Let us get back in time; two years back, when the world had to be shut down, all the events had to be canceled. It was then every organization faced financial difficulties and losses. However, in no time virtual events and digital alternatives of conferences, known as online conferences. When it comes to planning these virtual conferences, several organizers end up spending either too much or too low on their conferences. However, they don’t realize that the pricing of these conferences also plays a major role in deciding the success of the event.
How much you charge from the audience and how much you spend on the conference plays a critical role in deciding if you have earned profits or if it was a deal of loss. We understand that pricing a virtual conference isn’t an easy task. Had it been, organizers would have had everything they needed. However, you don’t need to worry about anything. In this blog, we will take you through all the factors you need to consider while planning an online conference and its pricing factor. Let’s begin.
To begin with, you need to understand that as an organizer, you shouldn’t keep it free. One thing that has been noticed repeatedly is that people think that since online conferences don’t have a physical presence, they don’t have any costs involved. However, it is not so right. Online conferences do have several costs involved. Hence, if you are an organizer, don’t end up keeping your conference free of cost and if you are an attendee, don’t expect the organizer to keep their conference free of cost.
As an organizer, if you keep the conference free, it surely will be a good experience for the attendees. However, it goes without saying that there won’t be any significant value for the speakers and your overall production value.
Factors to Be Considered When Deciding the Pricing of the Conference:
Since making the conference free isn’t a sustainable business strategy, it is important that you keep a few factors in mind while deciding the pricing of the conference. The factors that you should ideally consider are:
1. Goals and Revenue Strategy:
The first things you need to keep in mind while deciding the pricing structure of your conference are the objectives you wish to achieve with your conference. What strategies you are following while planning the revenue of your event. You should have clarity of what you wish to achieve with your conference. Also, know how the subject of your conference will have an influence on your pricing. Also, while you are planning, calculate how significantly the conference will affect your overall budget. Would it be feasible for you to bear a few losses? Or, does the conference at least need to be sustainable? Having clarity on these significant factors will help you plan further aspects of the conference.
2. Major Costs of the Conference:
Now that you have the basic clarity of your online conference, plan other aspects of your online conference. As we mentioned, people generally think that since online conferences don’t have a physical setup, they don’t require the organizers to spend money. However, it is not at all true. Yes, it is true that online conferences don’t include expenses such as venue, decoration, catering, printing supplies, and other ‘n’ number of expenses. However, they still have some major expenses.
For example, to execute your online conference, you will need suitable technology, and technology comes at a significant cost. The online conference platform you will select will have certain charges. Not only this, you will need some sort of assistance, and you will need to hire some staff. Also, speakers will be there, only their accommodation and travel won’t be included. In addition, you will also need to spend on the marketing of your conference. There will be certain additional expenses like extra bandwidth, equipment, and additional platform licenses.
3. Sponsors’ Value:
One of the many mistakes that online conference organizers end up making is overlooking the value proposition for the sponsors and the exhibitors. Many times, they would end up not even trying to get sponsors for their conferences. Not only this but organizers offering plans according to an in-person event has also become common. Another major mistake they make is not considering sponsors’ ROI while planning the conference. Refrain from making such mistakes, and talk with your sponsors about their objectives and expectations from the conference. Also, you can also go for a year-round approach; it will give them more marketing value to them and revenue to you.
4. Attendee Value:
You need to understand that an attendee will pay for your conference and it won’t cost them much. However, your conference needs to be worth their price and time. Nobody would like to waste their time and think of what they could have done better rather than attending your conference. You need to understand that a virtual conference has significant value. They allow the attendees to be a part of an event without them having to leave their families and travel for days.
However, you need to market your conference at the right time. Also, make your conference an enriching experience for the attendees by adding value to the content you are delivering. Consider a few factors, such as the content quality, relevance, engagement, the speakers you are choosing for your conference, and the networking opportunities you are offering your attendees. Also, move ahead with the live chat feature; there are many other tools available in the market as well.
When we say that planning an online conference isn’t an easy task, we mean it. One of the most important things we need to do right now is to shift our mindsets from thinking that virtual conferences don’t require much planning. And, they can be hosted without any charges. It is neither a sustainable business model nor is it of any value to the attendees. It is because if you are attending an online conference that is free of cost, there are chances that it won’t be worth it.