Event Planners: How To Make Money With Virtual Events 

Virtual events are the new norm for 2020 and into the foreseeable future. As an event planner, once you figure out how to get your events online, it’s time to plan how to make money with your hybrid or virtual events. 

Since you are no longer constrained by physical location and other limitations (like attendee travel budgets), now is your chance to get creative and bring in attendees from all over the world — and still bring in revenue. Making money from your virtual events is not as complicated as it might seem, because you’re still looking at a lot of the same things as you would if you were planning in-person events. Things like ticket sales and sponsorships are still revenue-generators, but now you can add even more because you’re adding value to your event with a bigger online reach, a larger pool of speakers to choose from, more accessibility, convenience for attendees, etc. 

Check out some of the top ways that event professionals are making money with virtual events. 

Offer Ticket Packages

Show value in your virtual event with ticket packages! Free content is great, but in today’s world, people understand there is a value to paying for content online. Before you launch your virtual event, develop a pricing strategy for your ticketing. Ask yourself: do you want to make money or do you just want to break even? You may want to consider what you were previously charging for your in-person events and model your virtual ticket packages after that. There was a reason why you charged what you did for your in-person events, so what’s the reason behind what you’re charging for your virtual events? 

Example of various event pricing models

Ticket options for your virtual event aren’t limited to those who can attend the virtual event live. You can create a tiered-pricing ticket package so attendees can purchase all of the content on-demand so they can watch the recorded sessions after your virtual event is over. Don’t limit yourself to live attendees only. 

Since part of the fun of attending live events is the swag you get, you can even offer a VIP option where you create and send out a VIP box for those who upgrade. That VIP box should be sent out in advance of the virtual event and can include a printed agenda with presentation slides and places where people can take notes, sponsor information, premium swag — or even a sponsored lunch so attendees won’t have to scrounge for lunch and miss a session!

VIP swag boxes can help make your virtual event feel more “real”

Set your ticket packages up for success by getting the most value out of your virtual event. 

Sponsorship Ads On Your Event Website 

Your event website is where everyone comes to learn about your event from the moment you launch it. Any event website should include all the basics, including a list of speakers, the agenda, ticket options, and….your sponsors! This type of sponsor advertising isn’t meant to take up tons of creative time and energy. Simply offer banners, logo placement, or pop-up video ads that make sense on your event website.

Use your virtual event’s website to prominently feature your event sponsors.

PRO TIP: If you’re hosting a virtual event with an event app, you may have additional advertising options for sponsors within the app. Event apps like Whova and Hopin offer easy-to-use sponsorship features automatically with your subscription. 

Affiliate Marketing & Sales Opportunities

Affiliate marketing is where you earn a commission by sharing and promoting another person or company’s product or service via a unique link online. If you are able to connect your event with a person or company that offers affiliate link opportunities, this is an easy way to earn some extra income before, during, and after your event. This type of sales opportunity is ideal for a speaker to sell their books via your virtual event or a sponsoring company to provide a package deal to event attendees…and you get a commission for sending the sales their way! 

Talk to your sponsors and speakers before the event to see if they’d like to take advantage of subtly “pitching” their products or services in exchange for an affiliate link.

Get Creative With Merchandise For Sale

This may seem obvious, but merchandise is another way to make money from your virtual event. Think of all the things you can brand and sell, like coffee cups and apparel — plus you can incorporate your sponsors’ and presenters’ merchandise, too. Consider setting up an online store in your virtual event to allow attendees to purchase products and services with zero hassle. This could be a strong stream of revenue during your virtual event.

Setup an online store during your virtual event to make some extra money

Sell Attendee Data to Sponsors & Exhibitors

While selling attendee data requires consent from attendees, this is a huge opportunity for your sponsors and presenters. This is how they can get the most out of their participation in your virtual event. As an example, think about if you were hosting a technology conference. The technology service businesses that sponsor your event would be interested in getting contact information from your attendees. Selling your attendee registration database grants them access to this information. It’s a win-win situation. 

PRO TIP: Make sure you have limitations to how your sponsors and presenters can contact your attendees and make sure you adhere to any laws and regulations. You also want to ensure that you let your attendees know how their personal data will be used. You do not want anyone “spamming” your attendees which could discourage them from attending your future events. 

These money making ideas for your virtual event are just the tip of the iceberg. Contact our team of virtual event professionals and let us help you make your event a success or learn more on our event blog.