Welcome to the digital event hot topic. People bat around crazy monetization strategies in the digital event business, but what is the proper technique? Is there a magic formula? Am I alone?
The answer is simple. No, there is no magic formula – and you are not alone. However, success relates directly to a well-thought-out strategy within your organization and with your platform account executive. Your approach begins well before the event kick-off call with your SaaS (Software as a Service) provider or event manager.
How to Get Started
Let’s go crazy! What you consider a foolish strategy in one industry is a powerful strategy in another. Whether you are a first-time event producer or a seasoned virtual veteran, this post will benefit your strategy roadmap.
The following are three simple steps to get started with monetizing your digital events:
- Step 1: Define Your Market, Audience, and Event Content
- Step 2: Select a Provider and Learn
- Step 3: Configure Your Packages
Over the next few sections, we will explore how you should get started on the road to monetization success.
Step 1: Define Your Market, Audience, and Event Content
As cliché as it may be, you will not experience monetization bliss without the market and audience. How will you convince your potential sponsors that their dollars will reach and generate enough leads to justify buying into your program?
For first-timers, this is tricky because you have no experiential data to prove success. You can easily overcome this barrier by developing tightly concentrated content. Niche markets help virtual events thrive, so prepare niche content that serves a specific purpose. Be aware of your event date as well. Certain times of the year may work better than others.
Typical event registration ranges from 1,000–5,000 people. This is not written by a marketing guru, but trends speak for themselves. Of your registration numbers, expect 40-60% to actually show for the live event.
It is silly to think you will captivate the world, but never rule out the possibility.
Step 2: Select a Provider and Learn
You have the market, audience, and content strategy developed so now what? It is time to pick the right provider and learn everything they have to offer. You cannot select any provider. One is needed that will fulfill your requirements and functionality, which leads us to the RFI (Request for Information). You can gather the majority of research online for the pre-selection process. Then submit the RFI to the companies of your choice.
However, you may yield better search results by scheduling an hour long conversation with the companies of your choice. Often times, the RFI process can be bypassed. Conversations can lead to discoveries that your RFI may limit. It’s your preference, so explore the possibilities!
This process will open more doors to monetization than you may have initially imagined. Knowing the features, functions, bells, and whistles of your future platform will help the sponsorship team develop the most crucial aspect – package configuration.
Step 3: Configure Your Packages
We have finally reached the area you are waiting for – package configuration. Your organizational brand has value. Do not limit the sponsorships to the event platform features and functions. Create value inside and outside of the digital event. You can add banners, ads, booths, featured presentations, sponsored presentations, lead capturing, registration logos, event-based email logos, and more, but adding value from your brand may help differentiate the platinum sponsorship from the bronze sponsorship.
Because you’ve already selected your platform, work with your account executives. They are the number one resource for understanding the platform, its benefits, and its features. The best thing about working with the account executive is their ability to bring internal resources where their knowledge may lack. Use this to your strategy’s benefit.
If you want to read more on package development, please check out a related blog posting that I authored.
There is no right or wrong way to monetize your digital presence. Start with these three steps to ensure that you are on the path to success. Find what works best for your organization. Then constantly evolve the sponsorship prospectus as you receive sponsor feedback and provider platform enhancements.
If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me to get started today!
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Post contributed by Matt Goodwin