There’s a dirty little secret in the corporate event industry: So many events just don’t make money. They’re good for other things—networking or branding—but to realize a profit, you need to set up a clear equation.
Control your costs and offer differentiated value to justify ticket prices. From there, you can increase revenue streams with sponsorships or other value-adds. Should be simple math, but overhead can get crazy, and attendees are price-sensitive these days.
Going virtual for at least part of your offer can help pull a profit, but you still need to know a few key approaches. Here, we’ll share the details with you, so you can successfully monetize every event you throw.
Ticketing is your primary public-facing revenue stream, but it’s also where your attendees are paying the most attention.
There’s a clear value exchange here. People are going to compare your speakers, workshops, or entertainment acts with other events they’ve attended. A cool location can draw a crowd. So can a big name. But these come with their own costs.
This is why we’re seeing such a rise in virtual events. You can build or design spaces that have the same jaw-dropping impact as a massive arena, hotel, or lounge—at a fraction of the cost.
Feel free to divert that capital into the most genius speakers you can find. Splurge a little on an emerging artist. Going virtual may be more interesting to them, too. They can join your virtual event from wherever they are and gain experience in a new platform.
Since you don’t have to pay for their airfare or hotels or any entourage, you’re saving there, too. Some acts may even give you a break, because it’s easier on them, too.
Between a new kind of venue and an impressive talent lineup, your attendees can feel good about your ticket prices, because you’re offering high value.
Selling sponsorships is an easy way to offset the cost of an event. This is the theory behind any crowdfunding campaign: Get several people to pitch in and you can fill a big pot without too much strain on anyone.
At a virtual event, there are no caps on the number of sponsorships you can sell. Designing branded spaces is quick and accessible to virtual venue administrators. They can include logos, images, any web-based assets, and more.
Like your talent, your sponsors are likely to jump at the chance to get involved in a well-run virtual event. This is the future of events, and more companies are learning how to maximize the opportunities every day.
Formulate sponsorships packages like you would for in-person events, only a little more creatively:
- Decide your package tiers and start talking to potential sponsors.
- Brainstorm ways to delight your attendees together. This can be a great time for partners to try a soft launch, roll out new branding, or test lead generation.
- Find ways to measure success. Sponsors may want hard conversions, but they may also be really happy to enter the virtual space while you do most of the lifting.
By offering your sponsorship partners a solid chance to get in front of a wide audience with pre-qualified interest, you’re already hitting the high notes. The addition of virtual offerings can sweeten the deal and strengthen relationships for everyone.
The end result is a total value proposition that makes it a no-brainer for sponsors to agree to partner with you at the prices you set.
Most large, in-person conferences feature an expo hall or tradeshow. This can be one form of your sponsorship model or its own event offering, where attendees get to see many booths at once.
Virtual trade shows can replace physical experiences or extend them online.
When you host a trade show in Virbela's Expo Hall, you can create an event that mirrors any expo hall in real life. With a lobby and casual open space, auditoriums, breakout rooms, and more, you get many of the features of a beautiful conference space, too.
One of the most exciting features in the Expo Hall is the exhibitor floor. It has a configurable floor plan that allows up to 150 exhibitor booths, available in three different sizes. Each booth is surrounded by a private volume, allowing exhibitors to talk one-on-one with attendees who enter their booth space.
By inviting partners to join you in the Expo Hall, you turbo-charge your sponsorship relationships, provide your attendees with a stellar experience, and provide a solid stream of revenue from booth space.