Virtual Events Monetization Tips for 2022
According to a ResearchAndMarkets analysis (Research and Markets, 2021), the global virtual events market could reach $504.76 billion by 2028, with a cumulative yearly growth rate (CAGR) of 23.7%. Virtual events are more than simply a replacement for conventional in-person events. They are also another way of reaching out to new audiences and enhancing engagement with existing ones. By understanding how to appropriately leverage virtual events, your event attendance, brand growth, revenue, and ROI could multiply. As a result of these statistics, we believe that virtual events are the future.
Since the event industry is pivoting to virtual events, one of the questions that may arise is how to continue monetizing virtual events in 2022.
1. Optimize the Event Experience
The most important aspect of any event is delivering value to your target audience (Carter, 2020). Take time to determine what makes your event special and how you can deliver the content in the most optimized way.
An example could be your guest speakers list. Enable easy user-friendly networking opportunities for your audience to reach out to speakers and connect. Another example could be delivering content through extra virtual experiences. You could provide the option for participants to decide whether they want this as an additional cost or not. As a result, participants will be able to invest in the experience they want.
2. Gamify the Process
Now imagine there are many free virtual events available; why would an attendee choose to pay for your event?
Many times even with enticing and engaging content, attendees may think twice about attending an event because they have to pay. Especially when many participants have the perception that virtual events are not as informative or valuable compared to live events.
Event organizers can incorporate tokens that can be used for networking purposes, attending multiple sessions, and turning events into event gamification. To gamify the process, attendees would need to earn tokens by completing activities that serve the sponsor's goals rather than paying for them (Tupper & Monorchio, 2021).
For instance, an attendee earns five tokens for watching a sponsored advertisement or completing a sponsor survey. These tokens can then be used for virtual actions such as tipping a speaker. As a result, speakers can even find themselves interested in participating in your event at a lower cost.
3. Upsell with Microtransactions
Microtransactions refer to small financial payments conducted online. The majority of attendees at B2B events are there at their employer's request, and their purchases must be justified to be claimed as a corporate expense. As a result, event organizers can upsell participants with benefits such as access to closed networking activities (Tupper & Monorchio, 2021). If it helps them seal a deal with investors, participants are more likely to pay extra.
You can also adopt a “freemium” approach where attendees are given some networking features for free for a given period or amount. If an attendee is satisfied with the experience, they will be willing to invest in something they deem valuable. This is known as a pay-per-attend microtransaction system.
4. Establish Proper Sponsorship Costs
Virtual events are a powerful lead generation opportunity (Copans, 2020). Event organizers can collect more tangible data on impressions and engagement. Plus, virtual events often signify lesser boundaries as they can generate higher attendance rates regardless of the attendee's location. Additionally, it has been proven that virtual events allow sponsors to hold more one-to-one meetings with attendees. Sponsors are sometimes generating higher value than in-person events, thus, it is not reasonable to lower costs; establish proper metrics to show why the cost and how it generates value for them.
5. Strive to Drive More Revenue from Sponsors
Sponsored advertisements in the middle of your virtual event can be distracting and not ideal. To ensure a quality event experience and minimize disturbances, event organizers can display targeted sponsored advertisements within the chat function during the live stream (Tupper & Monorchio, 2021). Similar to YouTube, these sponsor advertisements can then be played before the on-demand content after the event.
As the advertisements are relevant to attendees’ interests, they will not be perceived as bothersome. Thus, sponsors gain positive exposure and engagement.
6. Leverage from an Event Application
Event applications can provide real-time event analytics and information. Data collected can be used to improve your event experience, increasing ROI. An event application can also boost sponsor income as it is one of the most effective ways to gain exposure to a specific target audience. Sponsors can also continue to use the application to schedule one-to-one meetings with attendees even after the event.
Furthermore, event applications may be used to engage and build meaningful connections with people in a variety of ways:
Expands Networking Opportunities
Creates a space for real-time engagement through Q&A and breakout sessions
Drives engagement through gamification opportunities which enhances the overall event experience
7. Provide On-Demand Content
Using on-demand content to generate revenue is one of the ways to monetize virtual events. By implementing on-demand programs you can improve exposure and involvement with the participants even after the event has ended. Business Insider saw an increased ROI (Copans, 2020) for its sponsors as a result of the on-demand content. The reason is that it continues to generate awareness and engagement long after the event has concluded.
Having said that, if you are organizing a virtual event and do not know where to start - follow these simple tips to help you guide through the experience.
If you ever need help simply contact us, we are here to help!
Carter, P. (2020, June 1). Council post: How to make big money with virtual events in 2020. Forbes. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2020/06/01/how-to-make-big-money-with-virtual-events-in-2020/?sh=9dac5b441015
Copans, V. (2020, October 29). How some events are making more profit virtually than in-person. EventMB. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://www.eventmanagerblog.com/more-profitable-virtual-events
Research and Markets. (2021, August 26). Global Virtual Events Market (2021 to 2028) - size, Share & Trends Analysis Report. GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2021/08/26/2286900/28124/en/Global-Virtual-Events-Market-2021-to-2028-Size-Share-Trends-Analysis-Report.html
Tupper, A., & Monorchio, D. (2021, August 12). How to make money on virtual events without charging ticket fees. EventMB. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://www.eventmanagerblog.com/make-money-virtual-events-without-ticket-fees