Monetizing an event can be about so much more than selling tickets.
Like with any business, there are lots of different opportunities to turn a higher profit – you just need to know where to look.
Let’s get started.
How do you host a profitable event?
To host a profitable event, you’ll need to make sure you’re making more money than it costs to run the entire operation. Sure, it’s a simple principle – but it’s easier than you might think for things to go off balance. With so many expenditures to fork out for, it’s wise to consider multiple money-making avenues for your event to keep things in the black.
Here are some of the key things all event planners should consider if they want to make maximum profit:
Start your marketing early – and keep the momentum going
This is one aspect of making an event more profitable that can be easy to overlook.
The sooner you start your marketing activity, the more scope you have to generate interest around your event and close ticket sales. It’s a pure volume thing – the longer you have to promote, the more people you’re likely to reach.
It’s really important to keep the momentum going, though. You can do this by planning out a marketing strategy with key moments, and through releasing a series of early bird tickets that gradually increase in price.
Treat your budget as sacrosanct
Budgets are put in place for a reason, and should be stuck to pretty religiously if you want to make sure you don’t start eating into your event’s profits.
We have an article on planning events that covers budget allocation, which is definitely worth a read if you’re new to this kind of thing.
Get high-value sponsorships
Securing paid sponsors for your event is one of the most impactful ways to increase its profitability.
Go for high-value opportunities that reap you decent rewards, rather than just securing sponsors for the sake of it. The fact is that some partnerships will offer way more value than others. Things to think about include:
How relevant and exciting is the sponsor? Is it likely to attract customers or might it give off the wrong vibe about your event?
Does the sponsor truly align with your brand? Does it share the same values, or is it just looking for some easy promotion? If the sponsor’s heart isn’t fully in it, you might find you don’t end up getting much value out of the relationship.
What tangible stuff are you getting from the sponsorship? Sometimes a sponsor's offering can seem more valuable than it actually is, so it’s crucial to look deeply into this.
Sell thoughtful merchandise or relevant goods
Free merch bags are great, but you might be missing a money-making trick by going down this route. It’s not to say you want to start charging for those gimmicky T-shirts and pens. But rather that there’s an opportunity here to sell genuinely relevant, valuable stuff to your event attendees. It might be that you can partner up with one of your key performers to sell a book of theirs (or album, or whitepaper). Or that you can look into selling a relevant product at your health and wellness workshop.
As long as you know you can make money on what you buy to sell, you’ll be helping inch up your event’s profit, or even significantly increase it.
Sell advertising on your event website and social media channels
If you’ve got a big following on social media and get a lot of traffic to your event website, there’s potential for making money from letting others advertise via your platforms.
You could sell advertising spots on your site, or see if anyone’s up for paying you to run some sponsored social media posts.
Just make sure you only advertise stuff that aligns with your brand – otherwise you could end up damaging your event’s credibility.
Sell extra experiences, rather than ‘VIP lounge’ tickets
Selling VIP tickets can be one way to increase the profitability of your event, but sometimes it’s not the most efficient way to do so. This is because the cost of offering ‘VIP’ stuff can soon ramp up – considering you might end up offering things like free alcoholic drinks, and other snazzy perks.
Instead, it can make more sense to sell experiences that cost you less, but have equal value for the customer. For example, you could sell exclusive tickets that include an additional talk from your event’s key speaker, or an intimate behind-the-scenes Q&A session.
Making an event more profitable is all about seeking out those areas of opportunity that allow you to add genuine value for your customers. By thinking smart about your offering and keeping a close eye on your budget, you’ll be well set to run a successful event that leads on to even greater things.