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Engagement marketing to build revenues beyond expectations


How do you keep long-term sponsors’ engagement in virtual events? How do you make sure they receive the right ROI? Discover how virtual events bring new and innovative opportunities to your sponsors.


With events taking place online for the foreseeable future, many associations are wondering how to retain sponsorship revenues within their virtual event strategy.

Corporate sponsors provide financial support and are often a key part of what allows organisations to achieve their mission. But as much as sponsorship benefits your association, it’s also important to focus on what sponsors can get out of partnering with on your next event. 

We've asked 3 of our global sponsorship experts to give some insights into the opportunities that are present in the digital space for sponsors and how to make the most out of them. 


A collaborative partnership approach to sponsorship 

The sponsorship landscape will continue to see us move away from transactional sponsorship and into a model of collaborative partnership design.   

We’ve been on this path for some time, COVID-19 simply accelerated the process. Staying relevant in this time of disruption demanded creativity and collaboration. 

Discussions with prospective sponsors and affiliate organisations must be rooted in collaboration. If content is king, then data is queen and together they open the door to an eco-system of opportunity for associations and sponsors alike.  

The path ahead, however, is not straightforward. It requires strategic planning, a creative entrepreneurial mindset and a willingness from all parties to push the boundaries of their collaboration.

Educational content co-development, affiliate program co-location, digital marketing optimisation, the multiplier effect, hybrid delivery mechanisms, extended content lifespan, engagement, success metrics, data analytics and reporting are among the many topics that must be addressed through the partnership design process.  

The result: an expanded, dynamic and value-based collaboration designed to achieve both your and your sponsors’ goals. 


Event experience, engagement and data to meet sponsors’ objectives 

There are a lot of opportunities for sponsorship in virtual events that are even more valuable sources of revenues for associations than what was previously available at in-person events. 

Associations have a community to serve - they need to connect; to build relationships; to engage and to further educate the industry. A virtual event can still meet these objectives, but it requires a redesign of the sponsorship offering. 

In this sense, the event experience, the engagement and the access to data are key to generate revenue and sustainable growth. 

  • Event experience: in the digital space, a virtual event is a moment in time. But it doesn’t stop there.  

The overall audience’s virtual experience starts well before the event itself and continues long after it ends. This leaves plenty of opportunities for sponsors to showcase their brand.  

  • Engagement: virtual events should be designed around engagement. 

From interactive moments throughout the event program to social media and marketing, give visibility to your sponsors when your audience is the most engaged. 

  • Data: online platforms make it easier to capture delegates’ behaviour and learning insights, such as topics of interest, preferred time of learning, day and usage patterns.  

These data allow sponsors to strengthen their brand awareness and engagement with their target audience. 


Investing in retargeting for greater sponsorship impact 

One of our main strategies to add value to the sponsorship counterparts in digital events has been investing in retargeting.

This allows them to leverage the value of their digital audience in ways that far exceed the impact and results of other types of digital sponsorships. 

Retargeting means using data to target people who have already showed interest in your product, service or event - but haven’t converted yet - with ads.  

This way, associations can offer sponsors access to their audience wherever they are on the web through highly effective and measurable campaigns.  

After the event, for instance, sponsors can gain access to the attendees and present them with relevant follow-up offers. A lucrative and future-proof add-on for sponsorship packages. 

With a blended approach that focuses on collaboration, the possibilities of virtual and marketing tactics, virtual sponsorships can be as effective as at in-person events. Get in touch with us to learn how we can maximise your sponsors’ ROI in the virtual realm. 

MCI Content Team