How To Plan a Marketing Budget For Online Events [Free Template]
So you decided to join the hype of virtual events, but finances and budget planning have never been your strong suit. Are you ready to linger in it to excel in your profession?
Let’s give you a hand if this is your first time venturing into this world and show you all the steps on how to plan a marketing budget for online events.
In practice, the budget makes it possible to identify the objectives, the opportunities, but also the limits in organizing an event.
In this article, we will review the key steps to create a marketing budget plan for virtual events:
- Begin with your end goal
- Evaluate past events: research, research, research!
- Observe the trends in the events industry
- Estimate your costs
- Estimate your revenues
- Where to get a free template to plan your marketing budget
The key is to strike the right balance between creating an event that meets the customer’s needs and a legitimate return on investment.
Successful event = Revenues > Expenses
How to plan a marketing budget for online events – step by step
1. Begin with your end goal in mind
To get into the meat of the budgeting process, you will need to identify the purpose of the event clearly. Is it to make a profit, to raise funds, brand awareness or to educate people? The goal of the event is one of the major determining factors when it comes to investment. Deal driving events are more worthy of greater investments than ones targeted at introducing yourself and building marketing automation.
2. Evaluate past events
Income and expenses of previous events are a wealth of data and information that help in better allocating your next event’s budget. Evaluate your past events to figure out if there are areas you’ve spent too much money on and others that you underspent on.
3. Observe the trends in the events industry
Keep an eye on what other events are spending their budget on; This will let you know if an important new trend is emerging.
4. Estimate Your Costs
When it comes to virtual events, technology is the major element you’ll have to look into.
- Platform: Do you want your participants to be able to network? Do you want them to be able to move from one room to another according to their interests? Will your event be live or pre-recorded? Will it take place over a single day or over several days? There are tons of platforms and tools to look into, do your homework, look into the different features they offer and compare prices.
- Website: It contains all practical information about the event to encourage potential participants to register.
- Emails: Not only for the event promotion but also to keep interested participants informed and up-to-date.
- Event guides and mobile apps: These tools make it easy to collect data and visualize the participation rate, as well as they, provide messaging tools allowing participants to network.
- Integration tools: Keep participants data in one place to analyze key information such as attendance and participation.
Unlike in a traditional event team, a virtual event team usually needs the following: virtual event manager, virtual emcee, speaker(s), social media specialist, technical support. No one wants to invest time and money gathering an audience, getting the technology in place, and then rely on an inexperienced team to handle the event. Take your time to assemble the right team that can make your event shine.
Promotions and Marketing
- Paid social media advertising
- Email marketing: Targeted email communications is an excellent way for a highly targeted audience, it is user-friendly and allows full tracking (opens, click-thru and bounce-backs)
- Branding and marketing material (infographics, video content, etc..)
- Influencer marketing (social influencers and brand ambassadors)
- Post-event promotions: Resharing of the event, testimonials, summaries
- QR codes
- Guest appearances and surprises
- Newsletters and press releases
- Video shoutouts
- Food deliveries
- Digital goodies
5. Estimate your revenues
- Post-event access charge
- Affiliate marketing
- Ad spaces
The virtual world offers a lot more possibilities than the good old in-person experience. The perks are endless in this whole new world of profit-generating opportunities; but, creating a budget is arguably the most important aspect to focus on. Take a close look at your budget; it is your customer who will thank you.
Download FREE template for planning marketing budget for online events HERE