Three months ago, the idea of spending every business meeting, class, happy hour, and family game night online wasn’t something we could have imagined. Now, most of us have attended more than one virtual event; maybe you’ve even been part of a virtual graduation or a wedding. Nearly all our interactions are happening virtually, online.
Even as things start to open back up, virtual events are here to stay. While you’re making plans to reopen your in-person event, consider adding a virtual access option to your tickets. It can help you boost revenue and grow your fanbase.
What is a virtual access ticket?
Before we get into why you should consider a virtual component to your event, let’s clarify what we mean by a virtual access ticket. It’s a ticket that provides secure, digital access to a livestream of your event. With Passage, you can use the streaming platform of your choice (Vimeo, YouTube, Twitch, etc.), and lock it down so that only guests who have purchased a ticket may access the stream. You can interact with guests in real-time through our live chat feature, and accept tips & donations during the event (we’ve made it easy for guests to donate with just two clicks using their card saved on file).
A virtual access ticket can be added to your in-person event. You don’t have to choose one or the other. You can (and should!) do both when you reopen.
(Re)open with caution
As things start to open back up around the country, there will likely be many folks who are hesitant or cautious about attending in-person gatherings. With rules varying state to state, and sometimes even city to city, it’s tough to know what to expect: will other guests be wearing masks? Will there be a place to wash your hands when you arrive? Will social distancing be enforced? It’s understandable that guests will have some questions.
Even if you do your best to communicate how your event is handling the new health & safety protocols, some people may decide to stay home until they feel more comfortable with the situation. Instead of losing out on the revenue from those guests entirely, a virtual access ticket can allow guests:
- Who are immunocompromised to attend without health risks;
- Who don’t yet feel comfortable attending an in-person event to participate;
- Who live far away to attend from their home state.
With social distancing, the tough reality is that most events will need to limit attendance in the near future. Fewer guests mean lower revenues.
With any in-person event, your total potential revenue is limited based on the maximum capacity of your venue. But with a virtual event, there is essentially no ceiling. You can admit as many virtual guests as you want! At the same time, the cost of admitting each additional guest is much, much lower than the cost of hosting guests in person. You might charge a lower ticket price for virtual access but your per-ticket profit will be higher. Plus, it gives guests who couldn’t get tickets to your sold-out event a chance to attend.
Until we figure out teleportation, in-person events can generally have only one location at a time. You might have fans all over the country, but you can’t be with them all at the same time. A virtual access ticket gives fans the ability to feel like they’re part of your event even if they can’t travel to your in-person gathering. And it allows you to earn revenue from those fans who want to support you regardless of where they’re located or your venue’s capacity.
Help grow your fanbase
Major league sports and award-winning recording artists aren’t the only ones with fans all around the world. Local teams, independent artists, theater groups, and anyone with a talent to share can build a loyal following of supporters.
Maybe you have a few fans here and there around the country, or even regionally. You might not have the fanbase to fill nightclubs or theaters on a nationwide tour, but you have fans who want to support you. Adding a virtual component to your local events can not only allow those fans to connect with your events from their homes, but it can also help new fans discover your work. Your existing supporters can help spread the word by sharing your event on social media; one of their friends might become your next superfan.
You can help incentivize fans to share your events (virtual or in-person) by using Passage’s social discounts feature. Ticket purchasers get an immediate discount for sharing your event with their friends and followers on Facebook or Twitter. You choose the amount to discount (% or $ off the total ticket price) and can reach hundreds of potential new supporters every time someone shares your message.
Need help setting up virtual access for your event? Our support team is standing by!