Q & A Part 1 from COVID-19 Uncovered Webinar

Question: Can you talk us through the set-up of a legally created Trust Account and the benefits to clients, in fact all parties to use one?

The security of client funds needs to be taken very seriously. Client funds should be held in a separate Trust Account. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that the naming of a bank account as a Trust Account achieves the separation of those funds from the organisation’s funds. This is most definitely (and legally) not the case.

For added security, bankers should acknowledge the separation of funds and the money held in Trust Account is not operational funds. In the event of (unlikely) insolvency etc. the funds in a Trust Account would not be ‘swept’ into settlement of business creditors but would be held for the benefit of clients.

Question: Will online webinars be the way of the future for international events?

The desire for people to meet in person, network and build industry relationships will not diminish and there will always be the need for physical, in person, conferences and meetings across the world. We are sure there will be a greater focus on technology in events in the future. People have been forced to adapt to this functionality very quickly and this will enhance future events, it won’t detract from them. By offering a new ‘registration category’ for online attendance, it could provide those with restricted funding to attend, or a participant whose abstract was not accepted.

Question: How do you go about creating value for the sponsors as well as providing engaging ways for them to interact with the audience?

The sponsor journey always starts with an individual conversation with each sponsor to unearth their specific needs. The identification of sponsor needs leads to a discussion about different sponsorship options and the ability to tailor advertised packages that could deliver on their requirements.

Even though sponsorship options at online events are slightly different from those at a physical event, the journey to creating value for sponsors is no different.

Organisations looking to achieve prominent brand positioning among attendees at a conference, would generally have a conversation about a lanyard sponsorship or coffee cart sponsorship at physical events.

Whilst these sponsorships cannot be provided, there are great brand positioning opportunities at digital events: the registration page, a registration confirmation email, reminder emails, and the live stream or webinar platform can all be branded. When online events are made available on demand the sponsor’s brand exposure extends beyond the typical duration of a physical conference.

Whilst we are unable to provide barista coffee at an online event, companies like Coffee on Cue can send branded coffee bags to attendees who can brew a coffee themselves while tuning in to listen. This is only possible for national meetings, but it shows that the options at online events are limitless.

Apart from brand positioning, many sponsors look for ways to position themselves as thought leaders to a captive audience at an event. Just like a physical event, opportunities can be created during virtual events for sponsors to interact with the audience through facilitated workshops, panel discussions, hosted roundtable discussions and welcome addresses.

Virtual events have the added benefit of being able to provide key analytics on attendee numbers and engagement in various sessions.

Other sponsorship options at virtual events include product pitches, advertisements and sponsored real-time polling.

Question: Do you need to change your pricing model?

The pricing for sponsorship packages at

physical events, as well as online events, depends greatly on the value included in each package.

Whilst physical events cannot be replicated 100 percent into an online world, and some entitlements of a physical event cannot be delivered in an online setting, virtual events have the potential to provide added value to sponsors and exhibitors:

1. Virtual events have the capacity to attract additional attendees as there is no requirement for travel and accommodation
2. Virtual events can extend the exposure for sponsors and beyond the actual event days by making content available on-demand
3. In many cases the virtual event experience increases interaction with some people more comfortable asking questions in this environment. These online conversations can be stored for reference
4. Virtual events also provide enhanced opportunity for attendee analytics: their movements and actions are trackable

In many instances sponsorship package pricing can remain the same or even increase. Depending on the industry, many sponsors and exhibitors are not familiar with virtual trade expos and pricing might need to be adjusted accordingly. Sponsorship and exhibition package pricing needs assessment on an event-by-event basis.