The Sponsor Experience in your Virtual Event Platform Is Just Not Right

Article by Carolyn Bradfield - February 8, 2023

It is important for sponsors to support virtual events so they can reach new audiences, be cost-effective, receive valuable data and insights, increase brand awareness, and have new networking opportunities. By supporting virtual events, sponsors can maintain their presence in the market, reach new customers, and stay ahead of their competition.  And for the event host, the right sponsor experience can either drive the right revenue or lead to missed revenue goals.

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Here are some warning signs that you have an event platform that does not give sponsors the experience they want and need.

The virtual booth experience is lacking in features and functionality.

Many event platforms overlook the virtual booth in favor of focusing on other features like keynotes and workshops.  They may offer a simple listing with a logo, a few PDFs and chat features when someone stops by.  A feature rich virtual booth is important to the sponsor who wants to elevate their brand, customize the attendee experience, and showcase what makes them special, so if your platform can't provide that, you'll leave sponsors disappointed.

The platform doesn't help the sponsor get noticed.

A booth inside of a virtual or hybrid event is just not enough if the attendee doesn't have multiple ways to notice the sponsor in other platform locations, motivating them to click to jump inside the booth.  Platforms should provide prominent advertising space, presence inside of dashboards, and ways to promote their expertise and thought leadership.

Updating the virtual booth is difficult and time consuming.

Just like the event host, the sponsor has limited staff and time to get their booth setup, particularly if they are exhibiting at multiple events.  The platform company should let them self-manage the booth, offer online help, design the booth as a "plug and play" exercise and make it quick and easy for sponsors to have a great booth experience.

The platform doesn't provide enough opportunities for the sponsor and their staff to engage.

Sponsors are just another type of attendee who wants to have an attendee like experience by participating in sessions, finding others to connect with, joining discussion forums and finding meaningful ways to connect that go beyond basic event chat.  A platform that doesn't recognize the need for sponsor staff to have them same opportunities as attendees is making the experience less attractive to the sponsor.

The platform restricts access to the data needed to get a lead and prove the ROI for the sponsor investment.

There's nothing better than having instant access to a lead report to see who is paying attention to you, what they are looking at, and who wants to engage with you.  If the event platform makes it hard for sponsors to get on-demand reports to identify sales leads, then they will quickly determine that the ROI is just not worth it.

The platform doesn't encourage attendees to find the sponsor either online or on the exhibit floor.

Virtual event platforms need to recognize that many events are hybrid with presence both in the online and physical world.  If the event platform doesn't help drive traffic to both locations or minimizes the virtual experience while the in-person exhibit hall is open, then sponsors may view that the two experiences are not blended and might forgo one or the other.