This is part two of my series of 5 blog posts, one each day of this week, focusing on how to improve your lead generation and branding efforts during a virtual trade show. These posts should benefit sponsors of these types of events.
These are thoughts I had after sponsoring many virtual trade shows (exhibiting as a sponsor) and then attending the MarketingProfs’ Digital Marketing Mixer last week as a participant.
The topics of my blog posts this week will be:
Content in your booth
Negotiating your participation
Promoting the event before the show
Promoting your product throughout the show
Engaging contacts after the show
Today’s post will be about negotiating your participation.
I don’t know how sponsorship worked specifically for the MarketingProfs Virtual Trade Show, though typically there is the organizer who creates the event, premier sponsors, and regular sponsors (sometimes separated into tiers) who all promote their products during the event. Typically, premier sponsors receive ‘virtual’ signage, speaking opportunities, and the entire list of names of those that register for the event. For this show, I believe about 14,000 people registered for the event, a substantial list for premier sponsors. Other sponsors typically receive a specified number of leads based on their sponsorship level. The leads they are given out of the list of registrants is typically based on who visited their booth followed by those that attended the show, but did not visit the booth. If the guarantee for leads is not met at this point, the guarantee can be met by those who registered that did not attend.
If you are not the premier sponsor and are receiving a limited number of leads, make sure that it is based off of a select, not on those who visits your booth. This way, you receive people who have joined the conference that are in your demographic. This is important because often people are driven to your booth because they are analysts, interested in free prizes given by booth participation, or checking out the virtual trade shows functionality. By purchasing your leads on selects you’ll be ensuring to receive leads in your demographic, not just those looking for a prize.
Also, if you think about lead distribution for these events, almost everyone gets the name of the people who visit the booths, than many people get the contact information of those who attended the event, and typically only premier sponsors will receive the names of those people who did not attend the event. Your goal should be to get the names that no-one else receives. If there is not a package offered with this (there typically isn’t) propose one to the organization creating the event. Offer an ‘after party’ type of sponsorship, where you email those that attended with a wrap-up of the event, and email those who did not attend with a summary of the event and information about how they can still see the content they missed. By creating your own sponsorship package, you’ll be ensuring you receive the leads that are best for your organization.
Finally, cost per leads for virtual events are typically much lower than those for content syndication or pipeline builders because the leads are shared between multiple sponsors. Often an event promoter will offer a bundled package for the sponsorship with a pipeline builder, banner ads, or other advertising. They do this to ensure they can meet your lead guarantee if the expected number or participants do not sign up. In this situation the event promoter may say they will guarantee 5000 leads, and that a minimum of 2000 will come from the virtual trade show. The remaining are then from content syndication leads that are typically more valuable to your organization. When you do this you typically get a lower cost per lead (CPL) for the bundled package than with a pipeline builder alone, but this can backfire on you if you receive all 5000 leads from the virtual trade show and then do not receive the benefit of content syndication. In this case, you may end up paying more per lead then you would have for simply paying for the co-sponsored event.
The main lesson you should learn from this article is when purchasing sponsorship for leads you must make sure that you aren’t just buying a package, but working with the vendor to develop a custom lead purchase that will help connect you with your prospects. Doing this will allow you to reach out to contacts from the show that others may not and will allow you less bad fits in your lists.