Thinking Beyond Ticket Sales: How To Generate Additional Event Revenue

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 revenue.  

Whether it’s a virtual or live occasion, organizers can boost their income by connecting with attendees early. This can help organizers create 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 are many 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:

Pre-Ordered Event Swag

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 pre-order merchandise.

Event Books

For events that feature a speaker or panel, selling books or guides written by the main attraction is a creative way to earn additional event revenue. 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

Event kits are an excellent way to boost engagement — as well as draw in additional event revenue. For fundraisers, a kit may include sponsorship letters, event swag, checklists, and pledge sheets. By contrast, 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 a branded water bottle. Sell kits weeks or months before the occasion to ensure all attendees get 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 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 additional event revenue. 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. These partnerships can help organizers and sponsors alike. 

Offering Ticket Insurance Add-Ons

Not surprisingly, COVID-19 has changed most people’s idea of predictability. Event attendees who would’ve previously bought a ticket without cancellation concerns may not commit 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.

Other Event Revenue Streams: Investing in 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 big buzz generated in advance of the big day. 

One of the best places to increase visibility is online — and tools like 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:

Event Revenue: VIP Exclusives

Organizers can bring in additional event revenue by bundling exclusive VIP perks for attendees. For example, a VIP package might include full access to multi-day events, exclusive access to small-group workshops, or early access to merchandise. 

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.

One-on-One Experiences

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.  

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 Whether you’re hosting a nationwide 5K or a workplace fitness challenge, can help you manage every aspect of the planning process from sponsorship to marketing.