Selling tickets to event attendees is only the beginning of making money from an event. There are many opportunities to increase event revenue.
One challenge that businesses face today is the economic situation. People are more careful about what they spend their money on.
Another challenge is, instead of hosting in-person events, businesses are hosting virtual events. Virtual events change the dynamics of how to make money by hosting events.
Even with these challenges, event hosts can make money. This article will discuss different types of events. It will also provide great tips for how to make money while hosting those events.
Types of Events to Host
The best part of hosting events is that almost anyone can do it. Another advantage is that the cost of hosting a small event is minor compared to starting a business. And the cost of hosting a virtual event is even lower than in-person.
Another good thing about events is that there is a wide range of event concepts. Leave your comfort zone and be creative, opening up more possibilities.
Here are some in-person and virtual event ideas:
Networking events can include dinners, cocktail parties, and the like. They are one of the easiest and most cost-effective events to host.
It is easy to host because people like to meet new acquaintances. They especially like it if it means an opportunity to grow their business.
Another aspect that makes networking events easy to host is the high demand for these events in major cities.
Because there is such a high demand for networking events, it is easy to promote them. So learning how to host a networking event online will bring in even more money.
Authors and celebrities can fill an event room in no time. This creates a great revenue opportunity for event organizers. All they need to do is match the speaker with the right audience. A sales proposal is a powerful tool that you can use to engage with your target audience. Writing it in the tone of voice they are most likely going to respond best, will help convince them into buying what you’re trying to sell.
The equation for making a profit with speaking engagements is simple. Take the celebrities speaking fee plus the venue fee and divide it by how many seats are available.
Experience events involve activities or vacations that attendees can experience. These events can be a little tricky to plan but are sure to generate a lot of interest.
Find something fun to do, like wine tasting, cooking classes, skydiving, parasailing, etc. Call around to see how much that activity would cost for an individual and if there is a group discount.
Training seminars are very popular and easy to implement as virtual events. People are always looking for ways to expand their skill set. Or perhaps they want to learn new skills to increase their income and extend their business.
Dozens of online companies offer training seminars for study programs, personal development, and business certifications.
Another popular event is a panel event, like an interview or discussion. In general, two to five professionals are interviewed in front of a crowd.
These events usually include time allotted before and after the interview for attendees to network. Due to its nature, it is easy to host panel events online.
Professionals and attendees can connect to an online platform. With the help of private or breakout rooms, attendees can even network during the online panel event.
Gaming tournaments are a profit goldmine. They are so successful because they allow hobbyists to compete for honor and a prize.
Not only are the attendees doing something they love, but they also might make money from it. Playing on stage is a dream for most gamers. There should be no issue in attracting hundreds of people to pay a fee to participate in a gaming tournament.
Gaming tournaments can range from poker games to video games and anything in between. Every city has a market for gamers looking to play on a bigger stage.
How to Make Money Hosting Events
Everyone knows that making a profit means bringing in more money than is going out. Although the concept seems simple, it is harder than it sounds.
When hosting an event, there are many expenses to consider. For an in-person event, event organizers need to calculate the expense of the venue, speaker fees, food and drink costs, and more.
For online events, organizers need to pay for an event platform. They also need to have the proper software to make sure that the event will go off without a hitch.
It is wise for event organizers to expand the way they generate revenue. Instead of relying solely on registration fees and ticket sales, they need to have multiple avenues of income.
Generate more money with the following tactics.
Start Marketing Early and Keep the Momentum Going
Do not overlook the importance of starting a marketing campaign early. The earlier you begin, the more people you can reach.
Starting early also gives people time to schedule the event into their busy lives. An event marketing campaign should begin four to six months before the event. Use social media posts, emails, and launch an event website to generate interest.
Of course, starting six months in advance means that the campaign will have to work harder to keep the excitement going until the event date arrives. This is possible by planning out key moments in the campaign.
Gradually reveal the key moments to keep people interested. Offer early bird registration and then continuously increase the ticket price.
Appeal to the Target Audience
In the marketing game, the words “target audience” are used a lot. What is a target audience?
Before you can sell to people, you have to identify who they are and what they want to buy. Selling a product or service to people who do not want it is like hitting your head against a wall.
So you need to find the people who want the product. That is the target audience. Think about who your ideal customer is. Where do they work? What are they like? Do they have families?
Identifying your audience is vital to aim campaigns at the key demographic. Everything an organizer does, including setting a price, choosing the packaging, and picking a location, should directly target a particular demographic. Make sure that you are reaching your specific audience.
If you reach the right customers and know what they want, selling to them will be easy.
Provide a Great Experience
To generate revenue, event organizers need to provide a great experience. They need to offer a fun time that the attendees really appreciate.
This is where organizers can use the knowledge about their target demographic. If they know what the key demographic wants, they can provide an awesome experience for them.
As much as organizers may plan an event, sometimes they miss the mark. At this point, it is best to ask the target customers what they want.
Research past events. Analyze what the competition is doing. Send out surveys. Once you find out what your attendees want, make it the main selling point of the event.
Another way to provide a good experience is to invest more for higher quality. Plan on a smaller, more expensive, but more impressive event. A small, impressive event will be more attractive, allowing you to sell exclusive premium tickets.
Get High-Value Sponsorship Packages
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Securing sponsors for an event is a sure way to make more profit. But some partnerships offer more value than others. Go for high-value sponsorship opportunities instead of picking any sponsor.
Some things to think about before getting involved with a sponsor include:
- How relevant is the sponsor?
- How exciting is the person?
- Will customers be attracted or get the wrong impression about your event?
- Does the sponsor align with your brand?
- Does the person share the same values?
- Is the person just looking for an easy promotion?
- What tangible benefits will you get from the sponsorship?
It is crucial to look into the sponsor’s offer to make sure it is valuable. It is also important to see if the sponsor’s heart is in it. If the sponsor’s heart is not in it, you will not get a lot of value out of the relationship.
Event organizers that make a name for themselves might be hired by businesses to promote a product with an event. If an organizer is known for bringing in a crowd, they can set a high price for their services.
Get Artists to Donate to Charity
This idea makes everyone a winner. The artist, charity, and event attendees all get something out of it.
For example, an event organizer can invite artists to donate their time and goods to a charity. At the event, artists can learn which of their pieces resonate with people. They also get free publicity and can spread their story.
The attendees can buy goods at a bargain price and get to know talented artists. And of course, the charity makes money. So everyone walks away with something.
In these scenarios, setting up multiple tables for different crafts works well. Engage people and promote the items with hands-on demonstrations.
Facilitate Commerce Between Parties
People do not attend business functions because they are known for being so fun. Instead, they expect to make new partnerships. They attend so that they can network and expand their business opportunities.
So why not facilitate this process? Event organizers can take an active role in referring businesses and partnerships. No doubt, many people will pay extra for these leads.
Facilitating conversations between two parties will be appreciated because it saves people from the difficulty of networking by themselves.
Reach out to businesses through social media marketing. The more businesses that get involved in the event, the more it will encourage others to join.
Showcase the businesses that will attend to the other attendees before the event. Use social media to boost engagement, generate interest, and simplify the partnership process.
TIP: When hosting a business event, ask the caterer if they offer a family-style service. In general, a family-style service is a more profitable event model compared to serving individual dishes.
Sell Ad Space
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Selling ad space is an easy and effective way to make money hosting events. It is also a great way to monetize virtual events. Sell ad spaces on your event website. Or offer to run sponsored social media posts.
Here is a list of ad selling ideas for generating revenue:
- Sell ad space on the event website
- Sell ad space inside the event program booklet
- Allow advertisers to include something in your attendee gift bag, like a free sample or a brochure
- Sell ad space for company logos on the event banner
- Sell ad space on volunteer and staff T-shirts
- Offer hidden advertising where a speaker talks about a product or a company in a favorable way
- Sell “sponsored by” space on room schedules
Do not limit your ad possibilities. If there is an option to print something, hang something, gift something, etc., sell ad space on it. It will pay for itself with the money you make from the advertising company.
One word of caution: make sure that you advertise products and services that align with your brand. Otherwise, you could damage your events’ credibility.
Sell Premium Attendee Experiences
In general, people pay more for extraordinary experiences. Organizers can take advantage of this and make higher conversions by offering exclusive adventures.
People are also willing to pay more when they feel like a company has invested in them. Offer a “first-class” type of experience by presenting exclusive luxuries. Sell a regular event ticket and a premium event ticket.
Some event organizers like bundling food and alcoholic beverages into the premium ticket. While offering food and drinks will drive the ticket price up, it can also eliminate profit. Be careful of the extra expense it takes to provide a large quantity of food and drink.
A better idea is to offer something that does not require a higher budget but gives attendees something of value.
Here are some ideas that can work with in-person and virtual events:
- offer a premium event ticket that also includes admission to an after-party
- offer a limited-capacity workshop with one of the featured speakers from the event
- include one-on-one time with a featured speaker
- include a more comprehensive program than was presented during the general event
- offer exclusive tickets to a Q&A live stream with the keynote speaker
Sell Merchandise or Relevant Goods
Everyone gets excited about free merchandise bags, and they are an excellent way to give out branded merchandise. But you might be missing out on a revenue opportunity by going this route.
Selling relevant and valuable merchandise to attendees is a great way to make more money. If you have your own products, make sure to sell them. The organizer of an event has the power to be the most influential vendor.
Another great idea is to offer tickets that include some merchandise in the price. This method works very well in increasing revenue because attendees are presented with opportunities to purchase merchandise right from the start.
Crunch the Numbers
The most important step of making money hosting events is to calculate the costs. Do this during the planning stages of the event.
There is no guessing when it comes to making a profit. Calculate the event’s expenses, like the speaker fees, venue fees, food and drink prices, etc.
Then calculate the predicted revenue from the tickets, merchandise, and advertising. Make sure that the expected income exceeds the expenses.
After the event, crunch the numbers again. Make sure you end up in the black and not the red. Focus on the choices and the interactions that led to the final numbers.
How much did the ad spaces make? Did the brand merchandise sell? What was the conversion rate on the premium tickets?
Ask yourself specific questions to know what to do and what not to do for the next event.
Ending thoughts on how to make money hosting events
Hosting a profitable event is about offering valuable elements that attendees are willing to pay for. The first step in doing so is to understand what your target customers want.
The next step is to figure out which events are most profitable for your business at present. Figure out which events are within your budget, but that will pique a lot of interest. If possible, move the events to an online platform to reduce costs and reach a wider audience.
Next, analyze what areas of marketing need improvement. Do you need to sell more ad space, offer more merchandise, or acquire better speakers?
The true key to making money hosting events is knowing where to focus your time and budget. Think smart about your offerings, and you will be sure to run a successful and profitable event.
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