It is hard to overlook the boom of virtual events in 2020 and 2021. In fact, research confirms that the live streaming events market size will grow to $184 billion by 2027 – meaning there are a lot of businesses that want to monetize virtual events.
This means that virtual events are here to stay, and will only continue to grow and have more opportunities. As virtual events become essential for businesses and individuals, there will be more expectations from audiences. It would be fair to state that the virtual events market shows huge potential. But monetizing virtual events is not always so simple.
Monetization of a Virtual Event
The monetization of a virtual event refers to a process involving hosting and organizing a live event in order to generate a revenue stream. The main purpose of monetization of virtual events is to showcase products and services to the target audience.
You can generate revenue in real-time or after the virtual event. Ultimately, it boils down to how you handle your sales process and adjust the offer to the audience. So, let’s dive into the 6 best ways to monetize virtual events.
1. Add Virtual Booths
If you want to attract reliable sponsors, incorporate virtual booths into live events. Remember, the idea is to maximize the experience for the audience and to provide value. In the end, virtual booths allow exhibitors and sponsors to make a connection to the audience and their potential new customers.
Your objective will be to convert qualified sponsors and to create more opportunities for them to succeed. Of course, attendees are crucial to ensure a successful event, but you can focus on sponsors to fuel your live event. You will have more than one opportunity to impress sponsors, and the inclusion of virtual booths is a non-intrusive approach to showcase live events to sponsors.
2. Provide a Paid Ticket Option
Many virtual events are free to attract attendees. However, make sure to offer a paid ticket that provides more value to attendees. There are numerous ways to do this, including:
- Add an extra track. For attendees willing to pay, adding more content is an ideal way to provide value. You can add a track or more to your agenda
- Offer Training. Regardless of the type of event, everyone sees value in hands-on training. Offer technical or non-technical training in a workshop format to your attendees.
- Exclusive Round Table Events. Within a general virtual event, you can host invite-only round table discussion groups.
- Exclusive Networking: Host a VIP networking event in addition to your regular networking event at the virtual conference which will ensure that only the more engaged attendees will be there to network.
These are just a few ideas but there are many ways of organizing your virtual event to provide further impact and value to your paid ticket holders.
3. Digital Swag
While there’s definitely something special about walking around an event and collecting swag from each partner or sponsor, there’s a certain appeal to virtual swag as well. For starters, digital or virtual swag can provide tangible value to attendees, such as discounts, products, or services that they can use instantly. This can include trials of a partner’s product, discounts for future events, and so on. Plus, you’re creating less clutter and making swag that’s easier to produce. No need to worry about making 500 hats that will just get thrown out anyway.
Upselling attendees means that you’re trying to encourage them to purchase a paid ticket (or even upgrading a low-tier paid ticket to a higher-tier ticket). If someone signs up for a free ticket, that already expresses interest in the event. They’re likely curious about the paid ticket options and could possibly be persuaded to upgrade to a paid option.
This can be done in several ways, and it often comes down to timing. A few weeks before the event, you can start sending free-ticket-attendees emails that discuss the benefits of upgrading, such as the aforementioned unique tracks and VIP networking events. You can also do this the day of an event with the urgency approach, such as by saying “if you want to see this speaker today, then upgrade your ticket within the next hour.”
Just like online banners on a normal website, sell banner space on your virtual event. When it comes to virtual events, you can earn a high ROI through online ads. In fact, you should be able to find a suitable live video streaming platform that makes it possible to show ads. This can entail selling ad space to existing sponsors or potential new ones.
Simultaneously, make sure to understand attendees before you roll out sponsored ads. This means limiting the topics to ideas that your audience may interact with. If you’re running a data science event, it may not make sense to sell ad space to a sci-fi convention.
6. Find an Event Sponsor
If you want to level up your monetization efforts, opt for sponsorship for your virtual event. This will allow sponsors to showcase their products or services, while the organizers have some costs covered for running the event. It gives some prestige as well to say that you’re now associated with these sponsors.
How EventX.ai can help you monetize your events
By partnering with EventX.ai, you can reap the benefits of the premier virtual event platform. We can help with the following ways and more:
- Provide virtual expo halls to showcase industry products and services.
- Provide free and paid ticket options to diversify your potential audience and to get the most attendees possible
- Provide unique approaches to upselling to make the most out of all attendees.
- Work with partners to create options for digital swag and other promotional offerings.
- Help with advertising, promotion, marketing, and other ways to get attendees and sponsors.
Final Thoughts to Help You Monetize Virtual Events
As of now, it looks like the paradigm shift around virtual events is going to last for a long time. In fact, there are new strategies and approaches to generate a revenue stream from virtual events. While in-person events will eventually come back, virtual events will remain a dominant force in various industries.