7 Ways to Monetize Your Hybrid Conference

by Heather Russell,

12 October 2021

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Live events have always been a great source of revenue for all kinds of companies. However, since the beginning of 2020, any corporate event planner will tell you that rather than waiting for live events to resume, an online conference platform can be used to host a hybrid conference. However, corporate event management is all about generating revenue from events; otherwise, there is no point in hosting them at all. 

This article will provide you with 7 interesting ways in which you can monetize your hybrid conference. Today, corporate event planners are making use of the following strategies to generate revenue from their hybrid conferences. By the end of this article, you will have a much better understanding of how you can do the same. 

1. Sell Premium Tickets 

One of the simplest and most effective ways to monetize your hybrid conference is by selling premium tickets to certain attendees. One interesting way you can go about this is by providing free but limited access to the event and then encouraging your attendees to purchase all-access passes to the entire event. 

A corporate event planner would typically take this opportunity to get a little creative by establishing different ticket packages, each at varying prices. Some of the most common kinds of premium tickets you can use include ‘Early Bird Access Passes’, ‘VIP Access Passes’, ‘Single-Day and Multiple-Day Passes’, and Group Passes’. 

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For example, early bird access passes would have various advantages for those who buy tickets earliest, while VIP access passes would include special features for those who missed the early bird access but are willing to pay some extra money for premium features.

Not only can such a ticketing strategy help to generate more revenue from your hybrid conference, but it can also help your company collect attendee-specific data based on the ticket categories purchased. This can aid you in sending out targeted marketing and follow-up promotional deals after the event. 

2. Provide Sponsorship Opportunities 

Just as sponsorships provide opportunities for revenue generation in live events, you can use sponsor recognition and funding to monetize your hybrid conference. Moreover, you can take full advantage of hosting your event on an online conference platform by coming up with more creative ways to boost sponsor visibility at your event. 

You can build sponsor visibility through social media channels, rotating ad banners that endorse breakouts, online exhibit halls, and even gamification with sponsor messages. There are many ways you can provide sponsorship opportunities at your conference or event, and the more creative the approach, the more you will be able to build sponsor visibility and generate revenue from your event. 

3. Deliver an Immersive Showroom Exhibition 

One of the best things about the virtual space is that you can take showrooms and exhibits to the next level by using software to make them extremely immersive. By creating a virtual exhibition hall that attendees can virtually walk through and experience, you can provide your sponsors with a space where they can promote themselves to your attendees. 

Thankfully, there are several open source tools that you can use to create a virtual trade show or a digital exhibit. Two of the most popular such tools are Omeka and Open Exhibits. You can use these tools to create and deliver custom virtual exhibits to impress your current and prospective customers. 

Moreover, an immersive virtual showroom is a great way to make your conference much more creative, innovative, dynamic, and hence, memorable. Consequently, this boosts the monetization potential of your hybrid conference. 

4. Sell Ad Spaces on a Virtual Event Website 

You will most likely have a registration page and event website that promotes your conference to potential and prospective attendees. You can take advantage of these virtual spaces by selling ad spaces on the websites and registration pages that attendees will visit to sign up and learn more about your event. 

Our recommended strategy is to sell the ad spaces to companies that are relevant to your event. The more relevant the brand is to your event, the more traffic the ad will generate, which will equate to more revenue for you and your sponsors. 

You can even take it one step further and use advanced tracking options to have a better understanding of which marketing campaigns and ads are driving the most traffic to your event website. These tracking options are known as UTM parameters (Urchin Tracking Modules), and they help you understand how your visitors are interacting with your webpage. 

5. Sell Event-Related Merchandise 

Hybrid conferences bring many different people together, and so they provide great opportunities to sell merchandise. Moreover, you can take it one step further and monetize your event with a virtual trade show. A virtual trade show is essentially an online page that allows attendees to make hassle-free and even discounted purchases of your products. 

If you have an online store, you can also use this to your advantage. The existing store can be integrated into the presentations in the conference so that attendees can browse through your products and services without leaving the event. 

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6. Offer Bumps and Upsells 

One way to monetize your hybrid conference is to offer additional products to attendees when they are on your event page and purchase event passes and tickets. The buyer can either be redirected to an upsell page or can be given the option of prompting the buyer to purchase add-ons by checking a box on the registration page. 

7. Affiliate Commissions 

Another great way to monetize your hybrid conference and generate revenue from the event is via affiliate commissions. During your event, if you are featuring any affiliate products, you can become an affiliate partner for that brand or company and use your event to promote that affiliate link. 

If an attendee chooses to purchase a product through your affiliate link, you can reap the benefits of an immediate commission, which can help to generate revenue. In fact, research has shown how crucial affiliate marketing is for generating revenue as 40% of U.S merchants have reported affiliate programs as the primary channel for customer acquisition as of 2021.

Conclusion 

Many companies may shy away from using online conference platforms as they might consider it difficult to make money off of them. However, any corporate event planner will tell you that there are many interesting and innovative ways to monetize your hybrid conference. 

By using the 7 methods outlined in this article, we are sure that you will be able to take your corporate event management to the next level and use virtual to generate as much revenue as you would in a live event. 

Heather Russell
Heather Russell

Heather Russell is the Event Operations Director at Seven Events Ltd, a leading corporate event management company in Birmingham offering event planning and venue finding services.

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