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  • Jennifer Kerhin, MBA, CEM

Digital Communications - A Vehicle for Sponsorship Revenue

What options are available if your trade show or meeting has been cancelled? It is still possible to achieve your event’s goals with the technology your organization uses on a daily basis. Pivoting to a virtual experience enables you to convey your message despite an inability to hold your scheduled in-person meeting. This process starts with digital communication – the key to maintaining an interactive relationship with your members, attendees, and meeting participants. The following options are feasible with minimal technology, and have the added benefit of easily hosting sponsored content that will help you recoup some of the revenue lost from your cancelled event.

Eblasts

Eblasts are a quick, targeted way to reach your intended audience. Publicize the virtual options you are offering in lieu of your in-person meeting, provide industry updates, and use this format to disseminate information you would have distributed at your event. Sponsored eblasts are also an obvious vehicle to raise revenue. The large number of cancelled events around the nation means that regular channels of communication between sponsors and their audience are minimized, and companies will pay to send eblasts to your members and attendees. If you do not want to dedicate the content of entire eblasts to sponsors, offer banner ads to get sponsors’ name in front of recipients. Many organizations have a limit to the number of sponsored eblasts they will send out, but given current circumstances, you should revisit that policy and take advantage of the opportunity to have this type of sponsored communication.

Digital Newsletters

Many organizations publish regular digital newsletters which provide a terrific forum to discuss events across your industry. Add a section for sponsored content, or place sponsored banners throughout the publication. Review your advertising rates and plans, and consider additional price options to make sponsoring your newsletter attractive to sponsors.

Blogs

Your organization has invaluable industry expertise. Create a blog on your conference or association website and publish regular blog postings that discuss news and events affecting your members and event attendees. An online chat for Q&A will make the blog an interactive experience for users. This platform is ideal for banner ads or traditional advertisements from sponsors who would like to showcase a product that relates to your blog topic.

Social Media

Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social media platforms provide unique opportunities to disseminate information to those interested in your association or organization. Develop creative content to entice users to follow your group, and include engaging photos and videos, or live streaming. Consider polling or quizzes to make the content interactive. Focus on the appropriate platform for your intended audience. Sponsors can purchase ad space or sponsored links.

Analytics

Finally, don’t forget to add analytics to your digital communications to track the interest of your targeted audience. Analytics will also make your sponsorship packages more attractive by allowing sponsors to gauge ROI.


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