The internet has democratized many things. From fame and influence to art and information. Some will say it has also corrupted them. And when it comes to big events like summits and conferences, this seems to be happening as well.
Most of us attended webinars here and there for professional reasons. It was a growing trend before the pandemic. However, as many other things COVID has accelerated, the webinar and online conference industry has suddenly exploted and accelerated incredibly.
How online events saved my business
When Covid-19 happened and we had to go on a shut-down in many states, my business had just made a shift from getting about 20% of the revenue from events to 70-80%. We had many events and conferences planned and our signature event for Latina Entrepreneurs was about to go global with several events happening in different parts of the world. But it all had to be shut down. My business model and the revenue streams I had planned for 2020 disappeared completely. March was as dry as the Sahara desert and I had to figure out a way to turn it around.
This also didn’t come at the best moment for me. Lockdown started right after I got home from a c-section. So, with a newborn baby and a business falling through the cracks I sat down and thought of how to make the most of the current situation and analyze what the changes in business and consumer behavior would be. I wasn’t the only one. Consultants and marketers from around the world soon realized what I did: this crisis was a huge opportunity.
With the internet allowing you to grow into a bigger audience and many spending more time than before and not knowing how to adapt to it, my business consulting and digital marketing skills where definitely needed. On top of that, I realized that instead of stopping my events, all I had to do was transform them. And that’s when the online summit fever started.
I thought we would just do a small 2-day event but as we checked the tools available in the market and saw the capacity we had to bring people together, my partner and I realized we needed to go bigger and build our own thing. We went from having the event be a 1-day event in Orlando to a 1-week conference with over 20 speakers, networking, and all on a platform we created. On the other hand, we were able to multiply the attendance, the online version had 500 women and we would have had more if we didn’t cap it at that. We also had women from all over the world logging in. Success was such that people started asking us about recreating the same for other industries.
How online events are becoming more profitable for everyone
Sponsors are loving these events because they are actually getting more visibility than before with some of the solutions we built and their logos on-screen during the events, and given our local presence it’s still worth it for local companies. For many companies investing in these types of conferences it also reduces the cost of a booth and allows them to be in several events at the same time. It’s becoming a game-changer.
Now, with people locked up and unable to go to other events, even those who didn’t attend conferences or never did a webinar are converting.
Expenses are minimal even when you include the tool, URLs, hosting, and Facebook ads. You don’t need food, or hotel rooms or to pay travel expenses for a speaker and spend less time planning and coordinating it. You are able to get high-quality speakers because the world is our pool now. So, you can provide great quality at a minimum cost and still make money from the sponsors. Not to mention the fact that it puts you in front of so many new people that you can now showcase your expertise to.
So, if you haven’t tried it yet, maybe it’s time to start. It is not the future, it’s already become the present.