If you’ve hosted or are planning to host a virtual event in 2020 (or beyond), let me ask you...did you charge or are you planning on charging for attendance? Many organizations are reluctant because virtual events lack several of the components in-person events offer (face-to-face networking being a primary one).
But here’s the thing: While your virtual event might be different than your in-person event, that’s not to say it’s any less valuable. You’re likely still offering top-notch content, and possibly even continuing education opportunities. That’s worth something!
But the question is...how much? How exactly do you price a virtual event, particularly when you’ve never hosted one before?
Well, for every organization — and even every event — it’s different. But here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re trying to price yours:
1. Determine your costs
Like you would if you were planning an in-person event, it’s important to map out what your expenses will be so you can price registration accordingly.
Now the good news is, virtual events typically cost less than in-person events. You don’t have to pay for a venue, food and beverage, printed materials, etc. But there are still some expenses. Think about the technology you’ll need and possibly even the high-caliber speaker lineup.
Add up those expenses and use that as a starting point for pricing your organization’s virtual event.
2. Examine what others in your industry are charging
Most organizations are in the position of having to offer virtual programming. That means you should be able to easily find what other events are being held in your space, and more importantly, what other organizations are charging for those events.
As you’re researching these, pay close attention to the agendas, in particular. What’s the duration of each event? How would you describe the caliber of speakers? Are CE credits being offered? And most importantly, how is all of that reflected in the price?
Doing this should at least give you a range for how to price your organization’s event.
3. Consider offering pricing tiers
Since this is your organization’s first virtual event (or at least the first one you’re planning on charging for), it is a little bit of an experiment. That said, to see what people are willing and able to pay — and not only that, but to give people more options — consider offering pricing tiers.
You could do this by day, if it’s a multi-day event. Or you could do it by tracks, based on special interests. But the point is, this tactic allows you to play with a couple of different prices, as opposed to just one.
And speaking of different price points, remember: When you’re promoting your virtual event, don’t hesitate to offer special promos here and there (early-bird pricing, a special summer savings discount, etc.), just as you likely would if you were promoting an in-person event. This can really come in handy in the off chance you did price your event a little too high. (And we only say that to give you even more reassurance that there are always more ways to drive registrations!)
Don’t let the fear of pricing your virtual event hold you back from actually doing it. Know your event’s value and market it with confidence!
For more tips that may not immediately come to mind, check out our guide Event Planning for Non-Event Professionals where we outline some concepts that event planners wish they knew when they first started out. (You don't know what you don't know!)