It is difficult to put an exact number on the high demand for virtual events hosted in the past few years. This is because a number of factors caused people to avoid physical events and shift to the virtual or hybrid model. Today, more people than ever are using mobile devices, going live through various social media and streaming platforms, and attending online events frequently. As these events are now a norm, along with the hybrid event model, they bring their own sets of earning opportunities. That’s right, you can make money hosting events online! 

Why Should You Try to Make Money Hosting Events Online?

With creativity on the rise and technological advancements appreciated by people, businesses are resorting to virtual events more often now. The primary reasons for this trend include the convenience, reach, and scalability offered by online events. Additionally, the return on investment, control over costs, and measurable results have made virtual events a massive hit. 

Therefore, they offer an excellent opportunity for you to earn a considerable amount of revenue. You just have to plan your event well in advance, approach sponsors and exhibitors early, and have a wide range of options for everyone. 

If you make money hosting events online, then you can put that earning back into your company and its future events. This will make you an important part of your industry and put you on the path to financial and overall success. Apart from obvious solutions like ticketing or paywalling, there are a number of other ways you can make money hosting events online. 

At absolute minimum, you should monetize your virtual events in order to at least cover their costs. Who knows? You may even earn impressive revenues from your events and be able to invest them back into your company. 

Furthermore, if you have a ticketed event which also has some premium features, exhibitors, and sponsors, then it will exude a sense of exclusivity and prestige. In many cases, this works in your favor and attracts an even larger audience to your virtual events. 

How much does a virtual event cost?

There are many elements involved in hosting a virtual event. First of all, you have to figure out what platform you’ll use to hold your event. There are many options out there, but very few offer the features and customizability that vFairs does. Therefore, you should consider this as the first cost consideration. After all, if you don’t have the right platform and tools to create a valuable virtual event, then you won’t be able to monetize it to the best of your ability.   

In addition, you should consider the costs of marketing your event. These can add up considerably, and are a necessary expense. After all, even if you hold the best event in your industry, but no one really knows about it, it’s of no use. You need to get the word out about your event, and have to target the right audience for this purpose. Therefore, you need to make sure you have a thorough idea of what costs you’ll face and have a written budget strategy accordingly. On average, a high-quality virtual event will cost you around USD 35,000, so keep this ballpark figure in mind. 

How to calculate event ROI

You’d calculate the returns on investment for your event in the same way as anything else. Simply put, you’ll consider how much you spent, subtract it from the revenue you earned, and see what you’re left with. 

ROI (%) = [(Event Cost)-(Revenue) ]/Event Cost x 100

If your ROI is quite high, then it is an encouraging sign for your events. 

However, if you keep holding virtual events which fail, then you’ll keep losing money. Basically, if you calculate your ROI and it turns out to be a negative number, then you’re losing money. Many events are either losses or simply help break things even.

Your goal should be to go beyond breaking even, and earn revenue for your organization through your virtual events. These events offer a world of earning opportunities for your business. 

How do you monetize virtual events?

Virtual events connect exhibitors with attendees online and generate value for everyone involved without any hassle. So, how can these virtual events help you make money?  Take each of your event stakeholders in mind, from exhibitors to attendees, and see how you can make money from them. Without further ado, here are five great ways you can do this without much of a hassle.

1. Sell Ad Spaces on the Virtual Event’s Website

Since your event’s online, its promotion happens online as well. To get information about the event and for registration, a lot of people will be visiting the event website. This means your website will get a lot of traffic which can generate revenue for you. Therefore, you can offer advertising space to various companies on your event website. Whether they’re sponsors or simple advertisers, you need to clearly state where and how their ads will be displayed. This can get you a considerable amount of revenue. 

The best approach will be to run ads that will be the most relevant to your event. For example, you can sell ad space to Toyota for running an ad for its latest product on your virtual motor show’s website. This way, Toyota will be pitching its products to the right audience, you will be benefiting from the ad revenue, and the traffic on your website will be viewing ads that will be relevant to them.

You can also make use of Google Adsense if you don’t have the time to sell ad spaces. This way, you will still be generating revenue but the ads may or may not be relevant to your target audience.   

2. Sell Merchandise to Make Money Hosting Events Online

Virtual events provide a good opportunity to sell your products and services. This can be done through an online store in a virtual event like a virtual trade show, giving a chance to the attendees to purchase your products/services during the event without any hassle.

Merchandise is another way to make money hosting events online. You can sell your organization’s branded shirts, mugs, keychains, and their like during a virtual event. 

Let’s say a virtual product launch event is organized by Toyota to introduce its new car. Toyota can take orders or down payments for the car during the event. It can also sell merchandise (for example, shirts with Toyota’s logo on them) to the attendees by making them available on the event website.

Another example can be a virtual book launch by a renowned author like Seth Godin. People like Godin have a huge fan following. This presents the opportunity to sell merchandise before, during, and after the event. 

Therefore, it’s a good idea to link your shop or sell event-exclusive merch online during your virtual event. This will help mitigate your event hosting costs and also offer attendees more elements to interact with. 

3. Sell Premium Tickets

We all are familiar with the way the airline industry works and the prestige of first-class. Compare that with the economy-class and you will see a huge difference in the experience offered. The same concept can be applied to your virtual event. 

While hosting events online, you can offer different types of tickets falling in different price ranges based on the kind of experience they offer. For example, a V.I.P ticket can unlock a workshop with a renowned motivational speaker during a virtual event. It can also give a pre-booking option during a virtual product launch.

This will segment your attendees while enabling you to make more money from the same event. Make sure you don’t paywall too many of your event’s defining features and price your tiers according to your audience’s affordability. 

4. Offer Increased Visibility to Sponsors & Exhibitors

You can offer your exhibitors, partners, and sponsors more visibility and marketing. Most companies value promising marketing opportunities, and will pay good money for them. Therefore, you can give them the visibility they require with a number of features and opportunities at your virtual events. Here are a few ways in which you can do this. 

Exhibitor Booths

When you invite potential exhibitors, offer them a few options for their booths. A basic booth would be a static one with just a few basic features. However, you can offer them the full suite of features and help them create a dynamic and interactive experience, and charge extra for these features. 

It’s a good idea to offer a few booth options at various prices for your exhibitors. This way, even if an exhibitor won’t go for a fully-equipped booth, they will still pay you to set up a basic booth which falls within their budget. 

Let’s say you are hosting a virtual motor show. You have 30 exhibitors. As every exhibitor will be trying to attract as many attendees as possible to generate leads, the competition will be extremely high. This gives you a chance to increase your revenue simply by offering increased visibility to some of them. This can be done in any of the following ways.

  • Putting up banners in the lobby to gain attention
  • Giving a slot for a webinar 
  • Arranging a presentation 
  • Giveaways and discounts
  • Advanced customization option for booths
  • Ability to upload more marketing collateral like videos, brochures, and documents

Speaking Opportunities

Often, you can even leverage speaking opportunities to get more money hosting events online. There are numerous people out there who want to get the word out about their venture or just want a boost to their industry merit by addressing a large audience. 

Therefore, you can sell speaking opportunities to such people. Just make sure you have a healthy mix of paying and invited speakers, so that your event is an informative one for your audience.

In addition, you can also have exclusive speaker sessions with sought-after personalities. Make these sessions or workshops exclusive for the top tier of your ticketing system, so that the right people get to utilize it. 

Sponsorship Packages

Since competition has increased in every industry, visibility has become a major cause for concern. Exhibitors attending an online event go through a similar situation which presents an opportunity to make more money for the event hosts. As a host, you can earn more by selling sponsorships.

Sponsorships enable brands to gain more visibility by paying more. They get a chance to position themselves better and gain more eyeballs. Hence, exhibitors that go for sponsorships stand out during the event, while the host makes more money in the process.

5. Sell Access to Audience Data

Another way could be to sell access to audience data. This requires consent from people registering for the event based on their willingness to be contacted by the sponsors after the event. 

For example, in a virtual job fair, you could have thousands of job seekers signing up to interact with employers. Employers won’t receive applications or visits from every single attendee but they might still want to reach out to promising talent. This allows you to charge a subscription to grant access to employers to the registration database and reach out. (make sure you have limits in place to prevent any of the exhibitors from spamming your audience).

Furthermore, you can also sell the audience behavior data to various organizations. These organizations will use it for their own marketing strategies, and you can price them well enough to earn a decent amount this way. 

In addition, you can seven run a few surveys at various points of your event, and incorporate sponsored marketing-based questions into them. This will help gather insights for you and for other organizations. 

The benefits of virtual events are innumerable and revenue generation is one of them. With the help of the strategies listed above, you can make money by hosting events online without any hassle. You just have to make sure you have all your planning and strategies in place, and know what sort of ROI you expect. These basic figures will equip you to gauge your event monetization success and help you host more profitable virtual events in the future. 

With vFairs, you can organize a virtual event in no time and start making money instantly. Here’s how others have benefited from organizing virtual events with vFairs.

 

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