Sponsoring Virtual Events: Is It a Wise Idea?

5 min read

But one thing’s for sure—life sciences companies still need a way to grow brand awareness, promote their products, generate leads, and develop relationships.

In the midst of the pandemic, many in-person conferences continue to be postponed or canceled all together leading organizers to turn to online platforms. As a means of staying safe, yet connected, systems and structures are transitioning to virtual events.

We’re in a time of great uncertainty, and no one knows how long the pandemic will last.

But one thing’s for sure—life sciences companies still need a way to grow brand awareness, promote their products, generate leads, and develop relationships.

Even with all the advances in technology, virtual experiences just can’t replicate in-person ones. So when meeting face-to-face isn’t an option, is investing in a virtual event the right move?

There’s not a simple answer. So we took an in-depth look, outlined the pros and cons, and created a list of the right questions to ask to ensure that investing in a virtual event is worth it.

Going Virtual—the Pros

Beyond keeping exhibitors and attendees safe during the pandemic, other top benefits of exhibiting at a virtual conference include:

Going Virtual—the Cons

Let’s face it—even though technology has advanced, virtual events still have limitations, such as:

Define Your Goals. Then Ask a Series of Important Questions.

So how do you decide if going virtual is right for you? We’ve put together a list of questions to help you. As a first step, ask yourself:

What to Ask Your Conference Organizer

Next, consider asking conference organizers the following questions to ensure you’re getting real value from their virtual event:

The Basics

Engagement and Lead Generation

Branding, Promotion, and More

As a sponsor, where will my brand be visible:

Another Thing to Discuss with the Organizer: What’s Trending in Virtual Events

One final question: will the conference organizer allow you to link to a custom, immersive experience that you create?

Let’s say the conference organizer offers you a virtual booth. But you feel limited by their platform and don’t think it represents your brand well. You need a bolder, more creative, personalized way to attract and engage your customers.

One option is to design an immersive experience on your own platform where your audience can take a deep dive into your products. Which is exactly what Canon Medical Systems did. (You can see their virtual exhibit here which they linked to from the show website.)

When Canon Medical Systems did a year-over-year calculation on ROI, they found they did 760% better after creating a custom virtual booth.

Custom Virtual Exhibits: What’s Possible

Creating your own custom virtual booth can offer features such as:

What’s more, you can repurpose your booth for other virtual events or use it as a sales tool. (Creating one can cost anywhere from $5,000 to six figures.)

Investing in a virtual event isn’t the right move for every business. But thinking through the considerations above can help you decide if it makes sense for yours.

Need Virtual Event Marketing Help?

Grey Matter Marketing is a full-service, award-winning PR and marketing agency working exclusively with healthcare companies. With a knack for storytelling and content marketing that engages and drives action, we can help convert your in-person events to a virtual setting that's tailored to your market and targets your strategic goals. Because what you do (or don’t do) matters. For more information, contact us.

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