Increase Event Profits w/ Virtual Ticket Sales
Written by Paul Richards on March 20, 2020
Virtual Ticket Sales Case Studies
In this chapter of The Virtual Ticket, you will gain background knowledge on events using virtual tickets to increase profits. Virtual tickets can be used to diversify revenue streams for event planners. Later on, in this series you will learn about ticket pricing and promotion options. For now, it is important to learn by example, from some of the industries most innovative event planners.
Case Study #1 – NAB Show
Every year the StreamGeeks travel to many conferences around the world. In most cases, the events do not offer virtual ticket experiences. It seems like most conferences are unprepared to address an online audience. In 2019, the StreamGeeks team was invited to help host the official NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show live stream, in Las Vegas, Nevada. If there is one organization that knows how to live stream, you can bet it’s the National Association of Broadcasters.
The experience of hosting a television-quality show was thrilling not only because of the size and scope of the production but because of the large in-person audience. Imagine a voice in your ear counting down the seconds until you go live. Lights are shining on the stage from every direction, “3, 2, 1, And we are live.”
This type of production value is ideal for large conferences with thousands of attendees. It may be surprising for some to find out that the NAB Show does not charge viewers for access to the live stream. The production is put on mainly for sponsors allowing the show to sell additional advertising. It may also be surprising to find out that the show is not live-streamed to Facebook.
The NAB Show values control of their content more than the exposure they would gain via social media. When you start to dig into the various case studies available for adding live streaming to an event, the possibilities for customization are almost limitless. Sadly, the 2020 NAB show was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. This year the live stream is scheduled to be recorded and live-streamed from a remote location to viewers around the world.
This book will reference quite a few case studies throughout. These unique experiences have been thoughtfully planned out and studied for the creation of this book. The first is the NAB show, which is the world’s largest broadcast and streaming show. The second is a well-established conference called VidSummit designed for video makers. This case study which helped to introduce the book, explores strategies event managers can use to increase profits with live streaming and on-demand virtual ticket sales.
The third case study is the 2019 StreamGeeks Summit, which was hosted in New York City to provide a full day of live streaming education. This event was the StreamGeeks best attempt to give online attendees virtual access to a small conference. Finally, the fourth case study is the 2020 Worship Summit. This event was designed with the online attendees as the primary focus. This event could be categorized as a “digital summit” or a glorified webinar where meeting the online attendees’ expectations was the primary goal of the event planner.
Case Study #2 – VidSummit
Check out the event page here: https://vidsummit.com
VidSummit has been ahead of the curve since 2015 when they started selling on-demand videos that were made available to paying customers. In 2017, Derral Eves launched his first year of virtual ticket sales with live event access. The conference live stream included access to a keynote speech area and multiple breakout rooms running three separate presentation tracks.
Each room was set up to live stream the content simultaneously giving online viewers the option to virtually switch between rooms and drop in on various presentations in real time. Being able to live stream from multiple areas is a process that medium to large events will need to develop in order to cover their events properly. Online audiences understand that they will not have access to all things at all times.
Derral Eves was able to use social media to promote virtual ticket sales with high-impact IRL (In Real Life) streaming techniques that leverage a LiveU backpack and a mobile Sony action camera. You will also learn how Eves empowers other creators to sell tickets using an affiliate program. Finally, this case study will demonstrate how a conference can add a virtual ticket experience to an existing event.
Case Study #3 – The StreamGeeks Summit
Check out the event page here: http://streamgeeks.us/summit
The next case study explained in this book is the first annual StreamGeeks Summit. This conference was designed to provide a “full day of live streaming education” in New York City. The conference brought together a growing community of video production enthusiasts from the NYC area and created common ground for novices and experts in the industry to intermingle. The conference also served as a case study for integrating a professional live stream into a traditional in-person conference.
Virtual tickets vs In-Person
Roughly 900 tickets were sold for the StreamGeeks Summit. Only 250 of those tickets were sold for in-person attendance. The in-person tickets sold for $295 each. The other 650 tickets were a mix of basic and premium virtual ticket sales. Basic virtual tickets for the event were completely free with the submission of a form. Premium virtual tickets were sold for $95 each and they were included for free with in-person passes. In this case study, over 250% more virtual tickets were sold than in-person tickets.
Established events will likely see a steady increase in virtual ticket sales after the first year assuming the experience is marketed and delivered successfully. Newly established events like the StreamGeeks Summit can leverage free virtual tickets in the first few years to help drive increased ticket sales via exposure over the long term. Using the basic virtual tickets to draw in new potential ticket buyers, this case study will shed light on virtual ticket sales, premium on-demand sales, and their effect on planning the event overall.
Case Study #4 – The Worship Summit
Check out the event page here: https://worshipsummit.live
The final case study will review the 2020 Worship Summit hosted by the StreamGeeks in West Chester, Pennsylvania. This event included a hybrid meetup style event where most attendees joined online. This was a small-scale event in terms of in-person ticket sales, with only 30 in-person attendees. But on Friday morning, January 24th, 2020, the event was one of the top live streams on YouTube with almost 400 simultaneous viewers at peak viewership. Before the event was over more than 5,000 churches had tuned in.
The all-digital summit
While the event featured an in-person studio experience, most guests joined remotely. This event also included a live face-to-face zoom video conference breakout session for attendees. The video conference meeting was open during the entire event and it allowed attendees to get more personal with the event speakers who would join for 30-45 minutes after their main stage presentation. This event falls in line with a new trend called “Virtual Summits.” Virtual summit are events where experts get together to produce an engaging online experience for viewers around the world.
Learn more on Monetizing Live Streaming
- Get your free copy of the Virtual Ticket here.
- Take an online course on hosting private live streams here.
- Learn what virtual tickets mean for the events industry here.
- How to monetize your next live event - here
- How to accept donations on your Facebook and YouTube live streams - here
- Selling Event Virtual Tickets and Private Live Streams - here
- Viewer Statistics for live streaming – here
- Here’s why Twitch is such a BIG opportunity for live streamers - here
- Did you know your town may have a Business Improvement District? They may help your set up a live stream! More here
- Selling Virtual Tickets with Event Planner Derral Eves - more here
- Learn about three events that are already selling virtual tickets here.
- A look at the technology needed to host private live streams here.
- A look at planning a virtual event here.
- Review your virtual ticket pricing strategy here.
- Preparing your event for live streaming here.
- Learn how to build your event live streaming team here.