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Association of American Colleges and Universities: Seamless Integration of Annual Meeting Goals to Virtual Event Platform

Case Study provided by Jennifer Kerhin and the Sponsorship Team

Sponsorship Boost recently worked with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) on their virtual annual meeting. Sponsorship Boost was hired to write the virtual prospectus and execute the Annual Meeting’s exhibits and sponsorships on the CadmiumCD platform so that AAC&U could focus on the speakers, educational content, and networking. With their guidance and virtual expo experience, the AAC&U team seamlessly integrated their exhibit/sponsorship goals with the opportunities available on the virtual event platform.

“I was so fortunate to have Sponsorship Boost’s assistance for our first virtual Annual Meeting and would have been at a real disadvantage without them. Thanks for making the transition seamless!”

— Lorenzo Esters VP, Office of Advancement and Member Engagement AAC&U

Challenge

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is dedicated to advancing the health and public standing of liberal education in the United States by making quality and excellence the foundation for undergraduate education, with the goal of promoting democracy.

The worldwide pandemic changed assumptions about best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment. And while it shed light on how technology can augment high-quality learning, it also raised questions regarding the exorbitant cost of higher education, and emphasized the inequality of opportunity that arises from economic disparity among students.

AAC&U felt strongly that its Annual Meeting, scheduled from January 20-23, 2021, should take place, even though that meant hosting the meeting virtually. It was important that AAC&U provide a forum to explore the questions currently facing leaders and educators, share best practices, and discuss the future. The goal was to provide attendees with the full program planned for the live meeting, as well as to offer opportunities for virtual engagement.

The organization selected CadmiumCD virtual meeting software to host the Annual Meeting. After weighing the challenges associated with learning the CadmiumCD software, AAC&U chose virtual meeting consultant Sponsorship Boost to execute the Annual Meeting’s exhibits and sponsorships on the CadmiumCD platform.

Strategy

Sponsorship Boost joined the Annual Meeting team with experience from managing nine previous virtual events on the CadmiumCD platform. This allowed the AAC&U team to bypass the learning curve typically associated with new software, and best make use of the vast number of tools CadmiumCD has available to facilitate sessions, networking, exhibits, and sponsorships.

Sponsorship Boost took the following steps so that AAC&U’s team could launch the exhibits and sponsorships sales process.

Virtual Prospectus: Sponsorship Boost worked closely with AAC&U staff to create a virtual Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus crafted to take advantage of opportunities on the CadmiumCD platform. Using the staff’s familiarity with the platform, sponsorships from past in-person meetings were translated to the virtual when possible, and exciting new virtual sponsorship opportunities were developed. Cognizant of the need for a rapid turnaround, the team finished the virtual prospectus in less than three weeks so that AAC&U could begin sales.

Webinar: The team hosted a one-hour webinar for current and potential exhibitors and sponsors, detailing opportunities in the prospectus, and explaining how content would render on the platform during the meeting. A recording of the webinar was used during the sales process.

Exhibit and Sponsorship Management: Sponsorship Boost managed deliverables for the virtual event including:

  1. Construct exhibit and sponsorship areas of the virtual platform
  2. Build portals to which participating companies upload information for exhibits and sponsorships
  3. Send specs and collect sponsored advertising and brand promotion assets to populate the platform
  4. Manage concurrent session speakers, monitor session “rooms”
  5. Provide technical support during the event

Results

With the guidance and experience contributed by Sponsorship Boost, the AAC&U team seamlessly integrated their goals for the Annual Meeting with the opportunities available on the CadmiumCD virtual event platform. Participation by 14 exhibitors and 26 sponsors added to the meeting’s revenue. 75 total sponsor items were managed by Sponsorship Boost, including:

  • Concurrent Sessions
  • Opening/Closing Plenary Sponsors
  • Scan and Win Game
  • Eblasts
  • Faculty and Admin of Color Event Sponsors
  • ePortfolio Sponsor
  • Magazine Advertisements
  • Event Homepage Advertisements
  • Liberal Education News Emails
  • Program Advertisements
  • Event Mobile App Advertisements
  • Pre-Meeting Attendee Lists

The virtual event experience Sponsorship Boost brought to the Annual Meeting team allowed AAC&U staff to focus on programming and meeting content. Sponsorship Boost expertly handled the transition from in-person to virtual content for exhibits and sponsorships, thereby securing much needed meeting revenue, generating ROI for participating companies, and allowing AAC&U to focus on meeting its goals for the Annual Meeting.

About Sponsorship Boost

We realize that the stakes are high, and the learning curve for virtual events is steep. Our team has 12 years of experience selling and managing exhibits and sponsorships PLUS we have the experience of selling and managing virtual expos. Read more here.

We work on the CadmiumCD products all day, every day, and have successfully managed 10 virtual events on the platform. Watch this video to see our work on virtual expos on CadmiumCD’s platform.

Call or email to find out how we can help you: 301-658-2195, info@sponsorshipboost.com.

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