When it comes to hosting events, ticket sales aren’t the only way to earn revenue. In fact, they’re just the beginning. Organizers have opportunities leading up to, during, and in between events to maximize profits and attract more attendees. Thinking beyond ticket sales is the first step to gaining more visibility and generating additional event income.
Whether it’s a virtual or live occasion, organizers can boost their income by connecting with attendees early and creating meaningful experiences on the event day. This article will cover ways to expand revenue streams, including:
- Selling event merchandise
- Earning sponsorships
- Offering ticket insurance add-ons
- Investing in event marketing
- Selling immersive experiences
- Hosting virtual challenges
- Building year-round engagement
Selling Event Merchandise
While T-shirts are tried-and-true items at most events, there’s an abundance of creative ways to sell merchandise. As online ticket sales become more streamlined, there are more ways to offer add-ons than ever before. Organizers can step up their merchandising tactics by selling:
Event apparel is popular for a reason. Swag like hats, T-shirts, and sweatshirts heighten the community experience — and leave attendees with a souvenir. Many people are more likely to buy apparel when they know they can wear it to the event. While some will prefer to buy items the day of the event, organizers can also capitalize on the crowd that’s excited to stock up on merchandise ahead of the big day.
For events that feature a speaker or panel, selling books or fitness guides that are penned by the main attraction is a creative way to earn additional income. Up the ante by offering books signed by the author in a meet-and-greet setting. Savvy organizers can include signed books in ticket add-ons prior to the event.
Exclusive Day-Of Merchandise
In addition to the merchandise made available leading up to the event, it pays to create at least one piece of exclusive merchandise that’ll be available only on the big day. Whether it’s apparel, a new workout guide, or exclusive access to a new app or product, organizers can take advantage of the day’s excitement by generating buzz about their one-of-a-kind merchandise.
Event kits are an excellent way to boost engagement — as well as draw in more revenue. For fundraisers, a kit may include sponsorship letters, event swag, checklists, and pledge sheets. For activity-specific events, kits can incorporate tools and resources needed to participate.
For example, a 5K race may be improved by a fitness tracker, training guides, and fun additions like a branded water bottle. Sell kits weeks or months before the occasion to make sure all attendees receive their materials on time.
Food and Drink Add-Ons
At live events, attendees are typically eager to buy food and drinks. With safety trends and convenience in mind, pre-selling food and drinks can help eliminate the tired tradition of standing in long lines. Include food and drinks as a ticket add-on option to streamline the purchasing process.
To boost revenue even more, include upgraded options served in souvenir glasses or containers.
Earning Event Sponsorship
Sponsorships are an essential way to bring in more money. Earning them requires persistent networking and a commitment to building a strong relationship with relevant brands. Great ways to entice new sponsors to fund events include:
- Selling local advertising space at the event
- Offering branded physical or online signage
- Partnering with other brands to sell merchandise
For fitness events, there’s no shortage of health brands that would be excited to sponsor an in-person or virtual event. Many organizations hope to earn more visibility and connect with more customers by sponsoring events. Seek out relationships with gyms, health food brands, fitness equipment retailers, fitness apparel retailers, and more to build partnerships that help organizers and sponsors alike.
Offering Ticket Insurance Add-Ons
Not surprisingly, COVID-19 has changed most people’s perception of predictability. Event attendees who would’ve previously bought a ticket with no worry of cancellation might shy away from committing to such a purchase today.
To ease anxiety about losing money on a ticket, consider offering ticket insurance as an add-on. Many attendees will jump at the chance to buy insurance that keeps them covered if life gets in the way of their attendance. Insurance is also a great way to soothe worries over inclement weather ruining an upcoming event. While most guests won’t use the insurance, you are selling peace of mind — a commodity that many are willing to pay extra for.
Investing in Event Marketing
While it can sting to part with money, investing in marketing is a must for organizers. Earning a strong event income relies on attendees and their willingness to make purchases. Events are more likely to attract attendees when there has been a healthy buzz generated in advance of the big day.
One of the best places to increase visibility is online — and tools like Events.com EveryAd can help. Utilizing a marketing tool is a powerful way to drive awareness and boost ticket sales through well-placed ads. Ads give organizers the opportunity to promote exclusive offers, VIP experiences, and special merchandise to as many potential attendees as possible.
Selling Immersive Event Experiences
Event attendees crave memorable experiences. Organizers can offer these unforgettable experiences by creating immersive add-ons or packages. Exciting ideas include:
Organizers can bring in extra revenue by bundling exclusive VIP perks for attendees. For example, a VIP package might include full access to multi-day events, exclusive access to workshops with limited capacity, or early access to merchandise or ticket sales.
Meet and Greets
For events that draw attendees with a headlining speaker or coach, offer meet and greets as an add-on. Attendees love the chance to connect with speakers or event leaders in a smaller setting.
Offering a one-on-one class or session with a coach is an excellent way to elevate the value of any event. For attendees of a fitness event, exclusive time is often worth a significant add-on to their ticket purchase — leaving organizers with boosted income and attendees with a valuable experience.
Hosting Virtual Challenges
With Events.com EveryChallenge, it’s easy for organizers to create exciting virtual events. For example, virtual fitness events are a meaningful way to connect communities and individuals from afar. Whether participants swim, walk, cycle, or run, virtual challenges are uplifting occasions that can appeal to participants of all fitness levels.
The most exciting element of a virtual challenge is the flexibility of participants to take part from any location and at their own pace. It also offers the opportunity to monetize fitness training programs. As more people explore fitness options beyond the gym, organizers have the chance to stay connected with participants all year by creating events built around healthy habits, shared fitness goals, and group training sessions.
Building Year-Round Engagement
For organizers, milestone events are important, but it’s the time in between big events that provides some of the greatest opportunities for improved engagement and additional revenue. Ways to build a deeper connection with attendees include:
Connecting Through Surveys
Instead of focusing on a mad dash to the main event, invest time in getting to know attendees. Surveys are a great way to gauge future interest and learn more about what potential guests are looking for in an in-person or virtual event.
Building Community on Social Media
Social media is the next frontier in community-building. Being an active participant on social media gives organizers the tools to interact with their target audience, generate buzz, and even link directly to ticket sales.
Make it exciting for past, present, and future attendees to share their event experience on social media by making use of hashtags, giveaways, and exclusive offers. Organizers who take the time to connect with their social media audience enjoy the benefits of having a direct line to attendees when it comes time to host their next event.
Producing Consistent Content
One of the keys to remaining relevant year-round is to consistently produce content. Content ideas to keep event guests engaged include:
- Social media countdowns
- Teasers for upcoming events
- Announcements about event details
- Blogs or video packages about past events
- Attendee testimonials
Offering Exciting Promotions
During their off seasons, organizers can earn additional revenue by offering early-bird or one-day pop-up promotions to loyal audience members. Creating fleeting promotions will keep attendees checking back often to snag a great deal and stay updated about future events.
Generating Event Revenue: The Bottom Line
Ultimately, generating event revenue beyond ticket sales is a never-ending venture. While it takes creativity and extra planning, the results are well worth the effort. When organizers take the time to create meaningful experiences for attendees, guests will be excited to invest in much more than their ticket.
Learn more about how to monetize events of all kinds with Events.com. Whether you’re hosting a nationwide 5K or a workplace fitness challenge, Events.com can help you manage every aspect of the planning process from sponsorship to marketing.