We’re seeing it all over the events industry, sponsors gave you their money to have a booth, they logo all over printed materials and other in-person returns that they expected for their support and now they want to know what they are getting since your event is moving online. 

When it comes to virtualizing your event using live streaming and other event technologies, every organization that has event sponsors needs to respond quickly to their sponsors and offer them value or risk needing to return funds or lose valuable industry relationships. 

The great news is, there is even more, yes more opportunity for you to give sponsor ROI (return on investment) for your virtual event then there was at your physical event! This is because some events are seeing a 3X increase in attendance online so your sponsors can reach a greater audience. Plus metrics are much more trackable, making it easy to measure ROI. We will cover 9 great ideas to get you started. 

What is ROI and Why Does it Matter?

ROI stands for Return On Investment and means what your sponsor is getting in return for giving you money or as is the case for “in kind” sponsorships, services or products that you need for your event. In kind sponsorships might include providing all of the graphic design and logo creation for your event and are less common, but can be even more valuable to you if you’re on a tight budget to produce your event. 

Some examples of sponsor ROI for an in person event might include:

  • Logos on printed materials like programs, banners and signage
  • A booth space where to sell products or advertise services
  • Names read during announcements
  • Branded swag (pencils, sunglasses, magnets, etc) distributed in event bags
  • Logos on event t shirt

It’s important to think critically about how to give real value to your sponsors and how to measure that value and treat them like your organization’s partners. These valuable relationships make events happen and losing sponsors can cost your organization a lot of money and may make holding your event subsequent years impossible. 

How to Create Virtual ROI For Sponsors 

Pre-Event

Sponsorship returns start as soon as your website is up and can be included on all of your digital materials. The key things to make sure you do here is have careful planning around sponsorship levels and clearing define where logos and mentions will show up for various levels. Some of these perks are things you’re likely already doing like putting sponsor logos on your landing pages and emails. Here are a few others:

  • An opportunity to wow your speakers or a list of targeted attendees your sponsor might really want to impress with a VIP experience. You send those targeted attendees a meal box, a case of wine or a service like a code for a food delivery or a car wash.
  • Speaking of sending your attendees something in the mail, send your swag bags and boxes to your attendees and include all of your sponsors’ branded swag!

During the Event

Sponsorship opportunities during the event are endless. Be thoughtful and don’t be afraid to include your long time sponsors in the planning of these activations. These relationships are so important and your sponsors want to know you’re working creatively to give them value as your partner. 

  • Sponsored posts: some event apps have the ability to give you sponsored posts which appear in your events feed throughout and are more than just pinned posts, they repost offers and content on a timed basis. These can include app downloads, special offer codes and links to products or services. Attendify is one app doing this really well, you can read more about how they handle these posts here.
  • Sponsored entertainment: Just because your event moved virtual doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have fun built into the schedule. In the virtual world some entertainment that wouldn’t be as popular in a live event might be really well received online. Keep in mind, virtual attendees might be working at home with kids. Magic acts, a cartoonist, folk duos or yoga sessions have all had great online responses in virtual environments. 
  • Instead of traditional commercials, have your MC interview sponsor representatives. Work with your MC to pull out the value the attendees want to hear.
  • And on that note, run sponsors ads during breaks or on each end of key sessions. Ask that your sponsors create their ads for your event to tailor the content and keep your audience more engaged. 
  • Have sponsors host networking events in virtual rooms. Some fun ones that people are loving are virtual cocktail hours. We’ve seen some events hire a mixologist that teaches everyone how to make their own cocktails.
  • Have sponsors give away virtual backgrounds to attendees and then host raffles in sessions for a door prize for those who used the background.
  • If your event includes gamification, give attendees points on a leaderboard for visiting sponsors’ virtual “booth” or scheduling product demos or meetings with your sponsors. 
  • Other ways that you should definitely use to provide sponsor ROI (and track it) are sending out push notifications about your sponsors deals and sessions if you’re using an event app. If you are not, utilize email notifications instead. 
  • Use banner ads in your event app or on your event webpage or social media event accounts. 
  • Make sure you give your sponsors a way to have a profile, preferable in your app, but if you aren’t using one, then on your event website. 
  • Display sponsors’ logos on your live stream on opening and closing slates and even as a rolling ticker at the top of popular sessions. 

Post Event Sponsorship ROI

The biggest thing you need to post-event is thank your sponsors and include your sponsors information on wrap up emails to your attendees. These are the people that made your event happen. Have a dedicated person on your team gather screen shots of memorable interactions online, meeting selfies and video clips from live streams. Post these to your social accounts and tag the sponsors in them. Remember to deliver all metrics to your sponsors that you may have collected about the number of links and appointments they scheduled and other data that shows they gained value. 

Remember that COVID-19 has changed the events industry forever and you’re not experiencing this alone. Face your sponsors with humble optimism and a strong sense of value for their support. Look at your attendee demographics and the demographics of your sponsors. Be specific about how many attendees your event will have in person and online and what percentage of your expected attendance you are promising sponsors in order to keep their money (70% of last year’s attendance virtually and on sight if you have one) is a good starting point. With clear information and creative ideas you’ll master getting all the sponsor revenue you need and hosting an event people will be engaged in. 
If you would like more information on having a hybrid or virtual event, get in touch to schedule a time to talk.

During the rapidly evolving crisis with COVID-19 we were contacted by Kim Jones, Executive Director of the Optometric Physicians of Washington

Her organization had been planning their 55th Post Graduate Seminar scheduled to take place 8 days from the time she reached out to us. We were able to collaborate with Kim and her organization to quickly find a new venue, figure out safe and sanitary practices for crew and presenters (including one immunocompromised individual), and get a custom viewing page set up with tabbed videos, embedded chat function, email capture for each session and linked quizzes for participants to earn their continuing education credits.

Thanks to this joint effort between our teams, the conference took place on time and around 600 doctors were able to get their continuing education credit from the safety of their home. 

Participants delighted at having free parking, no crowded hallways and other such light-hearted benefits from their devices. Many shared photos of them practicing social distancing at home while holding their babies, sharing a desk with their school-aged kids who are all home from schools, and enjoying the company of their furry family members.  

Some of the safety measures we took during the production and streaming were frequent hand washing, minimal crew, who did morning temperature checks for fever before coming into the closed-off hotel conference room that had only production crew (3 people) the OPW Executive producer, 1 moderator and 1-3 speakers safely spaced throughout the room. 

Our techs kept a minimum of 6 feet apart at their work stations and microphones, the presentation computer and clicker were all disinfected between each person’s use. In addition, we changed foam covers on lavalier mics after each presenter. 

Finally, we had our audio person, who would switch mics and disinfecting gloved and masked when coming into contact with speakers. 

Right now we serve many areas who are being affected by “shelter in place” orders or similar precautions.

As media professionals, our crews are small and carry press passes. We have also applied to have Varvid listed as an essential business in Washington state. 

Our hope is to continue to help create ways to keep people in corporate, education and community organizations connected through bringing meetings, classes and conferences together safely online. 

We also are offering consultations for individuals, groups and businesses who are sheltering in place and in need of a live streaming solution to meet their individual needs using existing gear they have on hand, and or by assisting them in making buying decisions.

Please reach out to us for your streaming and consulting needs. 

 


It’s a pleasure to introduce you to our Dallas Team Lead, Patrick Dolan! Patrick joined Varvid early in 2008, after working with Aaron Booker (Varvid’s CEO) on the board of directors for an IT industry peer networking group.

Being active in the IT industry for for 30 years, and having background in production management, Pat’s skills have established him as a practicing live streaming professional. In 2011, his accomplishments guided him to opening Varvid’s Dallas office.

Dallas Events Live Stream

Patrick is courteous, attentive, and honest. His devotion to your event’s success is founded on maintaining an upbeat personality even throughout the most trying times of production. Simply, Pat aims to provide the North Texas area with a professional and fun approach to creating a truly Connected Event!

Contact Pat by calling 214.838.6960, or emailing patrick@varvid.com.

We are proud to introduce our L.A. Account Representative, James Lane! James provides the greater Los Angeles area with Connected Event services.

“Aaron Booker called me up and asked for my assistance for a live streaming event for Adobe in Hollywood. I was intrigued and found that I truly enjoyed the adrenaline rush of a live event and all of the unforeseen obstacles that can literally jump out of nowhere,” James said. It has been over two years since his first project with Varvid.

James has been a Los Angeles resident for over 15 years and has predominately worked as an actor and film editor. His work in the entertainment industry started over twenty years ago after he received a BFA from the University of Texas, Austin.

“I liken live streaming to performing on stage before a live audience. There is no, “Cut! Take 2, Take 3, Take 4″, etc. If something unexpected happens, you make lemonade from that lemon.”

James has a positive personality and a get-it-done attitude, his dedication to live-streaming production makes him a great person to work with!

“I look forward to developing vast relationships with the many folks out here in LA LA Land who are in need of a reliable, professional and fun live streaming crew.”

To get in touch with James, email him at james@varvid.com or call him at (323).244.0407.

Varvid live streamed a portion of Seattle Startup Week 2016 for JPMorgan Chase & Co. branch, and title sponsor of the event, Chase for Business last Wednesday. By using a Roland VR-50HD video switcher and three camera sources, we streamed to Chase’s YouTube channel. Out of the three cameras, two were operated: one focused on the presenters while they took turns speaking, and the other captured the audience’s reaction. The third camera was set in the back of the room capturing a wide shot of the audience and the presenters.
SSW Video Captures

Although the entirety of the five-day event wasn’t live streamed, we did get to cover an important panel discussion titled: “Do I really need to invest in Digital Marketing?” The short answer:”Yes!”. Social platform leaders from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yelp held an hour long conversation and Q&A session about the role of social media shaping business identity through digital marketing.

James from LA operating one camera SSW is an event led by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs that aims to develop the Seattle community by building momentum and opportunity for business owners. This year’s event was hosted at Impact Hub in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. If you are interested in creating a startup week in your town or city, learn more here!

Rob Read, Business Development Manager at Roland Professional AV, often comes to the Varvid headquarters to demo new products. Recently, we filmed Rob’s demo of Roland’s V-1SDI to share with you all! 

The V-1SDI video switcher is flexible,versatile, and portable. Connecting and switching 3G-SDI cameras, playback sources, and HDMI sources (cameras, smartphones, computers, tablets, Blu-ray players) is made easy with the T-Fader and backlit buttons. The results are, certainly, nothing short of professional.

With support for 3G-SDI, the V-1SDI can operate at full 1080p resolution and can take advantage of the longer cable distance of SDI making this compact solution suitable for events and applications in even large spaces with the most professional level of SDI camera sources.

MAIN FEATURES OF THE V-1SDI

Support for SDI and HDMI cameras, smartphones, tablet computers and PCs etc.

Easy to operate with hardware controls

Compact and portable

Supports up to Full HD 1080p

3 x 3G-SDI and 2 x HDMI* inputs

2 x 3G-SDI and 1 x HDMI* output

Quad input multiviewer with source labeling and audio metering

Composition effects including DSK (Downstream Keyer), picture-in-picture etc.

Full 14 channel audio mixer included

Software control using V-1SDI RCS application for Mac and PC and remote control via RS-232 connection

We are excited to introduce you to our New Orleans Team Lead, Marshall Woodworth!

Marshall, a Louisiana native, delivers Connected Event services to the greater Delta region. After traveling across the country, Marshall moved back to Lousiana and obtained a BFA in Film from the University of New Orleans.

“I decided to become a filmmaker in the eighth grade while watching the opening credits of the 1989 Batman. My first experience of live broadcasting came in 1996 when I was the Studio Director for an ABC affiliate.”

Marshall, from New Orleans, livestreaming a connected event

Marshall’s interest and passion for production and live broadcasting guided him to the livestreaming world.

“Livestreaming is beginning to take hold, and I believe Varvid is ahead of the trend. The beauty of livestreaming is that it’s cutting edge and has a limited margin of error. Varvid can connect any event in crystal-clear resolution directly to an individual’s screen of choice!”

Marshall’s proficiency in cinematography, editing, and his upbeat personality makes him great to work with.
Want to meet Marshall? Let us introduce you!

Want to contact Marshall? Send him a message: marshall@varvid.com.

We’d like to introduce you to Nevin Zais, Varvid’s Boston Team Lead. Nevin has been a part of the Varvid team for three years. Over these years, he has honed his webcasting skills and has worked on a wide range of Connected Events (including switching for The Boston Election Panel livestream).  

“We are seeing more and more people getting excited about livestreaming. Helping drive it forward is what motivates me to be in this line of work,” Nevin explains. “We should have livestreams for everything!”

Nevin Zais working a Connected Event

Nevin is a Boston native with a BA in New Media from Fairfield University. He is often found enjoying a spuckie at Jim’s Deli, on the edge of his seat at a Red Sox game, and nerding-out on livestreaming gear.

Nevin’s enthusiasm for Connected Events, his willingness to grow and master webcasting tech, and his killer sense of humor makes him great to work with!

Want to meet Nevin? Let us introduce you!


To contact Nevin Zais, use this email: nevin@varvid.com

The political world has no doubt grasped onto the power of livestreaming. Earlier in the 2016 presidential race, for example, Hillary Clinton used Periscope to stream a campaign speech; further, the congressional gun control sit-in streamed over Periscope last June. Similarly, on September 26th, the Trump v. Clinton debate went live on various platforms and included real-time fact checking.

Beyond these mainstream broadcasts, political practitioners, educators, and observers have been streaming discussions about the current presidential race. Nevin Zais, Varvid’s Boston Team Lead, operated a Connected Event for The Boston Election Panel discussion.

Political analysts on stage for the Boston Election Panel

Nevin’s task was to execute a smooth livestream (and recording) by live switching between presenters and making the event look outstanding to remote viewers.

“We’re using three Sony EX1’s, a Roland VR-50HD video switcher, and a Blackmagic 4K recorder,” he said.

By supporting The Colby Club of Boston and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, the “Pulling Back the Curtain on The 2016 Election” discussion was accessible to the public on September 27th. 

Livestreaming behind the scenes image.

“Events like this one really help connect and educate the community,” said Nevin, “especially if people can’t make it to the venue.”

This panel dissected the strategies behind endorsements, campaign finance, and voter behavior throughout 2016. Certainly, this year’s election has a one-word description: unconventional.

Nevin on switcher

This panel discussion was presented by the Alumni of Colby College. To learn more about Colby College events, you can find a calendar here.