So, you’re done with your research and are ready to host your first hybrid event. Now the next big question is: How does one monetize hybrid events?

One way is to make your event a paid one, but what if you want to make it free to attend for increased traction? Well, there are certainly other ways to go about it. vFairs has been working in the hybrid and virtual events space for a while now. So, we’ll go over what we’ve discovered over the years.

After reading this guide, you’ll have a good idea of what things you can incorporate into your next hybrid event for maximum profits. 

Work Out Agreements With Sponsors

Sponsors are an obvious and sure-fire way to monetize any event in general. Whether it’s virtual, in-person, or a hybrid event, sponsors are willing to spend money if your event provides value to them. Focus on that last part, value. If you want to generate revenue for anything, you need to provide value. 

Reaching out to random corporations may seem like a non-issue. However, you want to invite companies whose target audience might match the attendees of your event. This way sponsors will be forthright in wanting to work with you.

Run ads and provide ad spaces to companies that are relevant to your event. This way the company will pitch to their (and yours) target audience, you will generate some revenue, and it works out mutually for both parties involved.

Of course, there are a lot of ways to provide sponsors a spot at your event. You can sponsor different segments of your show, set up a virtual sponsored 3D space, or maybe even create a sponsored Q&A panel. So, the ideas are endless and almost similar to an in-person event, all you need is a little brainstorming session to get those ideas flowing.

Provide Value To Exhibitors

We will stress this once again, providing value is a surefire way to generate some great ad revenue. This applies to sponsors, attendees, and of course, exhibitors. Much of the same concepts and rationale with sponsors apply to exhibitors. At most events, exhibitors pay for the booths, whether they are virtual or in-person.

However, it is your job to encourage the attendees to visit the booths. Talk with your exhibitors and make sure they are making good use of their visibility. If you provide assistance to exhibitors, they’ll be happy to work with you and attend your event. This allows you to generate some revenue from them. You could also charge for providing time slots in your event.

Say you have an empty slot open for a segment, you charge exhibitors to make use of that. You can help them set up (design) their virtual booths based on their company persona for maximum branding and attendee engagement.

You can also allow them to hold a discussion panel. Of course, you need to be creative with the offers you want to make to your exhibitors based on their pain points and goals. This is by far one of the best ways to generate revenue.

Additionally, on the virtual side, exhibitors have access to booth engagement metrics from within the vFairs platform. This will help them better determine ROI of their sponsorship and get a deeper understanding of their audiences.

Use Merchandise For Additional Revenue

Just because you are hosting a hybrid event doesn’t mean you can’t sell merchandise. In fact, it’s a great way to monetize hybrid events. You can set up online order sheets through the virtual venue.  This gives attendees the opportunity to purchase products or services during the event. For people who are at the in-person event, you can sell them the same merchandise on-site, or direct them to the virtual order sheets to keep everything streamlined.

You can sell things such as your company’s branded mugs, keychains, shirts, or something more relatable to your audience and brand. You could also use this same idea for sponsors. Allow sponsors to sell their products and/or merchandise. This way you provide sponsors more reasons to generate revenue for you.

You can also combine influencer marketing with this tactic, as they can generate interest in products before, after, and during the event.

Premium or VIP Tickets to Further Monetize Your Hybrid Event

None of us are new to this concept. It’s the same way  concert tickets and the airline industry works. You can sell VIP tickets for your hybrid event with ease. You can charge people so they are given extra features such as a VIP waiting room, or other exclusive access and offers. However, you need to figure out you are going to make a VIP ticket attractive, that’s the main challenge. Perhaps, for example, your VIP participants receive an event swag box in the mail prior to your event. Or, they receive an exclusive meet and greet with an industry leader or influencer.

Once you have got that figured out, it should be smooth sailing from there. If you want to sell premium tickets for the online event as well, consider offering a workshop with an expert and charge for that service.You can even allow some premium ticket holders to pre-order or access info before the regular ticket holders.

Of course, you’ll have to strike a good balance here so that people don’t feel neglected. You need to make sure the VIP ticket has its benefits, but not so many that the regular attendees feel envious.

Conclusion

The benefits of hybrid events are quite appealing. And it’s monetizing hybrid events is a lot like any other event. However, weigh your options and decide what your goals are early on. Do you want to turn over a profit or just break even?

You should have an idea of who your target audience is and how you can turn them into potential leads to generate more revenue. But in doing so, try not to turn it into something too sales-y. Because, at the end of the day, your event should provide value to both your sponsors and visitors.

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