Webinars are a great way for associations to deliver education or training to their members, but they can also prove beneficial to associations themselves by serving as a source of nondues revenue.
Make webinars a prerequisite to an in-person meeting.Although Forte is quick to say that he sees more of this in the corporate world, associations might want to take note. The idea is that an association takes the traditional lecture-type sessions of its conference and packages them as webinars instead. Then, it asks attendees to participate (and potentially purchase) these before the actual face-to-face meeting.
In this way, they act as almost prerequisites for the in-person meeting, and the learning from these webinars can then be tied into more interactive, hands-on sessions at the actual conference. “If it’s just someone talking, do [members] really need to necessarily fly into the city for that portion?” Forte asks. This allows associations to perhaps shave off an extra day from their meeting and bring in some extra dollars on the for-fee webinars, as well as heighten engagement among their attendees.
Take advantage of sponsorships. There are so many ways to appeal to potential sponsors, whether by acknowledging them briefly on the webinar or giving them a few minutes on the webinar to publicize their product or company.
And it’s important to mention that “there’s branding associated not only with the actual live event, but also the promotion of the event,” Forte said. Similar to how associations allow vendors to give presentations or be a part of panels at conferences, organizations can also get “thought leader” sponsors to be a part of a webinar’s panel. “There’s a lot of the traditional event models being applied to the virtual events,” Forte said.
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