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« Recession = Opportunities For Your Event | Main | Being a World Class Event Promoter (the P.T. Barnum Way) »

Monetizing Free Events - There is Money Everywhere

Monetize_free_event There is no such thing as a free event. Events without any type of admission still cost event organizers money to produce.  Organizers almost always need to rent equipment or have a dedicated facility to hold their event. These things cost money. In addition to the previously mentioned costs, there are typically numerous ancillary expenses that cannot be traded out. If the economy is bad, people and businesses are less apt to help out free events and not for profit organizations. With sponsorship dollars becoming much more difficult to come by event organizers need to look at other avenues for funding. As an event organizer you need to focus on other areas of financial opportunity.  Is there some aspect of your event that you can monetize?

Offering a Premium Event Experience
Here is an idea.  If you have a free event, can you charge people for a premium experience?  People are willing to pay money at free events if you can deliver extra value.  Things like reserve seating or a VIP experience are just some of the things you can offer as premiums.  Some patrons are willing to pay you money if it means not having to wait in line for 45 minutes. Look at ideas that are of minimal cost to you as an event organizer, yet generate maximum revenue.  You would be surprised what patrons are willing to pay for a premium experience. It’s important that you offer a premium that your event patron finds valuable. There is often a discrepancy of perceived value between patrons and event organizers. You can overcome the “What’s a premium” hurdle by asking or testing offers with your event patrons.  Keep the focus on what patrons find appealing, not what you think they might find appealing. Something as simple as an email survey to your target demographic can give you answers to the premium experience question.

Monetizing Your Event Afterward
A less desirable place to monetize your event is after the event takes place. The disadvantage is what you can’t put money into your coffers before your event occurs. Patrons typically look for nostalgia items after an event takes place.  Do you have anything that people might be interested in purchasing after you event? The easiest way to generate revenue, post event, is from a dedicated event web site. Make nostalgic items available for purchase online.  Just remember to focus on your patron’s desire.

As an event organizer of a free event (or any event) you need to think of additional ways to monetize your event. People will pay, regardless of the economic conditions, for a premium experience. A little brain power can go far in generating extra revenue for your event.

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