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Taking Digital Action in the Performing Arts


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By Inga Petri (Strategic Moves[email protected]) with Lynn Feasey (Points North Creative)Jason Guille (Stream of Consciousness), November 2020

Online conferences offers exciting new opportunities for sponsors from increased visibility, valuable data/metrics, increased return-on-investment, to direct engagement spaces that create greater engagement with, and value to, partners and sponsors as well as attendees.

By collecting information through online registration (i.e. job title, company name, location, and interests, or planned spending), you can provide more specific information about the attendees to sponsors. This can be easily done within applicable privacy legislation.

Cultivate Meaningful Connections

For the attendee, traditional logos and sponsor recognition can feel like a perfunctory exercise in politeness. Within an online conference you can be far more creative, than placing logos on screens. And in so doing, you can create opportunities for networking, lead generation and lead qualification.

For example, a short video woven into the live online event (anything from a welcome video and body breaks to entertainment or live comedy acts), can go a long way to showcase authentic interest and alignment of the sponsor. Gamification methods are another way to connect attendees with sponsors, offering fun or rewarding activities while providing sponsors with direct interaction with potential clients, as well as the opportunity to collect contact information and other information.

There are many means to promote sponsors, such as links to their web presence in your e-news, highlighting sponsor profiles on your own web presence, emailing sponsor guest blogs/videos as part of your event updates, and social media take-overs. Sharing content with your online network, for example, on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, not only extends visibility to conference delegates, but also to a wider network across the province, the country, and beyond.

Extending Sponsor Value

Digital tools create opportunities for year-round support from corporate sponsors. This doesn’t only develop their relationship with you, but also allows your sponsors the chance to cultivate more meaningful relationships and connections to potential new clients. Connecting sponsors and participants via your conference listserv (or registration) allows your sponsors/partners to share valuable insights, trends and news and information (white papers, statistics) to your attendee network.

Pre-event, physical swag bags delivered by mail can engage attendees with your sponsors/partners before the conference. This gives attendees not only a sponsor’s memento, but can deliver useful information or simply feature a surprise and delight element that is highly valued. And most certainly, by receiving something tangible in the mail, your attendees will begin to anticipate their online conference experience differently and their commitment to attending may rise, too.

During the event, you can put together digital swag bags, or event packages (some platforms will do this for you), as a place where attendees can go for a variety of tools and messages.

And once the conference has come to a close, sponsor value can be extended driven by the shelf life of the captured event media. Posting video summaries, conference proceedings and so on. Sponsors and funders can gain recognition and value, through video intros, outros, sponsor slides, graphics and so on that can be integrated into post-event video-on-demand (VOD).