Date published:

February 1, 2022

How to Make Money with a Virtual Summit

Hosting a virtual summit is something that many brands will consider in 2022, but do you know how to make money with a virtual summit so that the ROI completely outweighs the costs of summit production? While you might not immediately think about making money with a virtual summit, most business owners find the idea of post-event revenue important. As a business or brand that is considering a virtual summit, figuring out how to make money with a virtual summit is absolutely vital!

But how?

 Fortunately, there are a number of options and various opportunities to make money with a virtual summit. Depending on your industry, and your audience, with a little planning you’ll soon find that it’s not as hard as you might think to figure out how to make money with a virtual summit.

At Beverly Boy Productions we frequently work with clients that are hosting their first virtual summits and they’re generally looking for ways to offset the total cost of production by figuring out how to make money with their virtual summit experience. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of ways that business owners and brands can generate revenue from the virtual summits that they host.

virtual conference

Sell Passes with Varied Accessibility Options

The first and most common way of making money with a virtual summit is to sell passes to the summit making it only available to paid audience members or making certain features of the summit available only to those who pay for access. Consider the following:

  • Offer an “all-access pass” that allows members access to all of the event activities, presentations, and post-event video content. 
  • Offer a “reduced-access pass” or “limited-access pass” for access to the event but omit access to the post-event video content and certain features.
  • Offer a “VIP access pass” with specialty access to events and activities that are reserved for VIP guests.

By having a tiered access level, you not only provide a pass that’s right for audiences of all demographics and with varied budgets, but you also create a sense of urgency or desire to purchase certain passes. For instance, offering a “limited” number of VIP passes will create urgency for those who are already considering this option because they won’t want to miss out. 

When selling passes to your virtual summit, it’s also a good idea to increase pricing for all pass levels as you near the event. Make it clear in your marketing that pass access prices are tiered and will increase as the event date nears. Again, this creates urgency so that your audience will be more likely to purchase early on.

Funeral Live Stream Laptop 7

Use Upsells and Order Bumps to Increase Pass Access Revenue

If you’re trying to figure out how to make money with a virtual summit that already has pass access prices figured out, consider the use of upsells or order bumps to further add to your pass access revenues. An “order bump” is similar to an add-on and represents something that is offered in addition to the pass during the purchase funnel when the consumer is buying his or her pass. It could be something as simple as early access to a certain event or on-demand access to a certain presentation. The order bump compliments the original order whereas an upsell actually increases the original order to something different.

An upsell is something that you offer to the audience after they complete their order for an access pass. Upsells are kind of tricky, but they can be incredibly strong revenue generators for virtual summits. For instance, if a consumer purchases a “VIP pass” you might then transfer them to a page in which they are offered an upsell that increases their VIP order in some way.

Encourage Sponsorships

Many virtual summit hosts will make the bulk of their revenue off sponsorships and the sale of advertising space within their event summit platform. If you’re hosting your event entirely online, sponsorships can be as simple as including the logo or advertising material for another sponsor or vendor on your event homepage, inside your event platform, or in your event emails. Keep in mind that many sponsors are looking for more than just a logo plug when they pay for sponsorship of an event, so again offering tiered sponsorship opportunities in which varied levels of advertising and additional sponsor benefits can help to seal the deal. If you tell sponsors that there are limited sponsorship opportunities, you create a sense of urgency to increase the likelihood of securing the sponsorship revenue you need!

Selling Physical Products

Offering physical products or services that relate to your summit is another way that you can make money. Many brands choose to sell t-shirts, pens, tumblers, and other merch in relation to the event. This is particularly profitable for events that are hosted annually in which there is a large audience following and the event itself has been branded to reach a large target market. 

Sell Coaching & Courses 

Depending on the event, if you’re still trying to figure out how to make money with a virtual summit, you might be able to bring in some added revenue through the sale of coaching or courses that you have already created. If you’ve got an existing online course, you can use the email list that you’ve created from the sale of summit tickets and other products to promote your course or coaching services to this audience. Audiences that attend summit and conference style events are often willing to purchase course add-ons or coaching services to help them gain more out of their attendance to the event itself. 

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