sponsoring online events


The meeting industry has undergone a profound transformation since the beginning of the year. The shift from in-person events to online events has involved significant logistical challenges, and organisers must also come to grips with new forms of securing potential sponsors and ensuring sponsorship packages deliver something of value to all stakeholders.

[Download our complete 35-pages White Paper: A Comprehensive Guide To Securing Conference & Event Sponsorship]

In light of the latest industry changes, event sponsors may have a reasonable concern: is sponsoring online events effective and profitable? Will its impact on the target audience be comparable to in-person events? The answer is yes, and in the following section, we will examine how to transmit this positive message to potential sponsors.

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Guidelines For Sponsoring Online Events

Whether we are talking about a hybrid event, an online conference, or an in-person gathering, event sponsorship is essentially about value. Potential sponsors still want to know how the event will help them achieve their business goals and promote their brand among the target audience. In the new environment, this requires having updated marketing personas that take into consideration the impact of this year’s disruption into attendee needs and expectations.

The sponsorship package concept still applies, as do the event metrics that organisers need to gather to sell different packages. When it comes to sponsoring online events, it is crucial to go beyond metrics like attendee numbers, audience engagement, and social media impressions.

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In the current scenario, organisers must understand that many sponsors will only be willing to invest in minimum risk solutions, so the scale of sponsorship packages should be revisited. For example, it may be more effective to sell an online event sponsorship based on lead counts or 1-to-1 meetings, allowing sponsors to set their own targets and creating sponsorship tiers around those.

A few aspects need adjusting or rethinking entirely. The most obvious is the medium through which sponsorship value and benefits are delivered. At the very least, organising online events entails pivoting towards digital sponsor booths, online demos and ad space, and remote interactions.

Five Online Conference Sponsorship Ideas

Hyperlocal chat sessions

Online events have opened up their potential target audience to the entire world. Despite their global scope, it can be productive to include one-to-one chat sessions with local sponsor representatives. This adds a more personal touch to the entire experience.

Sponsored games or team-building activities

Games and team-building activities are an effective way of keeping the sponsor’s name top of mind, as their brand will be associated with an engaging session. In addition, why not top it up with a branded thank-you gift for participating?

Virtual exhibition booths

Virtual booths are particularly apt in medical and healthcare conferences. A basic but effective format could include having an attendee click on a logo to access a virtual medical technology demo, or pre-booking a one-to-one online meeting with the sponsor’s team.

Swag bags

Digital swag bags can be emailed to attendees or delivered via messaging through event apps. Emails or messages must clearly highlight the sponsor’s logo and fully describe the freebies and their benefits. It is also possible to mail physical swag bags. In this case, make the offering relevant to the growing digital interaction we are all experiencing.

Branded coffee breaks

Conference breaks are not just time off: they can be a memorable experience where participants get something valuable and engaging. This could include anything from short yoga sessions to celebrity Q&As, or live recipe or cocktail preparation by well-known personalities.

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The shift from physical events to digital events touches on every aspect of event planning but does not need to jeopardise the organiser’s ability to secure sponsorship. Restrictions on live events can be turned into opportunities, as they urge organisers to get creative with their online event sponsorship ideas.

When guided by a desire to align objectives and deliver value, this creativity can help forge mutually beneficial partnerships. Design compelling packages that deliver exposure, stimulate engagement and promote the sponsor’s brand. This will help make the transition towards digital event sponsorships smooth, rewarding, and successful.

Download our complete 35-pages White Paper: A Comprehensive Guide To Securing Conference & Event Sponsorship.

[This Blog Article has been originally published on IAPCO, THE PCO]


Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering customised solutions. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences and meetings, including the management of hotel rooms and the strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 45 events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations.

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