Marketing Budget Considerations for Virtual Events

Dan Heron
Dan Heron
July 28, 2021

For most event marketers, making the switch from in-person to virtual events over the last year or so has come with a slew of changes. One of the biggest and best changes for many has been the much smaller price tag of a virtual event than an in-person event. However, it’s important to remember that the start-up costs are only smaller for virtual events when planned correctly. Too many wrong moves and these costs can escalate quickly.

While it may be tempting to transfer the same budgeting considerations that you used for in-person events to virtual events, there are a few different objectives to keep in mind. Here is a comprehensive list of budget considerations to take into account when planning your next virtual event:

1. Platform costs.

One of the essential parts of any virtual event is the platform being used to host the event. If this is a platform your team is already using internally, more significant event hosting capabilities may already be included or available for a small feature upcharge. If your team requires an entirely new platform, this budget item could be a little more costly.

2. Speaker or vendor fees.

While your internal team costs are covered, any speaker and/or vendor fees must be taken into account. If you’re hosting a webinar with one speaker, this is a pretty cut-and-dry budget item. This line item can be more convoluted if you’re hosting a more significant virtual conference with multiple speakers and/or vendors.

3. Marketing costs.

All in all, promotions may take up most of your virtual event budget. This includes everything from list costs to social ad budget to promotional placements in vendor publications.

4. Thank you gifts.

Virtual events are an excellent way for customers to share their stories with prospects, but in return, it’s always wise to say thank you. Depending on your client type or industry, this gift could be pretty pricey, so it’s essential to make this a separate line item in your budget.

5. Follow-up communication.

Last but certainly not least, whatever technology platform you use to host your virtual event will have some functionality to follow up with attendees. If this isn’t the case (or if you want to communicate on a broader scale through a different channel), you should consider this.

ize your virtual events with Circa

Maintaining visibility into virtual event budgets can be tricky, especially with so many moving pieces. With Circa, your team can track ROI against your event budget in real-time and use this data to optimize future virtual events.