Webinars provide education and training to members, but they can also be a source of nondues revenue for the association hosting them. A few ways groups can use them to bring in extra dollars.
Webinars are a great way for associations to deliver education or training to their members, but they can also prove beneficial to associations themselves by serving as a source of nondues revenue.
Philip Forte, founder and CEO of Blue Sky eLearn, shared with me a few ways association can go about generating new revenue with their webinars.
Make webinars a prerequisite to an in-person meeting. Although Forte is quick to say that he sees more of this in the corporate world, associations might want to take note. The idea is that an association takes the traditional lecture-type sessions of its conference and packages them as webinars instead. Then, it asks attendees to participate (and potentially purchase) these before the actual face-to-face meeting.
In this way, they act as almost prerequisites for the in-person meeting, and the learning from these webinars can then be tied into more interactive, hands-on sessions at the actual conference. “If it’s just someone talking, do [members] really need to necessarily fly into the city for that portion?” Forte asks. This allows associations to perhaps shave off an extra day from their meeting and bring in some extra dollars on the for-fee webinars, as well as heighten engagement among their attendees.
Take advantage of sponsorships. There are so many ways to appeal to potential sponsors, whether by acknowledging them briefly on the webinar or giving them a few minutes on the webinar to publicize their product or company.
And it’s important to mention that “there’s branding associated not only with the actual live event, but also the promotion of the event,” Forte said. Similar to how associations allow vendors to give presentations or be a part of panels at conferences, organizations can also get “thought leader” sponsors to be a part of a webinar’s panel. “There’s a lot of the traditional event models being applied to the virtual events,” Forte said.
Market to nonmembers. Associations can charge more for their webinars when they’re marketing them to nonmembers, which will then bring in higher returns. But webinars also are a great way to market the benefits of association membership. “It’s a great way to build recognition within the industry and also recruit new members,” Forte said.
Repurpose your live meeting content. One way that associations can make some serious cash with their webinars is by recording and then repurposing the content that they offer at annual conferences. They can then make it available for purchase. “That’s all margin,” Forte said. “That’s great revenue for the organization.”
How do you bring in extra dollars on your webinars? Please leave your comments below.