by Jocelyn Fielding
Over the past few weeks hundreds, maybe thousands of association events have been cancelled. Even as many remain hopeful for summer and fall events, it is unclear when we will be able to return to a more normal way of life, and what this new normal will look like. Opportunity for new and increased digital revenue streams still lies ahead even if your face-to-face meeting is cancelled or is smaller in attendance.
Taking Your Face-to-Face Conference Virtual. While this can be a large added expense that you weren’t planning for, it’s also an opportunity to increase your reach. You can decide you want to run the conference on the same schedule, or spread it out over an entire week or month, understanding people may be in a different situation now and that attending a virtual conference all day for multiple days in a row may no longer be an option. This could also allow for some more flexible pricing (for example, paying per session instead of for the entire conference) which may allow more people to attend and increase your overall revenue at the end of the day.
Webinars. Not a new idea, but perhaps one you weren’t utilizing in the past. You can decide to turn your face-to-face conference into a series of webinars throughout the year. Or if you plan to hold your face-to-face conference virtually on the same dates, or are simply postponing until later in the year, use webinars as an opportunity to keep your audience engaged online throughout the year.
Create a Library of Content
The easiest way to start building up your library of content is recording your live virtual events. By charging people to access the library of content, you’ll also be increasing your revenue steam. In addition to your live events, you may have subject matter experts who are interested in creating content just for on-demand purposes as well.
For many, education is a big reason for attending a conference – whether it is for required continuing education credits and certifications or just for the enjoyment of educated oneself. Wrap testing, surveys, and certifications around your live virtual events and your on-demand library of content. Create content specifically for on-demand courses. Add Instructor-Led Training content for more engagement and interaction between your learners and the instructors.
How Do I Price It?
The age-old question! We’ve received this question so many times throughout the years we wrote a blog post about 10 Strategies for Pricing eLearning Content. It comes down to figuring out what your audience values and what they’ll pay for. You may need to experiment – and we encourage this. We encourage running promotions, bundling content, and cutting your members a deal – they’ll want to see the benefits they receive, after all.
Don’t Forget About Your Sponsors!
You probably haven’t forgotten about your sponsors and exhibitors if you’re moving your event from face-to-face to online. There are many ways to feature sponsors – whether it’s in the virtual event platform, lobby slides before the event starts, an announcement from the moderator, on on-demand presentations and courses, or by creating a virtual exhibit hall.