The big challenge with marketing in-person events is that everyone has to show up at the same place. That means that 99.9 + percent of all potential fans aren’t really potential buyers. Simply because they can’t physically go to the show.
This is a major limitation. Not only is the in-person market small, but it's hard to reach. Just narrowing an audience to a certain city makes ads on platforms like Facebook and Google more expensive.
With online events, that limitation is gone. Instead of a severely limited audience, you have an infinite potential audience. All a person needs is an internet connection.
You’ve heard the term ‘gross potential.’ It means the total amount of money that you could make on your in-person show if you sell every ticket at the advertised price. Say you've got a thousand seats in your venue and your goal is to charge $100 per seat. Well then for a single show your gross potential is 1000 tickets times $100, or $100,000.
In a venue with 10,000 seats, your gross potential goes up. Ten times more seats means ten times the gross potential, or, a million dollars instead of $100,000.
With online events there's literally no capacity limit, which means there's no maximum gross potential. On top of that, no matter how many people show up, the seats aren’t any farther away, and the experience is just as good. You don’t have that hard-to-sell mushy middle part of the house because every seat is good.
Even better, the cost of your production hardly changes at all whether you've got a hundred people watching or a million.
And remember that all of a sudden, the entire world is your potential audience for the show.
This is a kind of marketing leverage that people in live entertainment normally don’t have. What do I mean by leverage? Putting on a show costs money, and whether you sell one ticket or a thousand, most of those costs don’t change much. Leverage comes from being able to sell more to ‘leverage’ that investment better, to get more out of it. Seat capacity limits your leverage, because once a physical venue is sold out, you can’t sell any more or keep those fixed costs working for you.
But with online events, you can. Over the last few months, I’ve seen this happening. Artists can be marketed anywhere, which means that even with only niche appeal, they can reach that niche everywhere in the world. For artists with broader appeal, the potential is truly enormous. In June of 2020, the K-pop band BTS played an online show for more than 750,000 people! And they grossed nearly 20 million dollars for a single performance.
If you've been marketing live entertainment for long enough, you know how challenging it can be to have to narrow and limit your marketing, especially by region or territory. Online Live Events give you the opportunity to broaden your marketing and reach an audience with essentially no limit.
The impact on revenue can be very good, but the impact on profitability is even better. For physical events, once you’ve passed your break-even point, your profit is limited by how much physical capacity you have left. If your break-even point is 60% of seats sold, then only the remaining 40% of seats can turn a profit for you. With online events, there’s no limit past your break-even point. Once you’ve recouped your fixed costs, you can continue to sell tickets until showtime (and maybe even after), and that all translates into profit. If you can sell double, triple, or even ten times the tickets you need to break even, your wraps are going to look pretty good and your bottom line will look even better.
And there's no reason that you can't hit those kinds of numbers because with an online live event the audience is almost literally infinite and easier to reach.
It’s an opportunity too good to ignore and too good to miss.
Want the latest news on Online Events?
Get “The Upload” newsletter sent to your email every Thursday.