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Maximizing revenue streams for events beyond ticket sales
Event marketing strategies

Maximizing revenue streams for events beyond ticket sales

You shouldn’t rely on ticket sales alone to stay afloat. Adding a few extra revenue streams can help create new growth opportunities, gain more flexibility, and bring in new fans.

Kait Huziak
March 26, 2024

Ticket sales have long been the crown jewel as a key indicator of event success. Yet, relying solely on ticket sales for revenue is like walking a tightrope without a safety net. The risk only becomes clear when expected ticket sales fall short. 

As people’s preferences and market trends keep changing, event organizers can find themselves at a crossroads. To make sure brands have the financial stability they need, it’s important for event marketers to explore different ways to generate revenue beyond selling tickets. 

Aside from improving your brand’s overall sustainability and longevity, alternative revenue streams can create new opportunities for growth, give you more flexibility, and bring in new fans. Whether it's adding more perks, offering exclusive content, selling branded merchandise, and more, event marketers can build a stronger financial base for their events while improving the experience for attendees.

Event marketing strategies to generate more revenue

Adding extra ways for revenue generation to your event marketing plan can help keep your brand safe from all the changes and surprises in today's fast-moving market. The following strategies are designed to help bring in more revenue while providing an enhanced experience for your fans.

Branded merchandise

Branded merchandise is often popular among attendees because it's like bringing a piece of the event home with you. People love these items because they become reminders of the enjoyable experiences they had. Branded merchandise also makes people feel connected to an event or brand, and limited-edition items can be even more sought after because they're exclusive.

In the end, branded merchandise is a way for fans to really feel a sense of belonging and community to an event and remember the good times.

Live streams and exclusive content

Providing the option to watch events online through live streams and exclusive content is a game-changer. It helps events become more inclusive and profitable with the ability to reach more people worldwide. Fans get affordable options and can join in online whenever they want, and event organizers can learn more about their fanbase through data insights. 

Creating virtual access opportunities also help keep events relevant for longer and opens up more chances for sponsorship.

To get started with live streams and exclusive content, be sure to:

  • Choose the right platform: Select a reliable and suitable live streaming platform based on your target audience and the nature of your event. Platforms like YouTube Live, Facebook Live, or specialized event streaming services offer different features and reach different demographics.
  • Determine monetization strategies: Decide how you'll monetize your live streams or exclusive content. This could include selling virtual tickets, implementing subscription models, offering bundled packages with merchandise, or partnering with sponsors for branded content.
  • Create a content plan: Develop a detailed content plan that outlines what will be included in the live streams or exclusive content. Consider behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, special performances, or interactive elements to enhance viewer engagement.
  • Leverage promotion: Create a comprehensive marketing and promotion strategy to generate awareness about your live streams or exclusive content. Utilize social media, email newsletters, influencers, and other channels to reach your target audience.
  • Implement ticketing and access control: If selling virtual tickets, set up a secure and user-friendly ticketing system. Implement access control measures to ensure that only paying attendees can access the live streams or exclusive content.
  • Provide on-demand access: Consider providing on-demand access to the live streams or exclusive content for a limited time after the initial release. This caters to viewers in different time zones or those who may miss the live event.
  • Gather and analyze data: Collect data on viewer engagement, preferences, and demographics. Use this data to refine your future live stream or exclusive content offerings, tailor your marketing strategies, and potentially provide insights to sponsors.

VIP experiences and upgrades

Premium experiences are highly attractive for fans who want something unique. Whether it's about extra comfort, personal attention, or getting a peek behind the scenes, VIP experiences and upgrades can make an event feel more luxurious and fun. These upgrades give fans the opportunity to be a part of extraordinary and memorable moments that go beyond the standard event offerings. 

Some examples of special upgrades include:

  • VIP access: VIP access provides exclusive entry to designated areas with premium views, comfortable seating, and enhanced amenities. This upgrade often includes perks like dedicated entrances, VIP lounges, and expedited services.
  • Meet-and-greets: Meet-and-greet packages provide fans with the opportunity to personally meet performers or artists. This one-on-one interaction creates a special and intimate connection between fans and the featured talent.
  • Fast passes or expedited services: Fast passes or expedited services grant attendees priority access to various event features, such as fast-track entry, express lines for concessions, or quicker access to interactive experiences.
  • Upgraded transportation packages: Upgraded transportation packages may include private shuttles, chauffeur services, or access to premium parking areas, ensuring a seamless and convenient arrival and departure experience for attendees.

Sponsorship showcase

By teaming up with sponsors, events can secure extra funds beyond just selling tickets. Sponsors bring in financial support through various means, including brand visibility, product placement, and exclusive promotional opportunities. They can also boost the event's exposure through their networks. 

Bringing in money from sponsors not only makes things less financially risky but also provides events with the flexibility to offer more enhanced experiences for attendees, like special access, better amenities, and interactive things to do.

Types of event sponsorships include:

  • Title sponsorships: The highest level of sponsorship, where a company's name is prominently featured in the event title. For example, "XYZ Company Presents: The Annual Music Festival."
  • Category exclusive sponsorship: Companies can secure exclusivity in a particular category, becoming the sole sponsor for that category, like the "Official Beverage Sponsor."
  • Logo placement and branding: Sponsors may have their logos prominently displayed on event materials, such as banners, signage, tickets, and promotional materials, providing broad visibility.
  • Exclusive access sponsorship: Sponsors may offer exclusive access to certain areas, activities, or perks to VIP attendees, creating a premium experience associated with the sponsor's brand.
  • Content or stage sponsorship: Sponsors can align themselves with specific content, performances, or stages within the event. For instance, the "ABC Music Stage" or the "XYZ Comedy Hour."

Community building and memberships

Building a close-knit community and offering special memberships to community members means you can keep fans interested even between events. These exclusive memberships come with ongoing perks, like access to cool stuff, special events, and other benefits, which keep people coming back for more.

Building a community helps everyone feel like they're part of something, encouraging them to chat, help each other out, and be active in the group. In the end, staying engaged all year and building a community through special memberships adds value by making lasting connections, building brand loyalty, and making the whole event experience better for everyone.

The perks of exclusive memberships can have a bit of overlap with some of the alternative revenue strategies we’ve already discussed, but possible opportunities include:

  • VIP access passes: Members get special treatment, like priority seating, backstage tours, chances to meet performers, and invites to exclusive parties.
  • Early access to tickets and special offers: These memberships give first dibs on tickets for events and get special deals on stuff like merch, VIP packages, and future events.
  • Members-only content and experiences: Provide unique insights and experiences through members-only content, such as behind-the-scenes videos, exclusive interviews, or virtual Q&A sessions with artists.
  • Exclusive branded merchandise and collectibles: Offer unique and exclusive items to members with branded merchandise lines or limited-edition collectibles that are not available to the general public.
  • Members-only contests and challenges: Through exclusive contests, challenges, or competitions with special prizes or rewards for members, you can encourage engagement and participation within the community.

Wrap up

The bottom line is making money and long-term success can go hand in hand. To keep your brand going strong, you need a solid plan that brings in multiple revenue opportunities and keeps going even when times are tough. Be proactive and make alternative revenue generation part of your event marketing plan. Then put in the time and effort to make it happen, and keep an eye on how things go. Your fans will love having more options, better prices, top-notch stuff, and more ways to get involved. In the end, it will make their connection with your brand even stronger and more engaging.