Just because an event is virtual, doesn’t mean it can’t be profitable. In fact, virtual and hybrid events can drive just as much revenue as in-person events. You just have to know how.
Here are 5 tried-and-true ways to monetize virtual events, provided by the virtual event management experts at Worktank.
5 Ways to Make Money on Your Virtual Event
While sponsorships and ticket sales are the two largest and most widely used revenue streams for a virtual or hybrid event, there are also several other ways to maximize your profits.
A common misconception about online events is that they should be free. The fact is, hosting a virtual event takes as much time and effort as an in-person event, and therefore, you should absolutely charge admission, provided you are giving your attendees something of value.
While attendees aren’t receiving a swag bag of goodies or “free” food and beverages, they are still getting access to valuable content and information, industry experts, product sneak peeks and more – and that’s worth something. Using the same pricing calculations you would use for an in-person event, factor in all of your expenses, and then decide how much profit you want to make, or not make, on top of that. Just be careful not to discount the price too drastically from your previous in-person events, as it can suggest that the virtual event is sub-standard.
Remember, you may be able to charge 25% less for tickets, but still make the same revenue because virtual events inherently allow you to appeal to a much larger audience, and sell more tickets.
Sponsorships have always been a primary revenue source for events, and that doesn’t change just because you’ve gone virtual. You can still connect advertisers with their target audience. Virtual event sponsorship packages typically include logo placement on all event materials, including marketing emails and event landing pages, and possibly even verbal mentions throughout the event.
Not only is the value still there for sponsors, but because your attendance has the potential to be even greater with a virtual event than an in-person event, your advertisers can potentially reach a much larger audience. The greater the number of attendees, the higher the price you can charge your sponsors.
Whether you call it a VIP pass or subscriber-only access, you can offer your attendees access to exclusive event content or benefits for an additional fee. For example, you might charge attendees extra to network with an event panelist or industry expert via direct message or a scheduled two-way video chat.
If you offer a paid membership on your website, exclusive content from your virtual event, such as a behind-the-scenes interview or beta product demonstration, can also be used to grow your number of subscribers. Rather than allowing attendees to pay a one-time fee for unique content, you can advertise that the content is only available through your subscription program, thereby ensuring a recurring revenue stream. The content can then be placed behind a paywall on your website, or sent directly to subscribers via email.
To continue generating revenue from your virtual event, even after it has ended, plan to record your virtual event and then upload your video or audio recordings to an on-demand platform, and make it available to watch, listen or download for a fee.
The easiest way to manage this is with a self-serve portal that allows visitors to browse a catalog of the available video or audio segments from your event, and purchase those individual clips that interest them. It’s up to you whether you make the content available to view for a limited time, or allow users to download the content onto their own devices to view offline.
Another way to continue generating revenue from your virtual event in the weeks, months and years that follow is through remarketing. By requiring attendees to enter their email addresses and other contact information when they sign up for your virtual event, you can create an email marketing list.
Weekly or monthly e-newsletters, breaking news alerts, new product announcements and an occasional offer or product advertisement can drive sales, especially when combined with an effective call-to-action.
You can also use remarketing to target the ads that you create on Facebook and Google Ads, even using it to show ads to previous attendees as soon as next year’s tickets go on sale.
More Tips for Virtual & Hybrid Events
There’s a lot that goes into planning a virtual or hybrid event, which is why it helps to have a partner who has experience with both. At Worktank, we’ve been helping global organizations and Fortune 500 companies host, promote and manage virtual and hybrid events for 20+ years, and we’d be happy to help you do the same. Contact us or give us a call at 877-974-8265 and find out how we can work together to create a successful event for your organization.
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