Physical to virtual event transition and retention of sponsorship

14th International Neurotrauma Conference (INTS) 2021

Key facts

Event: 14th International Neurotrauma Conference (INTS) 2021

Date: February 2021

Format: Virtual

Sponsorship: 90% of sponsorship revenue retained in transition from physical to virtual event

Background:

Arinex adapt to new environments swiftly.  The transition from delivering a physical conference to a virtual conference has become extremely familiar during the COVID-19 pandemic. This transition impacts all facets of the event including sponsorship, a key revenue stream, as was the case for the virtual International Neurotrauma Symposium 2021.

Challenges:

The 14th International Neurotrauma Conference (INTS) had already been postponed, due to the pandemic, from early 2020 to a new date in early February 2021. It became evident by mid-December 2020 that the pandemic crisis would continue into 2021 and the Organising Committee made the pivotal decision to deliver INTS in a fully virtual format.  The transition time frame was particularly tight with the Christmas / New Year break where businesses were not operating for extended periods.  Sponsorship packages were originally designed for a physical event so the challenge was not only to transpose entitlements and create new value-add opportunities in a virtual environment but to convince sponsors that it was still worth investing.

Solutions:

– Soon after the decision to go virtual, Arinex reached out to all sponsors and reassured them that INTS 2021 would be a compelling event with continued value for them

– Each sponsor’s new entitlements were individually curated to ensure their objectives were met

– Sponsorship on lanyards and at the Welcome Reception no longer existed but alternative sponsor opportunities were created with prominence in the program through plenary session sponsorship

– More bursary and award sponsorship opportunities were developed to appeal to the rising popularity of corporate social responsibility

– Sponsors were provided with a prominent opportunity in the virtual exhibition to showcase products and services on the main event platform

– Guidance and support were provided to sponsors to navigate the digital event platform and show them first-hand the intuitive and user-friendly platform showcasing the analytics available

Outcomes:

– The event exceeded expectations by retaining 90% of the sponsorship revenue despite fears of large scale sponsor attrition due to the major last-minute change

– Re-signing a $10,000 workshop sponsorship package with a sponsor who had originally withdrawn in the initial postponement

– Delivery of a prestigious international event, with attendees showing a high level of interest in the sponsors featured on the virtual platform

quoteThe Arinex team was fabulous in bringing the virtual symposium together. There has been nothing but positive feedback from those who participated from around the world. I was impressed by the live presentations and Q&A within the virtual event platform and the functionality of the platform exceeded my expectations. I would highly recommend Arinex’ virtual event products and services to those looking to organise a virtual event.

 Robert Vink, INTS Committee Chair