Sunday, May 23, 2021

Virtual Event Sponsorships Now and in the Future Hybrid Event World

The past year has posed some unique challenges to the events industry. The sudden shift to online events was bumpy at times, but it also led to serious innovation in the field. After a year of coordinating virtual events and overcoming challenges, event makers have found solutions to several complications. The latter includes learning how to work with sponsors virtually.

Virtual events may lack many of the traditional opportunities for sponsorships. But that doesn’t mean that prospects don’t exist. Even in the age of the novel coronavirus, there are plenty of chances to work with sponsors. It just takes a little creativity.

Taking the time to learn these new techniques is valuable now and in the future. It’s unlikely that most organizations will ever return to entirely in-person events. It’s just too convenient to have an at-home alternative for people who can’t travel. Whether you’re looking to switch up your traditional sponsorship opportunities or bring in new sponsorship during and after the pandemic, below is all you need to know about virtual sponsorships.

Finding Virtual Sponsors

The first step to finding and securing virtual sponsorships is acknowledging that this is a new frontier for just about everyone. While you’ve certainly been impacted by the pandemic—your previous, current, and wish list sponsors have been, as well. Even if you’ve been able to ask regular sponsors for a simple check in the past, it likely won’t be that easy this year.
Find Partners and Not Sponsors

Instead of worrying about how to find sponsors, you can think of the process as finding partners. This is an excellent time to reconnect with your sponsors—past, present, and potential.

Have a frank, honest discussion about how current events have impacted you and how you plan to move forward. Ask how your sponsors’ businesses have been affected, too. With this foundation, you can work together to find a mutually beneficial sponsorship arrangement. You may find that your sponsors are less able to give you a sponsorship check, but they’re more willing to offer you in-kind advertising or support.
Focus on Meeting Sponsor Needs

Exceptionally few potential sponsors choose to fund an event out of the goodness of their hearts. Identify what your sponsors want out of the relationship and cater to that. Your sponsors may want to achieve goals like:
  • Alter public perception of their brands
  • Block their competition
  • Improve in-kind and trade relationships
  • Increase their target market’s brand awareness
  • Support a reputation for philanthropy
  • Targeting new demographics
A sponsor with a reputation for philanthropy will likely prefer materials that praise their generosity, while a sponsor trying to outgrow a competitor probably wants exposure and praise for specific products. Once you know your sponsors’ wants, you can tailor your pitch to meet that need and grow your sponsors dramatically.

Making the Most of Virtual Sponsorships

There are as many opportunities for virtual sponsorships as there are for physical sponsors. Having a clear plan for how your sponsors will benefit from your event makes it more likely that you’ll retain old sponsors and bring in new ones. Here are some of the most effective virtual event sponsorship ideas you can leverage for your next event.
Affiliate Marketing

While we all know “cash is king,” now is the time to look for other ways sponsors can help you. One excellent way to work with sponsors is to consider affiliate marketing. Instead of a sponsor providing you directly with funds, they can do marketing for you and encourage their customers and employees to attend. In return, you can offer them funds with affiliate links.

What’s an affiliate link? It’s a unique link that’s connected to a given sponsor. Any ticket purchases made through that link direct a sliver of that sale to your affiliate. These types of affiliate links are common in online retail sales, but they’re seeing new life in virtual event sponsorship packages.

Plus, you get access to entirely new spaces and audiences, potentially growing your attendance dramatically. It’s a win-win.

Virtual “Goody Bags”

The swag bag is a longtime sponsor favorite of conventions and other large events. Attendees get a gift, while sponsors get to distribute their marketing materials and branded goodies to many interested people—all at once. Virtual events can replicate this experience with a little ingenuity.

For example, an entirely virtual “swag bag” can be a unique promotion code. I can allow attendees to download apps, desktop backgrounds, reading materials, or anything else that they’d typically need to pay for. There’s still the opportunity to give attendees branded materials from sponsors, but without the material cost.

For hybrid events, these codes can still be used. You can also offer virtual attendees the choice to receive the virtual or the physical grab bag, with the cost of shipping factored into their ticket price. This can help them feel included in the event despite attending remotely.
Branded Pre-Event or Post-Event Gatherings

Many people attend events to socialize and network, on top of being interested in the actual content of the event. Providing designated virtual gatherings before or after the main event can help recreate this for your attendees. This can take the form of virtual happy hours, remote brunches, or opening chat rooms before the main event to allow people to mingle.‌

These spaces for virtual mingling are an easy way for sponsors to get exposure. Putting that time on the schedule as “Networking Hour, Sponsored by X” is a simple way to show attendees that information. You can also go a step further by branding chat rooms and even Zoom calls with sponsors’ colors and logos.
Home Delivery “Coffee Bars”

Providing free coffee or a free meal at an event is a simple but well-loved perk that many potential sponsors are willing to provide. If you want to set up a surprise for your attendees, you can offer that free food to them at home with the magic of food delivery companies.

If you capture addresses when your attendees buy tickets, you can use UberEats or GrubHub to deliver them lunch or coffee. You can also let everyone know that the free food is courtesy of your sponsors, which is excellent for goodwill.
Sponsored Splash Pages and Streams

Any type of virtual event has plenty of opportunities for branded and sponsored splash pages. Before and after live streams, you can put up images with sponsors’ information and instructions for attendees, similar to sponsor banners at in-person events.

You can also have sponsor branding on the stream itself. From having speakers sit in front of branded backdrops to including sponsor logos along the bottom of the stream, it’s easy to keep your sponsors prominently displayed without distracting anyone.
Transitioning to Hybrid Event Sponsorships

As we move out of the pandemic and into whatever the “new normal” will be, it seems unlikely that we will ever return to the traditional in-person event model. Instead, hybrid events will be more common—with some attendees coming to the event location and others watching remotely. Sponsorship packages that take both attendance types into account will become more popular.

Hybrid event sponsorship can take current conditions into account with appropriately branded materials. For example, masks are necessary at all in-person events and will probably be so for a while. They also provide an excellent sponsorship opportunity.

You can use the same methods to find sponsors for complimentary branded masks as you do for any other aspect of your event. You could also hand out free masks at businesses in your community with branding for your event as quick, useful, and effective marketing.

Another excellent type of hybrid marketing in the next few months is testing. There are plenty of local for-profit testing centers throughout the country. While in-person events return, you can partner with your local testing center to turn COVID-19 testing into a profitable sponsorship opportunity.

Taking Your Events Into the Future

The event industry has changed—that much isn’t up for question. Changing with it is essential to thriving during the next few years. If you want more helpful sponsorship tips and tools, visit video resources page and request a demo!

As the pandemic winds down, people will be eager to return to normal. Prepare today for the future of virtual and hybrid events, so you’re there when reopening is exciting and safe.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Help Get Sponsors Releases Multi-User Functionality to Meet Needs of Larger Events and Series

Mid-cap to national events can now provide revolutionary sponsorship sales software from HGS to their entire team

Help Get Sponsors, the industry-leading sponsorship sales and management software, adds Multi-User Team Accounts feature to their robust offering. This upgrade enhances the existing software platform, which integrates unique start-to-finish sponsor prospecting, proposal, contracting, and activation management tools. The sponsorship sales software was created to overcome the challenges events face when attempting traditional sponsorship sales and helps create broader and more in-depth partnership opportunities more quickly.

“The event industry is realizing the immense value provided by our sponsorship software, so naturally the demand from large organizations has grown tremendously. ‘Multi-User’ addresses the needs of large organizations with multiple team members working on sponsorship sales and management,” explains Tom Crichton, Founder, Help Get Sponsors. “When HGS started, we focused on helping local event producers execute the sponsorship process like large event sales teams so it’s really exciting to see the demand from large event organizations as well.”

With the addition of the new functionality, organizations can give individual team members personalized accounts, allowing for better organization, visibility, collaboration, and tracking options, particularly important to large scale events and series. Each user on a team has a login that feeds into the master account, providing leadership a holistic view of the activity and pipeline of the entire team. This added feature not only allows for the same streamlined, customizable, real-time sales lifecycle tracking, but also allows each user access to all of the tools available to the master account. Multi-User Team Accounts are available at a flat rate for master accounts and a per license fee thereafter. Additionally, teams of 10 or more qualify for group discount options.

“We have been using the HGS software from its launch several years ago and it has completely transformed our sponsorship sales program, increasing our sales and cutting our lead to contract conversion time,” says Jeremy Davis, President, The Tri Guys. “We were first in line to upgrade to the multi-user functionality, knowing this added feature will take our team’s productivity, sponsorship sales, management, and activation efforts to the next level.”

Register now for a webinar, hosted by Tom Crichton, introducing new and prospective users to the Help Get Sponsors platform and Multi-User Team Accounts.


About Help Get Sponsors Help Get Sponsors is a SaaS business, offering scalable sponsorship management tools, from an off-the-shelf, cloud-based CRM to fully customizable, white labeled platforms. The company utilizes its proprietary algorithm, available only at, to aid event producers in managing sponsor prospects, accurately pricing sponsorships based on industry standards, and automating the creation of proposals, agreements, and activation calendars. For more information, visit

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fall Into Success with HGS [Free Webinar]

The seasons are changing, but are your sponsorship sales strategies still the same? It's your lucky day! We will be giving a tour of the HelpGetSponsors platform to help you find ways to improve your current sponsorship sales.

To make sure you don't fall behind on your sales goals this year, register for our free "Fall Into Success with HGS" webinar on this Wednesday, October 4th at 1:00 EST. You'll get a live demo of the HGS platform & learn practical ways to help you produce like an entire sales team.

Topics we will discuss include:
- Strategies to maximize your sales efforts
- How the HGS platform streamlines the process
- 3 simple tasks you can do today to ramp up your sales game

To attend our free "Fall into Success with HGS" webinar this Wednesday, October 4th at 1:00 pm EST, you can register here

Monday, July 10, 2017

Boost Sponsorship Sales With These 3 Tasks

Looking for simple ways to improve your sponsorship sales on a weekly basis? 

Complete these 3 manageable tasks consistently and make a noticeable impact on your bottom line!

1. Research & contact 3 new companies

Does your event or organization have sponsors from a variety of industries, or are they all from the same sector? The attendees of your events are the potential customers of a number of different businesses in your area, including healthcare providers, grocery stores, auto dealerships, real estate firms, health & fitness clubs, and insurance agents. By diversifying your partners, attendees of your events will receive unique messaging and promotions from the types of businesses they frequent.

2. Contact 3 past sponsors or follow up with prospects you haven't heard back from

Are there sponsors who have not yet renewed or who did not participate last year? Connect with them to hear their feedback from past involvement and to share this year's event dates. Also, review who you've already sent information to and check in to see if they have questions about the opportunities you shared and whether they're still interested in beginning a partnership with your organization.

3. Update your sales pipeline

Log your progress from today's efforts, update your CRM, and identify next steps. This will prepare you for your next round of outreach and prevent you or anyone else on your team from duplicating efforts. Who knows - you may even be inspired to repeat steps 1 and 2 now that you're seeing results!

Just think - if you follow these steps twice a week, you'll have 24 new sponsorship prospects in your database each month!

Did you know that allows you to handle all aspects of your event sponsorship sales and management from one easy-to-use software platform?  Try it free

Monday, November 28, 2016

How to Get Sponsors for an Event

Looking to secure sponsors for your event but aren't sure where to start? 
Follow these 5 simple steps!

For a more in-depth look at how our software simplifies this process, 
schedule a demo for your team by emailing

Friday, April 8, 2016

Five Excuses Keeping You from Selling Sponsorships

Over the years, we’ve met with thousands of event directors who all want sponsors for their events.  The reason they don’t have them?  They recite a combination (or all) of the following excuses as to why they can’t secure, grow, and maintain sponsorships. 

Be honest, have you made any of these excuses? Read through the list and check out our suggestions on how to overcome them so you can begin selling sponsorships like a pro.

1. "I don't have time"
We all know that there is a seemingly endless list of things that need done when preparing for an event, and time spent on sponsorships takes away from planning, ordering t-shirts, requesting permits, etc.  But ask yourself; are participants going to become annual customers if you don’t provide a unique experience with promotions, vendors, food, and music?  Do you have enough time and budget to facilitate all of the things your participants want and expect?  Our guess is probably not.  The good news is that sponsors can (and often want to) promote their brand by implementing some of those features, which actually saves you time and money.  By securing strategic partners, you enhance the experience for participants, increase revenue for your event and charitable partners, and build a community among your sponsoring businesses and participants that will keep them coming back!

2. "I don't know how much my event is worth"
Determining the value of your event is an important yet tricky process.  You don’t want to set prices too high so that businesses can’t afford to get involved, but also want to avoid pricing too low where your offerings are undervalued.  A good place to start is evaluating how many individuals will be exposed to a sponsor’s brand by attending your event.  This includes participants, spectators, event staff, and volunteers.  Not sure how to calculate your event’s spectators?  If you host an endurance race, estimate that each participant brings an average of one friend or family member to the event.  Once you determine the number of participants and reach, you’ll have a baseline number to factor your sponsorship prices from. 

3. "I don't know where to find sponsors"
Think about your participants and their interests.  If they’re athletes, pursue your local sporting goods store, protein supplier, fitness club, etc.  Next, consider what services your participants would like to engage with on-site.  Cyclists would appreciate bike tune-ups and post race massages.  Festivals that are kid-friendly can offer activities including face painting and balloon art.  Everyone loves documenting their experience, so hiring a photographer is key.  This allows photos of your event to be shared with participants’ friends and social media, which further promotes your event (and dare we say a sponsor to whom you sold photo branding). Finally, keep in mind that your participants are the target market for businesses in your area.  Auto dealerships, hospitals, physical therapists, insurance agencies, etc. are all viable candidates for sponsorship.

4. "I don't know what information to put into proposals or how to write them"
Drafting a sponsorship proposal can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! The purpose of a proposal is to educate sponsors on why and how they will benefit from supporting your event.  Start by giving them an overview that includes where and when it takes place, who participates, and what activities are scheduled.  Be sure to include information about any charities that are affiliated, and how your event impacts the community from an economic impact standpoint. Finally, outline the potential sponsors’ opportunities for involvement. 

5. "The sponsor won't hold up their end of the bargain"
The last thing you want to have happen is to sign a partner and have the implementation of their sponsorship fall through the cracks.  We recommend creating mutual accountability between you and your event partners by setting an activation calendar that details the items you need to implement their sponsorship (logos, brand guidelines, quotes, etc.).  The calendar should include each aspect of their sponsorship, the items you need to activate it, and a deadline by which you need them.

Now that we’ve combated your go-to excuses, get out there and sell some sponsorships!

Shameless plug - The tools make selling and managing your event sponsorships easier than ever.  Our industry-leading software will help you overcome each excuse listed above.  From identifying industries to pursue for sponsorship and pricing your offerings based on industry standards, to drafting effective proposals and setting up task calendars, the software guides you through each step of the process. 

To experience how the software takes the guesswork out of sponsorship sales and management, sign up for a free 30 day trial here.