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Three Ideas for Virtual Event Revenue Generation

There has never been a greater time for associations and professional societies to reimagine the fundamentals of their economic model. The two primary drivers of organizational revenue, membership and live events are being decimated. A swift, strategic, and decisive approach is required ensure liquidity, positive cash flow, and revenue stability. Association executives will need to stop thinking like a nonprofit and completely reimagine the fundamentals of their organization’s economic model.

There are three categories of sponsorships:


This category offers sponsors broad reach and visibility with activations targeted towards the entirety of your association's event attendees or membership. This category houses two sub-categories:

  • Large scale: banners, general session content, interstitials, commercials
  • Content: webinars, white papers, thought leadership discussions

Associations can offer unique value by using member data and insights to help sponsors and advertisers build the right content for the right audience.

An example of a one-to-many activation is:

Product placement: Work with your sponsor to find an organic way to embed a product or service in relevant content and programming. Placement should be prominent enough to be unavoidable by viewers, resulting in brand awareness and consideration as a result of the implied endorsement of the content provider.


If your sponsors could have direct access to their target market, what would they do? Test new products? Ask for advice?

Associations can help sponsors identify and connect with these key groups for market research.

One-to-few sponsorships give corporate partners the chance to accelerate new product and service development, get feedback, and generate new ideas. In turn, your members receive access to cutting edge industry research and the opportunity to provide guidance, and get a behind-the-scenes look at what’s coming down the pike.

An example of a one-to-few activation is:

New product sampling: Sponsors pay for direct access to qualified and interested members of your association, who will sample new product and service offerings both virtually and “in-home” through direct delivery.


Time-intensive, but with the highest likelihood of conversion, one-t0-one sponsorships give the advertiser the opportunity for hypertargeting and account-based marketing. Your association serves as a matchmaker, connecting vendors offering products, services, and advice with members looking to solve a problem.

An example of a one-to-one activation is:

Virtual Business Exchange: Often offered in conjunction with a trade show, your association will match attendees and suppliers based on needs and offerings. Appointments are set for a conversation, usually in the form of a video call. The primary benefit for the attendee is having relevant sponsors served up to them in a curated fashion, based on their stated needs. From a sponsor perspective, it is much more valuable to go into an event with several meetings with qualified leads already set up, as opposed to just hoping the right person walks by the exhibit table.

Want to hear about more ways to engage your members beyond the three listed here?

Email me to set up a 30-minute consultation where we can discuss the revenue models that best fit your association and membership.

Don Neal

Founder & CEO

360 Live Media

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

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