Boost Event Revenue: 10 Tips From the Pros
Today, sponsors and exhibitors have a larger role as event participants. "Some of the things we've done, in the case of, say, a FOSE, is [to allow] our customers to present their programs as part of FOSE," she says. "So, for example, if a large company like Adobe or Microsoft would like to present one of their programs that they [have] presented in other venues …, we have them present it at our event as another way for them to be able to get leads."
Attendees also are quick to voice their expectations, and event producers would do well to listen. Condos says this is why Twitter, Facebook and government-centric social networks, including GovLoop (the "Facebook for Feds" that is now merged with government e-mail and Web services provider GovDelivery), are such valuable marketing tools.
In addition to shifts in what vendors are looking for from event partners, event-revenue drivers also are shifting.
"Traditionally, it's the exhibit fees" bringing in the most revenue, says David M. Rich, senior vice president of worldwide program strategy for Auburn Hills, Mich.-based event marketing agency George P. Johnson Co., "followed by the sponsorship fees and then lastly by the attendance fees. I think the difference in the volume of those three categories … is getting smaller."
Tips for Maximizing Your Success and Revenue
Here are 10 suggestions—on everything from event conception to sales and marketing—from experienced event producers to help you improve your events' profitability.
1. Build turnkey programs for sponsors. Condos notes that many businesses are shorthanded. "If you can say to them, 'Listen, we will make this happen. … We'll do everything. ... Everything will be included for this amount of money,' that's very attractive to a lot of these companies," she says.
2. Create small, tailored events. Condos says her group has produced more than 40 custom events this year. "[Sponsors] are able to meet one-on-one with very high-quality customers," she says. "A client [will] tell us a topic that they want to do an event on, and we will get them a government speaker and set up a panel, and do a half-day event. That's their event. Those leads are all theirs. And there's a higher price point for those types of things, but companies are willing to pay it."