How to Make Money with Virtual and Hybrid Events

Press Release

Pleasanton, CA — Companies that want to monetize a hybrid event shouldn’t neglect the importance of marketing the virtual side, says Erica St. Angel, vice president of marketing for Sonic Foundry, who spoke at the 2012 Virtual Edge Summit, Jan 9-11, in San Diego. Companies already face the challenge of marketing the physical event—and there’s a whole new level of environmental considerations to market, as well. St. Angel emphasizes that it’s critical to tell people over and over and over about your event…without spamming them.

How to Make Money with Virtual and Hybrid Events,” is just one of more than 60 presentations given during the 2012 Virtual Edge Summit – and one of dozens to be presented in the VES Virtual Epic Event on Thursday, Jan 26. There are deep-dive presentations, 15-minute snippets, 30-minute conversations, interview sessions and technology demos. And the entire event is free.

Exhibitors, sponsors, attendees, membership and continuing education represent financial opportunities before and after an event. But Todd Kotlarek, Trade Press Media’s director of events, says he’s amazed at how many exhibitors don’t quite know what to do with leads once a conference ends. He and Richard Erb, managing director of Robotics Trends, recommend teaching exhibitors how to interpret the data they receive from the event, and how to nurture their leads.

Event monetization depends on the value participants believe they get from the hybrid or virtual experience—and value comes from content. “If you’re not delivering value, you don’t stand a chance of making money,” says Erb. “Create an audience. Then sponsors will want to meet those people. You must invest in the content.”

St. Angel recommends setting two levels of pricing. Studying what the competition is doing will help event planners come up with appropriate price models, she says. Brief demos of upcoming speakers can boost sales. Some organizations give certain items away—such as the keynote speech—but charge for sessions that provide continuing education credit.

Watch this session – and dozens of others – during the VES 2012 Epic Virtual Event, January 26. In addition to the captured content, subject matter experts will be on hand all day for live Q&A.

Press Release

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  • they should actually have presenters like Dan Parks, who is a real meeting planner, as in certified by MPI. CMPs are the industry planners that actually do real world meetings and conferences and Dan Parks has a Second Life extension called Virtualis where his staff of CMPs also hold virtual conferences

    conferences can be around $7,000 for a three day SL event

    these are different than virtual events which are more on the order of $40k for a 3 day event

    just because it is in-world doesn’t mean you don’t need to have the expertise of a CMP. that was one of the problems with Electric Sheep, they had something like 26 “event planners” at one time but they weren’t seasoned industry professionals and it showed in events that spiraled out of control

    virtual events have the same, and sometimes more complicated, logistics as real events and this is often overlooked