The world is changing, technology and world-wide pandemics have thrusted us into a new normal of zoom calls and virtual events..
But even before 2020, virtual charity fundraising events were seeing a rise in popularity due to their ability to include and engage such a wide and far-reaching audience.
For charity auctions, physical events have had “call-in” options. And as technology progressed livestreaming and mobile bidding has become more fully integrated so that people who couldn’t physically make it could participate.
Virtual events and online bidding was gaining traction as a viable option, but now, it’s still one of the only viable options!!
But the rules of the road are different for an entirely virtual event than what the traditional event usually entails..
What are these differences? And how do you make sure that nobody gets the short end of the stick and all parties involved are taken care of?
We are here to help you! Today we are going to address how to give good exposure to your sponsors at virtual events…
No longer can the traditional sponsorship highlights be populated throughout the venue. There are no booths, sponsor banners, slide shows on the stage.
And even a 45 second recognition video is arguably too much air time to give one sponsor during a 30 minute event! The watcher’s attention span might glaze over if it is that long!
So is all lost?
While the strategy changes, virtual events can be actually far BETTER than traditional physical events for the sponsors involved.
There is actually room to grow your sponsorship requests, not decrease them! Sponsorship spots can be more expensive because you are virtual!
1) There is way more exposure…
Far more people can attend your virtual events than your physical events.
We have seen drastic increase in attendance to short, but intentional, virtual events. There is a supreme sweet spot in the world of virtual events for charity fundraising.
People are tired of being on the computer – they want to support the cause they care about, but they do not want an event to drag on.
The consequence of this is that many people are attending to the beginning of virtual events and not sticking around after the 30 and then 45 minute mark.
The increase in attendance comes primarily from two factors.
The first factor is that travel time is cut out of an event. The attendees may come from other states and other countries with no problem!!
That means that your donor’s good friend across the country now has the opportunity to “come” and support their friend’s cause in a way they couldn’t have “shown up” before.
The second factor is that of ease. The attendee can sit in their PJs and take 30-45 minutes out of the night rather than sacrificing their entire night. This time-save is a massive incentive!
It allows your donors, their friends, and other new guests to say, “Sure! I’ll attend! Why not?”
This reality is incentive for your sponsors. They will want their name publicized at this event more than at past events.
They will have more exposure then before by the very nature of how virtual events work!
2) There is more marketing data available in your demographic
There may be 500-1,000 people at your event.
Yet, there may be 10,000 people that interact with your social media and email marketing campaigns for your virtual event.
In all of these campaigns, your organization can provide…
Statistics are lucrative. The numbers don’t lie!
Letting your sponsors know how many people have seen your website pages that may have their sponsorship highlight gives cold-hard facts for how many people interacted with your sponsor’s brand!
These statistics don’t stop at website traffic. The number of newsletter email opens and click rates are also available through statistics! Data on how the amount of click-throughs on website links is a concrete asset for your sponsors.
Access to email-subscribers list and social media followers
Your organization has garnered a well-curated email subscriber list and social media account full of your sponsor’s demographic.
Giving sponsors a platform on your platform is worth a lot… Even more now that it’s virtual and not a one-night popup stand…
3) There are many ways to publicize Sponsors during the event…
Consider offering different packages for your sponsors.
For high-level sponsors, showcase who they are and what they do for 15-30 second slots.
Some sponsors are still willing and wanting to send out individual swag bags to those who register for the event in advance! (This also helps give incentive to pre-registration if the swag bags are appealing!)
For mid-level sponsors, consider having information rolling across the bottom of the screen.
There can be different packages as well for pre-promotion through social media, email, etc.
4) There is flexibility and innovation!
Ask your donors, “what are you interested in?”
Don’t be afraid to ask them what their ideal “place” would be in the process.
You can lay out for them the access tools and ideas, but allow them to have ideas too!
Then, you can come back with a price point for the customized plan.
Having that kind of conversation with each of your sponsors is just another aspect of what it means to build and keep a relationship that will be long term… beneficial to the both of you!
5) There is always “Sponsor an auction item”!
A kind of sponsorship that translates well into the “virtual event” realm is a sponsored auction item. This grew in popularity for charity organizations when the need for better auction items grew and yet the risk for purchasing interesting auction items became too high.
The solution became having sponsors “buy” or “sponsor” the item so that 100% of the bid price would go to charity and if the item did not sell well, the organization wouldn’t have to take a hit for a costly auction item that turned out to be a fluke.
With Charity Fundraising, we offer our auction items at ZERO-RISK. Meaning, your organization does not have to pay a penny for an auction item if it does not sell. (Really, it’s true! You do not even have to pay for the shipping for the auction item).
Even with this amazing risk-free auction item, the “Sponsored Item” proves very successful. While there is no risk involved, the benefit of 100% procured profit from the item is undeniably wonderful!
It also allows the auctioneer air-time to highlight the items sponsored and the sponsors.