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Association Revenue Recovery Plan - Part 2

Regardless of where your organization is in terms of navigating the implications of the pandemic and the economic devastation it has wrought upon all of us, one thing is certain:

You must ensure liquidity, positive cash flow, and revenue stability to be ready for the recovery as it unfolds.

Here are three considerations for you to evaluate and help you prepare.

1. Bring on an investor.

You have exceptional assets any investor will be interested in:

  • Your event portfolio
  • your member database
  • and a long-standing reputation

An investor could be a bank, a coalition of members, or a third-party event organizer that seeks to partner with you to help you scale your event portfolio in exchange for a percentage of the future profits. I have advised associations on this option and, under the right circumstances, this can be a great path to restore the revenue lost during the COVID-19 crisis.

2. Rethink what business you are in.

I have long contended that your association closely resembles a media organization.

You have a large and loyal member base (a media company would call this “an addressable audience that they seek to monetize”).You have useful information, standards, insights, and event programming (a media company would view this as their content, or the “goods” that attract an audience willing to pay for this content).And, you have communication channels like email, digital, print, webinars, live and virtual events (this is what a media company uses to distribute their content).So if you start to think like a media organization, ask yourself, Are we monetizing our audience effectively and how can we add more value so they will pay us more and more people join?

3. And finally, how will you make money on your virtual event?

Most virtual events launching today either break-even or worse, lose money. You must focus on how to launch virtual events that are not only profitable, but flip the model. Move from a walled garden to an open environment where the industry pays the bills and the audience agrees to being grateful to industry for underwriting the virtual event. The audience must be willing to be sold to in exchange for valuable and “free” content.

Now is the time to think like a start-up and through the lens of a media company seeking capital.

Remember – you only need to be a non-profit in April 15th. To survive this crisis, a new economic model and a new mindset are what’s required.

If you want to learn more, contact us at

Don Neal

Founder and CEO

360 Live Media

PS - If you missed it, check out part 1 of this series.

Want to spitball a few ideas and see how we may be able to help?

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