Virtual events, hybrid events, and in-person events should all be part of a marketer’s playbook in the new events landscape. Now, they must find ways to maximize revenue from your events with a new eBook: How to Ticket and Price Virtual, Hybrid, and In-person Events.
In the new event landscape, marketers have many opportunities to create and capture value. Why? Because their opportunities have been multiplied across event formats. Meetings, conferences, and trade shows can now be virtual, in-person, or hybrid. While each of these each format has its benefits and limitations.
The key is understanding what attendees and sponsors want out of an event (value). That way, you can maximize ROI through direct revenue like tickets sales and sponsorships and other forms of ROI like sales pipeline, brand equity, and knowledge transfer. Value-based ticketing and pricing methods will help you deliver on the promise of creating real value for attendees and sponsors. Now it’s time to apply these lessons to your events program.
Knowing Your Event Formats and Their Potential
Virtual events: Virtual events have transformed the industry and can provide exponential reach and scale. They are unique and powerful in that they can attract attendees from a variety of backgrounds, roles, and functions—and, best of all, thousands of people can attend these events from all across the globe. They also offer organizations the opportunity to extend the value of event content beyond the event itself. While the audience may be larger, virtual events have less depth of engagement than in-person events. People may multitask, direct connections can be harder to forge, and attention spans are limited. The audience may be less willing to pay for the event since their commitment to the experience is lower than if they were to attend in person.
In-person events: In-person events are a tried-and true-format and will continue to be a staple in event programs. As long as people are able to meet in person, they will. They foster meaningful relationships with and among attendees and sponsors, strengthen relationships that can lead to stronger business partnerships, create lasting connections between people who share an experience at the same venue. In-person events offer greater depth of engagement with a more limited breadth of engagement—as they are limited only to those who can make the trip. The audience is typically more willing to pay for a ticket to attend in person for the depth of engagement the event will provide.
Hybrid events: Hybrid events provide planners the best of both worlds. Combining virtual and in-person formats offers a depth of engagement in person while reaching a broad audience virtually. The result is a flexible experience for any attendee, with more ticketing options. The challenge is to deliver value to all attendee groups since virtual and in-person experiences will be unique. Producing effective hybrid events increases complexity and requires more resources.
At the same time, planners can tailor event content to each audience to maximize both engagement and ROI. Hybrid events also provide flexible ticketing options depending on the experience an individual chooses. For example, some in-person attendees of a hybrid event may be willing to pay a higher price for access to on-demand content to complement their onsite experience.
Now that you understand the benefits and limitations of virtual, in-person, and hybrid events, you can think about finding and creating value for attendees, sponsors, and your organization.
The Ticketing & Pricing Question
All of the new event formats make this ticketing & pricing question a bit more complex, it requires thinking beyond actual ticket sales to maximize value and ROI of your events.
To effectively price and ticket your events, you must first define their value—for attendees, sponsors, and the organization itself. And as we mentioned earlier, the value props for all of these event types differ.
You can then maximize that value by mapping it to relevant attendee, sponsor, and organizational goals. Maximizing value leads to higher ROI for your organization and a more rewarding experience for your audiences.
Many organizations focus on ticket sales as the key driver of ROI, but ticket sales are just one slice of a much larger ROI pie. Here are five benefits that contribute to event ROI:
- Direct revenue
- Attributed revenue
- Attributed sales pipeline
- Brand equity
- Knowledge exchange
When assessing the full value of your events, consider all the benefits they provide to the organization along with the costs. There are many things beyond direct revenue that impact how much money an event will make. It can take time for these to come to fruition, but it’s important to include them in ROI.
A Final Thought
While you can highlight event value in objective terms (number and type of sessions, speakers, exhibitors), what matters most is how your stakeholders perceive the event. Imagine yourself in the shoes of attendees, sponsors, and internal stakeholders. By asking about their needs and desires before and after the event, you will discover how your event can help them succeed and achieve their goals.
When considering event format and value, answer the following questions with as much detail as possible:
- What will attendees get out of the event?
- What are the benefits to sponsors?
- How does this event bring value to the business or organization?
The path to new revenue streams and “hidden ROI” in the new event landscape can be difficult to navigate without the right resources.
For more about finding success in this new era of events, we invite you to download Cvent’s new eBook, How to Ticket and Price Virtual, Hybrid, and In-person Events.
To inform readers about how to ticket and price events in the event new landscape.
Event channel ROI is a main concern for marketers.
Download Cvent’s new eBook: How to Ticket and Price Virtual, Hybrid, and In-person Events