Unlocking Your Association’s Event Revenue Opportunities

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By Frances Moffett


In order to raise your organization’s non-dues revenue, you must raise member engagement. This was a key theme of “Generate More Publishing Revenue from Events,” a AMP&360 breakout session in June in Washington, DC, presented by Dan Stevens, president of Association TV.


Stevens said engagement is raised by organizations owning and controlling more of the member experience. In other words, guiding them where you want them to go and having good educational content once they get there. Events are often untapped in terms of extending what is presented onsite, and even more so, the opportunity to make money from this content.


Stevens focused on a few main ideas to increase publishing revenue from your organization’s events.


Livestreaming Your Conference: This can be a pay-per-view opportunity with accredited learning or featuring a popular speaker or topic. This type of event extension can also be free but supported by a sponsor. You also could consider having event attendees pre-register, which gives you access to non-members and non-event attendees before the conference.


Extending Conference Content Throughout The Year: Record sessions and create content that could be distributed throughout the year. Essentially it could be divvied up into three categories: gated, open and social.


Members would have to log in to your website to receive the following pieces of content: a full-length video recording (that includes sponsor logo), podcast audio; magazine article (assuming your member publication is gated), and session PowerPoint. All of these could be hosted on one association webpage, along with a banner ad from the sponsor.


While the following types of content could be open to the public on your site: 2- to 3-minute micro-learning videos; blog posts; and PDFs, such as an infographic or another type of one-pager. These open access items could be shared via social media, in addition to pull quotes, facts and statistics, awareness videos, etc.


Sponsors could support individual sessions or a series. These options are easily bundled to grow sponsorship.


Continuing Education: This allows for pay-per-view or sponsored options. One example is to offer a series of free educational videos, but members have to pay for the quiz in order to earn the CE credits.


Daily Conference Recaps and Look-lives: Daily video recaps of the event give the association more exposure for the event and additional revenue opportunities because sponsors can pay to be integrated into the video, whether they’re exhibiting or brand sponsors (keycards, lanyards, etc.). The video also gives the sponsor a measurable digital asset and extends brand reach, as well as the value of their sponsorship.


Look-lives are brief videos that highlight the exhibitors on the expo floor. These could be interviews or the exhibitor demonstrating their technology. The videos could be distributed in multiple places, such as the event’s video wall, app, social media, etc.


Thought Leader Content: Define topics that members need and sponsors can fulfill. These are priced individually or bundled. Essentially, the association becomes the sponsor’s publisher. Review your content calendar to see if a sponsor can even do a series. Capture interviews at events for post-event multimedia release throughout the year.


Product-related Content: Extend your exhibitor experience and value all year long. An example would be a multimedia solutions directory on your website, where members can view exhibitors’ products at any time after the event.


Frances Moffett is publications manager for American Student Dental Association. Association Media & Publishing thanks Frances for covering this AM&P Annual Meeting session for our members who were unable to attend.