A Guide On How To Make Money Hosting Events

Blog Banner How To make Money Hosting Events

The events industry can be a lucrative industry when your events are successful. You can earn as an event planner or through ticket commission fees. If you have a passion for event planning, then you can consider how to make money by hosting events. We’ve compiled a list of ideas so you can have everything you need. 

Ways to Make Money Hosting Events

1. Ticket Sales / Registration

The first way is through ticket sales and registration. Events are a profitable way to make money because event planners can set the ticket price based on perceived value. You can utilize different ticket pricing strategies to make the most out of your event. 

Most events usually have tiers and ways to upsell their ticket sales. VIP upgrades, inclusions of extra classes at a special price, add-on workshop activities, and more. 

To give you an idea, the starting profit margin per ticket sold is 20%. Survey and study the value that your event can bring and work from there.

To be profitable in ticket sales, you must choose a reliable and value-for-money ticketing platform like Event Espresso. Event Espresso is a WordPress plugin that allows your event website to sell unlimited tickets at no commission fees. 

Unlike other ticket-selling platforms, you can save hundreds of dollars from your ticket sales without the unnecessary fees.

Furthermore, you can use Event Smart if your site is not on WordPress. You don’t have to start a website from scratch and you also enjoy unlimited ticket selling at no commission fees.

There are features like user-friendly registration forms and secure payment collection systems so you don’t have to worry about these when promoting your event. 

Both platforms can be your partners to deliver delightful experiences to your customers and increase the probability of word of mouth. 

2. Merchandise / Product Sales

Make money hosting events through product sales or merch

While ticket sales and registrations are the main source of revenue for an event, selling products can significantly contribute to and boost the event revenue. 

Choose products like branded apparel, accessories, or specialty items related to your event theme or industry, and prioritize products that align with attendee interests and preferences. 

In researching your product, it is helpful to do audience research and understand the product that they can enjoy. Analyze past sales data, and gather feedback from attendees to inform your product selection process. Once you’ve curated your product lineup, implement effective inventory management practices to ensure adequate stock levels, minimize waste, and maximize profitability.

Assign someone from your event team to handle inventory, selling, and set up in your event booth during your event. Event teams can also include products and mech on your event site for attendees to purchase together with their tickets. 

3. Subscriptions / Program Enrollment

An event can open opportunities to gain long-term customer relationships. If your offering is on services and subscriptions, you can set up a space at your event where people can ask questions and sign up. 

Leverage your event’s subject matter expertise, speaker lineup, and educational content to create high-value digital products that cater to attendees’ interests and professional development needs. Develop comprehensive course curriculums, interactive learning modules, and downloadable resources that provide actionable insights and tangible outcomes for participants. 

With a business model like this, the interaction with your event attendees does not end during the time limit of an event. When your event attendees convert into subscriptions or buy a course from you, there is a potential to increase your customer lifetime value and revenue. 

4. Sponsorships

Another way to capitalize on your event and boost revenue is through sponsorships. Research for potential event sponsors and partners that you can form a win-win relationship with. Practice negotiation skills to work out a mutually beneficial partnership. Most sponsorships have packages that are in monetary or in-kind deals and correspond to event mileage. For example, you can sell ad space to sponsors for a specific price.

Your event can also serve as an affiliate and conduct marketing promotions for a brand as a service. When a conversion happens from the event, they can receive a commission or payment from the partner. 

Identify complementary products or services that appeal to your event’s audience and offer value-added opportunities for attendees. Reach out to potential affiliate partners, such as event technology providers, hospitality vendors, or industry influencers, to propose collaborative marketing initiatives and revenue-sharing arrangements. 

If you’re hosting a concert or festival, companies can sponsor individual stages at the festival, gaining prominent brand exposure and recognition during live performances. For example, a local brewery could sponsor the “Beer Garden Stage” and have its logo displayed prominently on stage banners, promotional materials, and event signage.

5. Post-event Monetization

You can continue to earn even after your event. For example, if you’re hosting a seminar, you can do a video recording of the whole event together with the materials used for selling at a discounted price. Attendees can purchase the recording and go through the material with their teams. Event planners can also partner with speakers and can do consultations, post-event follow-up workshops, and training sessions. 

6. Online Events

Make money hosting events online by organizing a virtual event. With the rise of virtual event platforms and streaming technology, you can host virtual events and reach people worldwide. Event organizers can leverage online events to monetize their expertise, content, and audience engagement in various ways. 

For example, hosting webinars, virtual conferences, or workshops allows organizers to charge registration fees or ticket prices for access to exclusive content and interactive sessions.

How to Promote Your Event to Sell Out Tickets

A lady holding a phone with dollar symbols signifying an increase in revenue

Define Clear Financial Objectives

As with any business venture, the event planning team must agree upon a financial objective they aim to achieve. Here’s a list of financial objective examples:

  • Increase event revenue
  • Double ROI
  • Diversify Revenue Streams
  • Hit ticket sales

Knowing the target financial objectives can help the team brainstorm the step-by-step plan to promote and execute the event. 

Create Content Strategy

A booked-out event is always the event planner’s dream, but this does not happen overnight. To create a successful and profitable event, the target audience must have a compelling reason to invest their time, resources, and energy to attend the event. A relationship and trust must be built even before the event. 

Connections are built through the value you produce – specifically through your content or your service. Offer valuable insights and actionable ideas that can deliver immediate and small wins for your audience. When people immediately get value from your content, it will be easier to trust you and give their attention to you. 

Utilize a mix of compelling storytelling, visually appealing graphics, and interactive multimedia content to create a multi-channel experience that engages attendees across various platforms and touchpoints.  

Have a Good Pricing Strategy

Your price point for your event is one of the most important aspects to consider when executing your event. Be ready with a justification within the team on why your event is priced that way. Communicate the value that the attendees will receive in comparison to the price they’re paying. When they feel that they are getting more than what they are paying for, it is easier for them to convert. 

Strategize Revenue-making Activities

As mentioned above, there are different ways on how to make money hosting events. You can set up interactive booths or try a gamification strategy as an additional source of revenue. From virtual reality demos and product sampling stations to hands-on workshops and interactive installations, interactive booths create memorable moments that leave a lasting impression on attendees while providing valuable exposure and lead-generation opportunities for sponsors.

Negotiate Contracts

Get better deals when you learn the art of negotiating. Event planners can secure better deals and offers for event expenses like venue rentals, catering, sponsorships, and more. It is important to note though that effective negotiation happens when there is an existing relationship or when there is a mutually beneficial relationship between two parties. Start building your relationship with your vendors or stakeholders as early as now. 

Track and Control Expenses

Maximize your ticket sales by making sure you don’t spend on unnecessary expenses. The most common thing to look out for is ticket platform fees. Most event registration platforms charge a commission fee or percentage from your ticket sales. The fees can cause you to lose money especially if you sell out a lot of tickets. 

Consider smart options like Event Espresso or Event Smart when setting up your event ticketing system. You get the same (or even better) features but you don’t pay any commission fees on an unlimited number of tickets sold! 

Case Study on Making Money on a Workshop Event

A group attending a workshop together


Event planner Karen plans a corporate event workshop among business leaders in the hospitality industry. She hires a professional to provide customized training programs for hotels, restaurants, and hospitality businesses. 

Event Planning: 

Karen plans a two-day “Hospitality Management Excellence Workshop” targeted at hospitality industry professionals, including hotel managers, restaurant owners, and tourism executives. She selects a reputable hotel as the venue for the workshop, ensuring convenient accommodation options for out-of-town attendees. Karen collaborates with industry experts and guest speakers to design an engaging agenda covering key topics in hospitality management, such as customer service, revenue management, and staff training.

Marketing Strategy:

  • Partnerships: Karen partners with industry experts to gain credibility among hospitality industry professionals. 
  • Direct Outreach: Karen personally reaches out to her existing clients and professional contacts in the hospitality industry, inviting them to attend the workshop. She emphasizes the practical value of the workshop content and the opportunity for networking and professional growth.
  • Content Marketing: Karen researches the current pain points the hospitality industry professionals are experiencing. She creates engaging content that highlights the benefits of what participants can gain when they attend the workshop. This includes blog posts, videos, and infographics, to showcase the workshop’s benefits and attract potential attendees.

Revenue Generation:

  • Registration Fees: Attendees are required to pay a registration fee to secure their spot at the workshop. Karen offers tiered pricing options, including early bird discounts for those who register early and group discounts for companies sending multiple employees.
  • Sponsorships: Karen secures sponsorships from leading hospitality brands and suppliers looking to showcase their products and services to workshop attendees. Sponsors receive prominent visibility during the event through branding opportunities, sponsored sessions, and exhibition booths.
  • Customized Training Packages: In addition to standard workshop admission, Karen offers customized training packages tailored to the specific needs of individual businesses. These packages include additional training sessions, consulting services, and post-workshop support, allowing businesses to address their unique challenges and opportunities.
  • Upselling: Throughout the workshop, Karen promotes additional products and services available for purchase, such as online courses, training materials, and consulting packages. Attendees interested in furthering their professional development can take advantage of these upselling opportunities to extend their learning beyond the workshop.

Best Practices for Managing Events for Business

Create a Detailed Budget

Start by carefully outlining income sources and anticipated expenses, the event organizer can gain clarity on financial requirements and make informed decisions throughout the planning process. 

Risk Management

Event organizers must identify potential risks, such as inclement weather, technical glitches, or supply chain disruptions, and develop contingency plans to mitigate these risks. By proactively addressing challenges and implementing risk mitigation strategies, organizers can minimize financial losses and uphold the overall success of the event.

Monitor Expenses

Be wise in your expenses and cut out unnecessary expenses like processing fees of ticket selling and registration platforms. Evaluate marketing expenses, venue rentals, staffing costs, and event production costs. 

Calculate Net Profit

Net profit is derived by subtracting total expenses from total revenue, providing organizers with a clear understanding of the event’s financial performance. By accurately calculating net profit, organizers can evaluate return on investment (ROI), make data-driven decisions, and identify opportunities for future growth and optimization

Analyze Profit Margins

To analyze profit margins, express the net profit (or loss) as a percentage of total revenue. Divide the net profit by the total revenue and multiply by 100 to calculate the profit margin percentage.

Here’s the formula to compute the profit margin: Profit Margin % = (Net Profit/ Total Revenue) x 100

Compute for ROI 

ROI is calculated by dividing net profit by total investment and expressing the result as a percentage. By analyzing ROI metrics, event organizers can identify areas of success, pinpoint areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize future event strategies.

Consider Opportunity Cost

Opportunity cost refers to the potential benefits foregone when one alternative is chosen over another. For example, opportunity cost can be choosing one event ticketing platform versus another, deciding on event duration, offering discounted tickets, etc. By evaluating the trade-offs of different cost-saving measures, organizers can make informed decisions to optimize cost efficiency and improve profit margins.

Account for Non-Financial Metrics 

While financial metrics are essential for assessing event profitability, organizers should also consider non-financial metrics, such as attendee satisfaction, brand visibility, and audience engagement. Although these metrics can’t have a monetary value now, they can yield even higher returns for your business or organization in the future.

Create Post-event Report

A post-event report contains data on revenue, expenses, attendance figures, and other key metrics to assess the event’s success against predefined goals and objectives.

Iterate and Improve

Part of the event planner’s job is to think of ways to iterate and improve based on post-event report insights and financial metrics results. By embracing a culture of continuous improvement, organizers can adapt to evolving market dynamics and ensure the sustained success of future events.

Maximize your Event Profit with Event Espresso

Maximize using events for business with reliable tools like Event Espresso. Event Espresso is a WordPress plug-in that enables your WordPress site to sell event tickets and accept event registration. Enjoy features like no commission fees on unlimited tickets sold, secure payment collection, and customizable registration forms. 

If your event site is not on WordPress, you can use Event Smart. It’s a similar platform that does not need to be hosted on WordPress. Start saving money from unnecessary ticket fees and increase your profit revenue by using Event Espresso for your events now. Check out our live demo or try our 14-day free trial now. 

Share a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Need help with Event Espresso? Create a support post in our support forums

Event Espresso