virtual events. On the other hand, there are folks that may not have attended your trade show or had a booth and are actually jumping to the front of the class and sponsoring programs. Don’t assume that just because they did in the past, or they did not do in the past, that that’s what they’re going to do in a virtual format. It’s been very interesting to learn that.

Next, prepare to spend some extra time explaining the new platform and promote those ideas as people are buying or considering buying. You’re going to have to explain to them how to set up a virtual booth; they’ve been setting up their in-person booth for 25 years by the same person. It’s going to be important for you to show them how it works. This will make the sales process longer, more involved, and will require more activity.

Finally, be prepared to talk about the data that you will be able provide. Data is what’s making virtual programming very valuable for some of these companies because they’re going to receive data and information that’s better than what they could from an in-person event.

If you’re implementing webinars – and other virtual programs – and you’re not collecting data, getting butts in the virtual seats, and having people participate then your sponsors are not going to want to buy. The first thing they’re going to ask before committing to sponsoring is, “How many people do you expect to show up? How many people are registered? How many people are watching these webinars?” If you don’t have that data, good luck, it’s going to be tough to sell those.

Need help selling your virtual event sponsorship inventory? We can help! Reach out to Mike Thomas directly, to learn how to get started!


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