As events have added digital, virtual and 365 elements over the last 18 months consumers have come to expect this level of engagement year round from their event brands. While it has been well received by the audience, one of the main challenges for organisers has been generating revenue from this side of the event.
Having an online marketplace where visitors can buy/enquire directly with you exhibitors enables you to offer and track exactly what value you exhibitors are getting so it becomes easy to build a monetisation model. This is typically done in one of three ways;
Commissions – This is the simplest model, and it involves taking a percentage of all sales revenue. Your commission will vary depending on the market but it generally falls between 10-25%. This option tends to work best for standardised goods and services.
Subscriptions – Here, vendors pay a fixed regular fee, normally monthly or annually. This model is better for exhibitors with products that require a more involved sales process, who may want to use your marketplace more as a lead generation tool.
Hybrid Model – Combining commissions and subscriptions, the subscription fee will often be included in the stand package, with all exhibitors automatically given a store on the marketplace while additionally paying a small commission on any sales. This also allows for a marketplace-only option for non-exhibiting vendors, who you can convert into full exhibitors in the future – charging them a fee ensures existing exhibitors won’t feel unfairly treated.
As events in 2021 and beyond offer larger digital and virtual components to meet the demands of their visitors it is important to provide a platform that directly enables transactions to take place. It is important to the vendors to show direct value from the events digital products, and it is important for organisers to effectively monetise their digital offerings.