Events and conferences moving online aren’t as bad as many people seem to make it out to be. For exhibitors, sponsors, organisers and attendees, the blending of on and offline can add far more value than I believe people realise.
If we assume that the event organiser understands that they are a content creator and broadcaster and they program their production, we can look at the rest of the event. We’re also going to assume that the platform isn’t forcing unnecessary “engagement” tools in the way, then let’s think about the rest of the event.
In this post, I will talk about six different ways that event organisers can add more value and a better ROI to their exhibitors and sponsors online, which they may not have been able to do with a straight offline event.
One of the key reasons that people come to conferences is to walk the exhibition hall and talk with exhibitors to see what’s new and exciting in their field. Considering your exhibition hall exhibitors means that you will have many businesses that have interesting stories to be told at any tome time in the exhibition hall.
The stories about their industry and product mean that you have an opportunity not only to create hours of exciting content for your viewers that you can stream live to a stage online. But you can add a lot of value to each exhibitor now. Not only are they getting access to eyeballs at the venue, but you are showing them and talking in-depth with them about what they are there to promote.
The value that this can add to your event, to your exhibitors and sponsors is enormous, and if you record the content, you can now provide them with content that they can promote on their social media.
In the Bettercast platform, a widget area allows you to place a massive image of a sponsor for any presentation. This means that while your online guests are watching a session, your sponsors brand is right in front of them.
Additionally, you can now directly gauge the view time of that banner image, and if the event needs an ROI metric, you can easily show them view time on their banner.
If you match the banner to a part of a presentation, then the additional brand value that the production has will increase exponentially.
The more creative you get with this visual real estate, the better.
Brands will spend a lot of money trying to draw traffic to their booth, with giveaways, flashy signs and decorations, and pretty event women that lure creepy men in with a promise of a smile. All to snag a direct contact or business card that they can use to follow up a lead with and, hopefully for them, close a deal or sale.
With hybrid and the ability to collate data online, you can provide the sponsor or exhibitor with a detailed list of contact information of everyone that showed even a little passing interest in their content on the page.
You must make sure that before the attendees go into your event, they agree to the terms and conditions that you’re going to pass on their information to sponsors and exhibitors and that they may receive marketing outreach after the event is over.
This lead list means that the sponsor can easily track ROI on the event, and doing that means that it’s adding far more value to your hybrid event than others may be.
Suppose your sponsors and exhibitors aren’t interested in direct outreach to guests after the event with the contact lists that you can provide them. In that case, you can add more value by allowing them to add their own remarketing or digital marketing tracking cookies to their page on your event.
This means that when your guests go to their Facebook or other social media, your sponsors can now retarget them with their advertising and lead gen campaigns that they control.
There is extreme value in this as it’s a far lighter touch to your guests and a much more impactful lead generation method for your sponsors and exhibitors.
There is only one place for a conversation in many hybrid conferences, and that is on the chat area that will be near a live streaming video.
However, research has shown that most attendees will spend more time talking and building relationships with others before or after the content is playing.
This means that if you can provide your sponsors and exhibitors with a way to communicate with their attendees without being in a giant chat room, there is far more chance for them to build valuable and relevant networks with the guests there to talk to them.
A simple option is to provide a simple form that guests can fill out, that the sponsor or exhibitor will receive, or you can build in the limited text chat with people on that specific page, or to go even further a way to make a video or voice call to a sponsor or exhibitor from the page.
This means that you are facilitating a more direct experience and conversations between the guests of the event and the sponsors and exhibitors.
In many events, you have the opportunity to create video networking and breakout rooms within the platform itself. If you work with the sponsors, they can be hosting their breakouts or meetings with larger groups.
This will help build the sponsors brand a great deal, as they can talk to their viewers, show off products they can create special offers that guests can take advantage of.
Additionally, by giving the sponsors their rooms, they can program a mini-event within your event. This adds more value to your program and them, as their presence at your event goes from a passive participant who has only got a single page to a content producer within your event itself.
You will need to be sure that you can record the content created in this breakout room, which you can then provide to the exhibitor to utilise that in whatever social marketing they want to have.
In this post, we spoke about how you can deliver more value to sponsors and exhibitors in your hybrid event. Give the sponsors a breakout room that they can control the content on, Encourage your guest to communicate with sponsors and exhibitors in multiple ways. Provide technology that enables sponsors to add tracking and remarketing cookies into your event, provide detailed analytics, give them more visual representation on your event site and dedicate a stage just to communicating with your exhibitors and sponsors on camera.
We’ve shared a few thoughts on how you can deliver more value to sponsors and exhibitors in your hybrid event. If you want some help implementing these ideas, reach out!
Bettercast is here to make sure that we have the best possible outcome for both parties involved.
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