Recently, digital events have shifted the focus from in-person event expenses. There are no expenses related to venue bookings, traveling costs, rentals, catering, and accommodation. But, saving on these bills does not mean we won’t have to deal with expenses on digital events.
In fact, the emphasis on budgeting has increased more than ever. For instance, it shifts our focus to digital event software, technology, branding, inviting speakers, social media marketing, audio/visual production, and more. You heard right! So, with careful consideration of all the expenses, a custom budget plan is devised for the upcoming digital events.
Although, it might get tricky to calculate the expected expenses. So, we bring you a heads up on budgeting for digital events through the virtual events platform. But first, consider how the costs come in line with your company’s overall income streams. Because let’s face it! We expect minimal expense and greater return on investment.
Creating Budget for Digital Events
Digital events have proved to be cost-efficient. Like, moving hundreds of audiences to an online platform instead of a physical venue is a step in the future. For instance, the carbon footprint is reduced. Overall, it has greatly benefitted startups, small businesses, and enterprises by reducing their investment in events. For instance, people now gather global industry peers over at digital business conferences. These officials do not have to fly down to your state to spend days attending the conference.
But, corporations need a carved-out budget plan to streamline their routine digital events. So, let us explore how we can create a budget for digital events.
Gauge at Your Scope of Investment
It is better to determine all your income streams when planning on a digital event. Once you have an understanding of your budget, it will get easier to spend on the events. However, going all-in is the best strategy. Your digital events will leave a far greater impact on the audiences joining from across the globe. So, make sure you determine your scope of investment before moving your annual conference online.
But, before diving into the digital event scenario, consider your financial status and streams of income. This shall provide an in-depth analysis of your scope of investment for the digital events.
So, consider the following streams of income beforehand:
- Earned income
- Profit gains
- Product sales
- Passive income
- Investment income
- Service and consulting
Thus, decide which income streams will be allocated to the event and other company activities. Also, watch out for the following criteria for hosting digital events. Make sure you are well prepared!
- Do not embarrass yourself before a global clientele and audiences
- Spend as much as possible to create a remarkable digital event
- Be honest with your budget to invest in the event segments
- Get a single quote from the digital events platform
- Finalize the charges for the event all at once
- Prepare for software, tech, and support staff costs
- Make a spreadsheet of expenses
- Watch out for the unexpected costs and better be prepared for it
Determine Your Event Goals and KPIs
Your digital event investments and budgeting depending on the type of event you wish to organize. So ask yourself, why are you so keen on investing in a digital event?
- Explain the purpose of your digital event
- Determine what you wish to get out of your event
- Put out the objectives for hosting the event
- Explain who would benefit from the event
- Outline your expectations of earning from the event
- Determine what you’d charge from attendees
- Add in special activities and entertainment sessions for the audience
- Plan out global sponsorships
- Decide on the products and services you’d display
Contrary to your event goals, it is important to identify the key performance indicators. That is how we gauge the return on investment for the company.
- Leads in the sales pipeline
- Total revenue
- Total profits
- Number of prospects
- Number of impressions
- Partners signed into your network
- Ticket revenue
- Attendees online
List Down Event Expenses
The key to successful budgeting is to list down all the expected and unexpected expenses. In fact, the idea is to prepare the costs to ensure savings and avoid unnecessary spending. So, form a spreadsheet with all the payments, costs, and savings details. This sheet would allow you to track the expenses and record spending. Lastly, it helps with the documentation of investments and returns on investments.
The possible digital events expenses follow as follows:
- Finances for teammates and stakeholders
- Personalized company avatars
- Graphic designing expenses
- Event customization expenses
- Expenses on taxes, shipping, and other fees
- Landing page expenses
- Rent for digital event platform
- Training service expenses
- Budgeting for global sponsorship
- Physical space expenses in Hybrid model
- Speakers coaching
- Website and landing page
- Pre and post-event marketing
- Social media handle set-up
That’s not all. Digital events always surprise you with unexpected expenses arising before or during the event. But, being prepared is the safer solution.
Partner with a Suitable Digital Platform
Once determined, the scope of investment, goals, and KPIs for your digital event. It is now time to look for the most suitable platform for your digital events. So, to begin with, consider the following criteria
- Is it Affordable?
- What features does it offer?
- Is there a customer support system?
- Do they charge extra for add ons?
- How known and credible is the platform?
- What perks does it offer?
- Do the ROIs promise to outweigh the investments?
Negotiate the Budget for Digital Events
After carefully analyzing the events providers, decide on the most suitable digital platform. However, all details still need to be negotiated. Firstly, explain your budget and possible investment for the events. Then, get exact quotes from the events platform and decide on a number once and for all. This is to avoid any miscommunications or misunderstandings. It’s the safest way to proceed.
Though, do not forget that unexpected expenses come up at the time of the event. For instance, you might need a video recording of the event that comes with additional charges at the last moment.
Go Big or Go Home
Interestingly, digital event platforms offer many features, tools, and solutions for businesses. For instance, you could set up virtual recruitment events, open days, exhibitions, product launches, and conferences. Thus, the more we invest, the more benefits we reap from these events. Adopt the following strategies to go big with your digital events.
- Set up grand meeting rooms and breakout rooms
- Train speaker for remarkable presentations
- Make convincing sales presentations
- Provide demonstrations on product and services
- Create company representative avatars
- Create branded booths, halls, and exhibit rooms
- Invest in the landing page to score registrations
- Make sure to record the event
- Invest in social media marketing
- Invite a global audience base
- Use email marketing pre-post event
Set up a Marketing Budget
While finalizing the budget for digital events, it is important to create social media marketing strategies. In fact, use your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn profiles to create an uproar in the marketplace. Also, entice the target market with exciting benefits they would receive out of the event. So, consider the following strategies to streamline your social media marketing activities.
- Email marketing
- Paid social media
- Pay-per-click and pop up ads
- Event landing page
- Run surveys
- Press release
Remember, when marketing your digital event, use social media platforms where your target audience is most active. Thus, you spread the word where it is most effective.
Budgeting for digital events is not as tricky as it sounds. In fact, proper planning and execution will yield a considerable return on your investment. All you need to do is devise a customized budget plan:
- List down the expenses.
- Make a spreadsheet on your investments, expenditure, and ROIs
- Document all the budgeting details for upcoming digital events
Virtual Days helps its clientele curate a custom budget plan. Moreover, it extends its feature-enriched digital events platform for businesses to host remarkable virtual and hybrid events.