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5 Unique Sponsorship Ideas For Your Next Conference

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With the COVID-19 rollout off to a rip-roaring start, the return to in-person events is closer than you’d think. In-person conferences and other large-scale events will be back in some form later this year, and it’s never too early to start thinking about unique sponsorship opportunities that’ll make your event stand out from all the others — while also powering up your non-dues revenue for 2021.

Here are 5 unique sponsorship opportunities to consider as you start the planning process:

Gamification

There’s no better way to get your attendees back in the networking mood than through gamification. Send them on a scavenger hunt or bingo card chase through the exhibit hall, where all of the spaces on the board are paid for by sponsors, with the grand prize paid for by… you guessed it, sponsored. Or conduct a 50/50 raffle with prizes coming from the sponsors. Gamification is a win/win for non-dues revenue!

Live-streaming

Even with America on the tail-end of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will still be some attendees who are wary of congregating in large crowds and/or companies hesitant to send their staff to events in 2021. That’s why having a sponsored livestream component for key elements of your event could be both beneficial AND profitable for your bottom line. Just make sure you’ve worked out all technical issues prior to your event.

Social Media

You know your attendees will be posting on social media throughout the event, and you’ve probably already created a #hashtag for the event that’s all over your marketing materials. So why not monetize the social media output at your conference? Suggestions include:

  • Geotargeted Snapchat filters
  • Twitter and Facebook ads targeted by zip code and/or customer list
  • Sponsored posts on your association’s accounts

Sponsored Fun & Games

Looking for a way to making a happy hour or meet-and-greet session more exciting? Why not include fun and games in your next conference’s sponsorship offerings. One of our favorites is Deedre Daniels’ “The Very Interesting Game”, a multi-person icebreaker of sorts. Click here for more suggestions.

Yoga

Who doesn’t love a morning yoga class? You’d be surprised how popular sponsored yoga, aerobics, and other similar fitness class can be at conferences.

Bonus: Virtual Coffee Breaks

Still planning virtual events? One of our favorite pandemic sponsorship offerings is an “virtual coffee break.” All you need to do is send out an e-gift card ($5 or $10) for a national coffee chain like Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks in the morning to your attendees, and then encourage your attendees to use it during the designated “coffee break” in the schedule. The e-card would be paid for, and branded with the logo of, the organization sponsoring them.

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