How Do I Price My Virtual Event?
As the industry adapts to the virtual-first event space, precedents and best practices are only just in early stages of being formed. Which begs the question: How do I price my virtual event?
In some cases, your events may not charge a fee to your members or audience, and you’re all set. But in the circumstance of either pivoting an in-person event to a virtual, or launching a new, all-virtual event, price adjustments should be considered. But that doesn’t always mean they need to be lower.
Virtual Event Benefits
Before identifying the right price, you need to fully understand the value that your virtual event will be delivering to your attendees. And that starts with understanding the benefits of a virtual event vs. an in-person one. We’ve outlined some of the main benefits below:
- Larger pool of attendees: A virtual event allows attendees to join from all over the world – without travel or capacity restrictions allows for a potentially bigger, more diverse audience. This opens up the door to more networking opportunities and greater exposure to quality content and contacts. More attendees can also lead to a growth in up-and-coming leaders at an organization, who are dialed-in to the messaging and vision to create stronger future.
- Accidental networking opportunities: With the data available in a virtual event, event organizers can match up attendees based on their interests, ticket status, event goals and more. This creates stronger community ties and more business opportunities than an in-person event (See some ideas for virtual networking here).
- More relaxed attendees: Attending from one’s own home relieves the pressure of an in-person event. More relaxed attendees result in an environment of greater collaboration and an Increase in exhibitor/sponsor engagement.
Identifying the Value of Your Virtual Event
Now that we’ve identified the overall benefits of virtual events, it’s time to consider how this relates to your specific event goals. Are these benefits greater than the opportunities typically delivered at your traditional in-person experience? Are they less? How does this impact ticket price?
- You first need to determine how much additional value you’d like to deliver to your attendees. While added value likely means a greater investment on your end, it also creates additional opportunities that attendees are willing to pay for. For example, if you want your attendees have networking opportunities, engaging content with graphics and video, or to be surrounded in an entirely virtual event experience – with 3-D projections of conference elements like a general session room, exhibitor booths, and more – you will need to choose an event platform that can support these functionalities (Learn more about the different virtual platform packages we offer here).
- Next, consider the cost to the attendee. More often than not, a virtual event will be much more cost-effective than an in-person meeting. What used to require a plane ticket, hotel stay, per diems, and more, is now delivered from the comfort of the attendee’s home. While attendees are still giving up their time, the added travel expenses needed for an in-person event are no longer a factor in play.
To help wrap your head around how attendee value and cost relates to the overall virtual ticket price, we’ve developed the following equation:
As the value you offer your attendee increases, so does the amount you can charge for event access. So if your virtual event is providing additional benefits and costs less for the attendee than an in-person experience, the price for their ticket could end up being more than your traditional live event.
While we’ve seen our clients charge a range of prices – from full price, free, half, a-la-carte pricing, or more than their in-person meeting – the ultimate answer will need to be determined by you, your organization, and your event goals.
Let’s figure it out together!
As you navigate the pivot to virtual, LAI is here to help you determine pricing, best practices, event enhancements, and more! Reach out to our team today to start talking all things virtual: