Making Virtual and Hybrid Events Pay: How To Price, How To Sell

An SIIA & PCMA Webinar

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the primary basis of interactions move online, and while many businesses were quick to adjust their plans in the short term, looking ahead is proving increasingly more difficult. The hope that live events would return in the fall is increasingly being replaced with the realization that most events in the U.S. will continue to be virtual or hybrids of online and in-person for the remainder of 2020.

As we are confronted with months of uncertainty, many SIIA members are wondering what the future of events will look like, and how companies whose business strategy has relied upon in-person convenings can survive and thrive in a world where people are interacting virtually?

To answer these questions, SIIA teamed up with PCMA, the world’s largest platform for business events strategists, to discuss how to effectively organize, execute and monetize digital events.

On June 23, Meg Fasy, an internationally recognized expert in event strategy and audience engagement and the Principal at sponsorship marketing agency FazeFWD, and PCMA’s Education Manager and event design specialist, Leslie Bailey, joined SIIA CEO Jeff Joseph for a one-hour webinar to share best practices, discuss digital event resources and answer SIIA member questions about taking events digital in light of COVID-19.

Some key lessons from this interactive discussion include:

  • Set expectations for yourself and participants – treat moving online as creating a brand new event, it will not be the exact same experience as a physical event
  • Look critically at your planned agenda through early 2021 – evaluate the content and goals of each event to identify what aspects can be delivered online
  • Transform your team – consider the roles and skillsets of your current team to identify how those fit for a digital event delivery (i.e. social media manager à chat moderator)
  • Digital analytics (banner click rates, page dwell time, etc.) are valuable information to offer sponsors that is not possible in physical event
  • Create unique and engaging opportunities for community building by offering experiential sponsorships that bridge online and offline (such as lunch delivery, gift boxes and game rooms)
  • No standard base for pricing – consider your resource expenditure and ultimate goals (revenue or audience) to adjust accordingly

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