Link to article on Forbes:
POST WRITTEN BY Forbes Coach, Pasha Carter Pasha Carter was voted one of The Top 25 Women In Business. She is one of the world's top Marketing and Branding Experts. It has never been harder to be a professional who makes money from live events. Whether you are a speaker, an event planner or someone who puts on large-scale events, the current circumstances and social distancing protocols have made your job incredibly difficult — but not impossible. This "new normal" has also presented unique opportunities for live event professionals in the form of virtual events. With a little creativity, some technology and a few tips, you can make the pivot from live events to virtual events and make just as much as before, if not more. Here is how to pivot your profits in the age of virtual events:
Virtual Events For Speakers If you are a speaker who makes money traveling the country or even the world for events, the good news is that not much has changed other than the time spent running through the airport, driving in rental cars and sleeping in hotel rooms. You can do the same speaking engagements from your home as long as you have a good webcam, microphone and a professional-looking background. This is not to say there aren't any challenges. Obviously, there are no in-person meetings right now, so you will need to work extra hard marketing yourself in order to get gigs. If the gigs aren't coming as fast as they used to, now is a great time to make the leap and start hosting your own events. Finding an audience through marketing and promoting yourself may take time, but you might be surprised how many people will pay you directly to hear you speak.
Photo: Getty Virtual Events For Event Planners For meeting and event planners, to make money from virtual events, you need to get creative. Events and meetings still need to be held all the time and convincing decision-makers that you are the person to host them is key, especially when it is relatively easy and inexpensive for them to do it themselves. To do this, you need to include value-add propositions to your virtual events. Adding elements like virtual team building events, professional development courses or individual coaching sessions will help you sell packages that are more than your standard meeting. The big thing, in addition to the value-adds, is to make sure your technology piece is on point. Many people are willing to pay for a seamless and smooth technological experience that they don't have to manage themselves. If you can nail this, it is half the battle.
Virtual Events For Large Event Organizers Making money from a virtual large-scale event involves some of the same elements that making money from a normal event does but with added features and benefits. The No. 1 key for any large event is providing something a lot of people want. This could be guest speakers, networking opportunities or top-tier entertainment talent. In both cases, if you can provide this, people will pay.
The new wrinkle to help monetize your virtual events on the same level as a live event includes things like selling multiple sponsorships, creating a smooth e-commerce experience to sell merchandise or providing VIP or bonus virtual experiences that people will pay a premium for. By adding these virtual features to your in-demand offering, a large virtual event can be just as lucrative as a live one.
Conclusion Don't panic. Pivot instead. It may not seem as easy as it used to be to make money from events in 2020, but with a little hustle and creativity, that doesn't have to be the case. Event talent and planners who embrace this new virtual world will have the inside track to monetize this burgeoning industry to a huge extent as this becomes the way more and more events will be held in the future. Pasha Carter