How to Make Money on Virtual Events


If you’re embracing virtual events, you’re in good company. These days, event planners are hosting classes, performances, and even conferences virtually. But figuring out how to make money on your virtual events can be a challenge at first.

With an online event, you can’t sell tickets at the door, so you need to adapt your sales strategy. Luckily, there are a growing number of options for event planners hoping to turn a profit on virtual events, especially if you have a WordPress site. Here are a few ways to do it.

Sell virtual event tickets on WordPress

With the help of plugins like Virtual Events, Event Tickets and WooCommerce, you can easily sell tickets for virtual events from any page or event listing on your WordPress site. 

When you use Virtual Events alongside Event Tickets, you can choose to only have your livestream link sent via email, that way it stays private and will encourage more sales.

The best part? By selling tickets on your own site, you cut out the middle man: No third-party vendors, no fees. Your profit stays in your pocket, instead of splitting it with a site like Eventbrite or Meetup.

Once you set up Event Tickets or Event Tickets Plus, you can jump right in and create tickets that can easily be added to posts, pages, or events across your site.

[Related article: How to display tickets and sales pricing in Event Tickets]

Host gated live events on social media

Some social media platforms, including Facebook, have rolled out new features that make it easier to charge viewers to access live video content. As of now, it’s not clear whether creators will collect all proceeds from livestream admissions or if Facebook will take a cut, so that’s something to watch for in the future.

Becoming an affiliate on Twitch is another great way to monetize livestreams, and Twitch offers a feature where you can host a livestream exclusively for your subscribers. Any Twitch Affiliated or Partnered creator can choose to broadcast exclusively for moderators, VIPs, and subscribers. This comes at no additional cost to the subscriber beyond the minimum $5 monthly fee they pay to support the streamer. Fans who aren’t subscribers will see a preview of a broadcast before being asked to subscribe to a channel.

Host free live events to play a long game

It sounds counterintuitive, but hosting a free event can be a great way to generate sales in the long run. 

Think of your free events as a marketing tool. You can host a livestream that showcases your product in a fun and interactive way, which could encourage attendees to buy your product.

You can also host a free event with optional “tipping” during the event. A musician, for example, could host a free livestream performance on Instagram live and include a Venmo account where viewers can send tips. This opens up your event to a wider audience but still makes it possible for people to contribute what they want.

Repurpose and sell recorded events

The beauty of virtual events is that you can record them and repurpose that content, and then, if you’re savvy, you can use it to open up a whole new revenue stream.

After you record your virtual class or webinar, you can use a WordPress plugin like LearnDash to create and sell that content in perpetuity. That means people can purchase access to your recorded virtual event on demand, and you can collect a profit indefinitely. A total win-win.

Looking for more virtual event resources?

Check out our Virtual Events add-on for The Events Calendar. We also have a library full of extensions, articles, and guides to help make your life easier as an event planner in the virtual age.