In the good old days before Covid events used to be, occasionally a reasonable income generator, however, post-Covid, most events that moved online found that they were barely generating 30% of what they once were, even though their production costs had dropped dramatically.
So how now, can you still generate income for your events, even though the perceived value for guests is far lower online than it was previous to the pandemic.
Selling tickets to your event is the easiest way to generate revenue. It's also the most expensive, as you have to factor in a lot of additional costs such as customer service, payment processing fees, credit card chargebacks and so on.
It is of course the most obvious course, however, moving this tickets for access model directly online is where most of the other events have really had issues. If the numbers are to be believed of course.
The other thing to think of is what about pricing, do you just change a smaller percentage of the normal in-person ticket price, but if you are doing that reduction, is it just devaluing your event's content?
So how do you price for an event that is happening digitally?
There are a few things to think about when setting the price of an event ticket. The most important thing would be what you want people's perception and value for your content will feel like, but it also has some other indirect effects on how much time they spend researching or attending as well!
You shouldn't just lower the price of your in person, you need to assume the value you are giving the viewer has the same value as your in person.
You could ask yourself this question, what are the elements of my in-person event that are guests are actually paying for, and of those elements what carries over to the virtual event?
The second question you could ask yourself is what is the value of the element now that it's virtual?
eg: if you believe that the value of your event is in the content that you provide on stage, and there is the same if not more value in delivering that in live, HD video then is there any reason why you should discount it?
Selling sponsorship's within your event is a great way to make money. This is because sponsorship's can usually be negotiated and you will get your sponsors a lot of exposure in return for the sponsorship on your event--making it worth both parties while ultimately benefiting attendees as well!
The main negotiation tactic you can use is that you can tell them, in real provable numbers how many people actually interacted with their sponsored content. If they placed a large banner next to the video player of the main event, and you had 1000 people watch that for 45 min, you can sell that space for a lot.
There was a lot of attention and eyes on that brand name, so there is value in that, then if you add additional analytics to the mix, of how many people clicked on their ad, went to their sponsor profile page and more, you can start to see how you are delivering value to for their dollars.
Ask for donations
This may not be the best option for any business events, as it may be a little difficult to build empathy for your conference on your product, however if you are a community group, content creator or anything that may have social good as its driving goal, then there is a very good chance that you can generate some income in asking for a simple donation.
Simply set a few donation level suggestions and if possible give users some sort of reward for donating more than the average. Well more than accessing your amazing conference that is! but some little thank you for support can increase the amount you can expect to generate.
When someone donates to a good cause it make them feel good, as well the charity or cause will also get a tax receipt for what they have donated so this can be beneficial on both sides.
I want to briefly mention crowdfunding as this could also be an avenue that you could pursue, rather than a straight donation. Consider offering some share or product offer that a guest can get, just by attending your event.
Charge a subscription
If you think you're going to be able to create content on a regular or semi regular basis then you could look at at offering a subscription to access your content, rather than paying for a one time access.
A subscription may entail a monthly fee or a one off payment for access to all of the content that you will be posting. You can provide different levels of subscription access that a user can get, so its not linked to just their viewing of the content.
You could give them heavy discounts to other events you do, discount their in person event access, merchandise or any other products that you may sell at the conference.
Offer mentoring or access to people
A mentor is a person who will provide guidance and advice on a particular subject who can be used by entrepreneurs wanting help with their own business plans; people trying new activities can also benefit from a mentor to help guide them in their decision to take the road they are hoping to.
You could also use your personal network to build a group of people that most of your attendees wound't usually be able to get in touch with. Then you can say that your event ticketing includes one on one access to these people in a virtual setting.
So again, its not just the content in your event that is bringing the people, its all the additional value that users get from the networking and contacts that your hybrid conference will deliver.
Build in e-commerce functions to sell on consignment
The last element I want to talk about is using your event as a way to sell yours or your exhibitors products in a controlled environment. Think of it as a virtual bazaar or marketplace. You can use video to go around the event, interview the exhibitors and as you're talking to them, you can show their products to your virtual attendees.
With a pretty simple integration you can have a full shopping cart, product management and much more, so you give free access to your event, where people can view the content you're providing, but also interact with shop keepers in a real time environment.
Video shopping has become a huge selling point for many many apps these days, so if you were able to take the best of the video live stream shopping elements and include them into your event, there is a very good chance that you can generate significant income by doing eCommerce.
There are more than one way to generate income at your hybrid events, as we have outlined above, you can sell tickets, subscriptions, eCommerce or more. Your opportunities are endless, as long as event managers think beyond the confines of what virtual events are, and not try to replicate the offline experience.
I hope that this has helped you in some way and I look forward to talking to you if you want to discuss using Bettercast as a platform for your next hybrid event.