How to Drive More Revenue During and After Your Virtual Event

By now, many of us have hosted a virtual event. You may have been doing webinars all along and live streaming from your onsite conference, or you may have found yourself in a bit of a panic this spring trying to get everything online.

While many people are seeing a successful transfer of onsite to online registration, and in some cases beating their registration numbers by more than they could have imagined, there are other ways to drive revenue during and after your virtual event than just pure registrations.


Session Sponsorship

Include recognition during individual sessions. This can include: 

  • Sponsor logo on the registration page 
  • A sponsor slide at the beginning of the presentation 
  • Moderator/presenter announcing the sponsor with a brief overview of who they are 
  • URL for sponsor website and/or contact information listed in any of these places 
  • Depending on the virtual event platform being used, display a sponsor banner throughout the session 

Sponsor Thank You Page

Whether you are selling sponsorship separately for individual sessions or bundling exposure for sponsorship or exhibitor tiers, you can create a thank you page for all of your sponsors that you’re already used to seeing on websites for face-to-face events. You can decide to display these logos alphabetically, or if selling tiers, by tier. 

Virtual Expo Center

There are many different versions of these out there. If the expo hall is extremely important to you, you may want to look into a virtual expo company that specializes in creating interactive environments with avatars. If you aren’t looking for that experience (or perhaps it’s not in your budget), it’s still great to have a place for your exhibitors to live. You can create an area where exhibitors can have product demos or marketing videos featured, white papers and flyers, contact info, and the ability to schedule meetings. 

Sponsor Beyond the Live Meeting

You may be so focused on the live event that you haven’t thought about what happens after the event. Hopefully, all of your great sessions are being recorded and posted online for on-demand viewing! This could be an added benefit for those that paid to attend the live event, an opportunity to generate more revenue by selling access to those who did not attend the live event, and a way for sponsors to live on after the blip in time that is a live event. You may decide that this is just a value add – if you sponsor the live session you automatically are listed as the sponsor of the on-demand. Or, perhaps you create another tier that allows for their sponsorship to live in after the live event or sell a completely new sponsorship package for the recorded content. 

Provide Lists

With any of these options, you’ll want to decide if your sponsors receive a list of event registrants – either for the entire event, the specific session they may have sponsored, or a list of those who actually consumed content from their virtual expo page. 

Event App

Outside of the platform you are using for registration and the virtual event, you may still want to consider an event app. If you already invested in the app, or have had one for past years, there is no reason to not use it. Apps can still be great for managing networking and other communications that your registration site may not be. This can allow your sponsors another place to touch base with interested parties without being so dependent on say, sponsoring a specific session. 

Emails & Blog Posts

Lastly, you may want to include some pre- or post-event email blasts that you’ll send out on the sponsors’ behalf or allow them the ability to write guest blog posts for your website. Again, these types of opportunities allow them additional benefits outside of the traditional event sponsorship which may become increasingly important while events remain virtual. 

Sponsor Presentation

These days, all of the above options might excite some of your sponsors but what many are looking for is actually being able to provide thought leadership. If you are able to provide session availability for your sponsors to present, there is a good chance you’ll attract more sponsors for higher dollar amounts while also easily securing presenters.

Repurpose Your Content After the Event

Share the on-demand version of your event

Share the on-demand version of your virtual event. This might be an obvious one, but not everyone does this! Make sure you have a post-event marketing plan as well to continue generating interest. If it’s something you’re selling, you could also consider getting creative with pricing – selling single sessions, or the entire event at a discounted cost, or bundling it with other items outside of the event. 

Replay the event

Yes, you have it available on-demand, but people do still like that live experience. Just because you have a popular topic being presented, or a rock star subject matter expert, does not mean everyone who wants to attend the live event is able. By replaying the recordings as a live event, you’ll be able to have the subject matter expert there for Q&A as well as all of the other interactivity that can take place during a live event. If you held a large event, you maybe just want to replay the keynotes or the Top 5 or 10 most popular sessions. 

Create microlearning

While this may not be possible or make sense in all scenarios, if you’re able to chop up session recordings into multiple, smaller micro-presentations, which could potentially attract a larger audience who has a shorter attention span, who just has less time to spare, or someone who only wants education on a particular slice of the content. If you’re selling these, you can also get creative with how you sell them – separately for one price, bundled for a discount, and so on.  

Write a blog post (or many!)

While you listen to the recordings (or read a transcription) you’ll want to pick out topics that you think would be interesting for you to expand on for your audience. Try to make sure that your blog post(s) aren’t just repeating what your recording already says. You could also ask your speakers if they’d be willing to write these articles in addition to presenting the sessions. They may be willing to for the additional exposure. 

Turn your recordings into podcasts

Yes, video is popular, but not everyone has the time to sit down and watch an entire session (especially ). But, that doesn’t mean that everyone doesn’t want to. Another option is to deliver your virtual event content as a podcast that your audience can listen to on the go. In addition to repurposing your recorded webinar content for podcasts, you can take issues and questions that came up during your webinar and create spin-off podcasts on those specific items. 

With any of these ideas (as well as others) you can get creative with pricing — offering free or discounted on-demand access for virtual conference attendees, providing different registrations tiers that can include on-demand access, selling sponsorships, and more. 

Jocelyn Taylor is the Senior Director of Sales Operations at Blue Sky eLearn. She has 14 years of experience in sales, marketing, and account management, spending the last 10 of those at Blue Sky.

Preparing Presenters for Your Virtual Association Conference

Educational opportunities are one of the key reasons people attend association-based conferences. Apart from meeting like-minded people and industry peers, attendees want to learn about topics like the latest research, industry trends, and new ways of conducting business. 

This is why conference organizers assemble the best speakers in the industry to offer presentations that pique the curiosity of attendees and create immersive learning experiences. Most speakers are familiar with the territory of in-person conferences. They know how to engage the audience when presenting from the podium. 

However, when an event goes virtual, those speakers are likely presenting to audiences who are several miles away, by means of a virtual platform. This format requires additional preparation to ensure top-notch presentations.

Therefore, when planning a virtual conference, you should have a standard guide to prepare presenters to offer standout presentations during your virtual conference. We recommend that you discuss the following areas with your presenters:

Ready to learn more about getting your presenters prepared for outstanding sessions? Let’s get started.


Content Preparation and Delivery Formats

Agreeing on content delivery format is a great place to start when preparing your presenters. For a virtual conference, you might consider the following formats: 

Talking Head(s) Lecture

During this type of presentation, the presenter is captured on video in seating or standing position while speaking. The speakers can view their prepared notes during the session, hidden from the eyes of the audience.  Viewers follow along by watching and listening.

On-Screen Presentation

During an onscreen presentation, the speaker presents as they navigate through prepared slides, but they do not show their face. The audience can hear the speaker and see the slides and screen, but can’t see the face behind the voice.

A Combination of the Two

A split-screen format shows both the speaker and the presentation to the audience. If you have multiple presenters you’ll have to decide if they’ll all be on screen together or if they will switch on and off camera.

Your event team can decide whether presenters can choose their preferred format, or you can advise based on what will resonate more with the audience for a particular presentation. Some attendees may prefer seeing the face of the presenter, even if there are slides. Be sure to agree on your approach ahead of time, and guide them on how to set up.

Master Deck PowerPoint or Solo Presentations?

Another aspect to decide on is whether you will use a master deck for presentations, or each presenter will have to design and control their own slides. 

For a more uniform approach, you can create a master deck and send it to presenters to base their slides from. This approach makes it easier to control basic branding in the presentations. You can also decide how your presenters will deliver their slides. Will you grant each presenter remote access on the virtual event platform, or have them screen share from home to control the flow of their own presentation, or have a production control team drive the presentation based on a pre-provided script and storyboard from the speaker.

Requirements for Presentation Equipment

If speakers are presenting from home, consider setting minimum requirements for the equipment they will use to ensure the best production quality. Some of these factors include system and/or mobile requirements, internet speed, audio quality, and video quality.

System & Mobile Requirements

Although most virtual event platforms and mobile event apps are compatible with a variety of devices, it is not out of place to obtain specific requirements from your platform or app provider and send them to your presenters. The main concern here is that the processing speed of the presenter’s devices can support the speed requirement of the platform or app.

Reliable and High-Speed Internet

Your presenters need reliable, high-speed internet for seamless streaming. A slow or unstable internet may cause cracks or breaks and will, ultimately, result in poor attendee experience. Therefore, you should recommend minimum internet speed requirements to your presenters. It’s also a good idea to advise your presenters to dedicate their internet for their presentation and disconnect other devices from the signal. That way, their signal strength can be fully utilized for the presentation.

Audio Quality

For quality audio streaming, presenters should not rely on the base microphones of their computers. Instead, recommend suitable microphones for presenters to purchase or borrow.  If you have the means, you can even mail your own standard microphones to them and guide them on how to set them up. 

Video Quality

Video quality is very important for audience engagement. Presenters should use cameras that are capable of producing full HD videos. If a presenter cannot guarantee that kind of video quality, you might send them a presentation kit containing the recommended portable microphone and camera, and guide them on how to install them to have an optimal presentation.

Presenters’ Environment Considerations

A few components are important to consider concerning the presenters’ environments. This includes the backdrop, lighting, and background noise of the environment they’ll be speaking from. All of these aspects play a significant role in video and audio quality, and you should advise presenters about them accordingly.


The space where the presenter is speaking should provide sufficient lighting so that the video will not be blurry or dark. For optimal video quality, the presenter should face light rays, such as windows, instead of having them behind.


We recommend a plain backdrop or background. Alternatively, speakers may opt for a neutral or relevant background, such as a wall of bookcases. Presenters should give sufficient clearance between their location and the backdrop while presenting.


Presenters should be advised to select the best area in their home or office to serve as their speaking base. The location should be comfortable for them and free from noise, sounds, and outside distractions. They should also be advised to put their cellphones and other devices on silent mode. Any notification sound from those devices can be picked by a headset and cause distraction for attendees (and the speaker!).

Presenters’ Appearance Considerations

Presenters should wear solid colors and avoid high contrast tones such as white, black or red. Such colors can create illusions and negatively affect video quality. They should avoid clothes with stripes, busy patterns, writings, and icons.

In addition to clothing guidelines, presenters should be advised on the use of jewelry. They should not wear flashy, shiny, or dangling jewelry because these items can disrupt video or sound.

Walkthrough of Audience Engagement Features

You should guide presenters through audience engagement features on the platform you are using before the actual presentation. Your virtual event platform or mobile event app should have features for speakers to engage the audience during their presentation, such as:

  • Q&A
  • Polls
  • Contests
  • Gamification
  • Animations

Encourage presenters to prepare relevant questions, polls, and games ahead of the conference and insert them at the appropriate place in their presentation. Presenters should have their own view as well as some control via the platform or on the mobile app.

Demo Event With Presenters

After walking your presenters through all the steps, schedule a demo presentation with all your event speakers so that they can get familiar with the platform. Then, you can determine if anything needs correction or improvement. Consider the following checklist of what to inspect during the demo:


Be sure that all content has been uploaded on the platform, including polls, Q&A, games, etc. and that the presenters can launch each feature independently when it is time. 


Ensure the presenter’s gadgets (internet, microphone, and camera) are up to par and that they are properly set.

Operation Base

Let the presenter set up in the room they intend to use for the presentation and ensure that each aspect (lighting, backdrop, and noise interference) is optimized.


Ask presenters to dress similarly to their intended look on the day of their presentation to ensure that the outfit is good enough for the video quality.


As speakers create their mock presentations, pay attention to their pitch and energy level. Advise them on how they can keep their energies high day-of, so that they can communicate effectively and keep the audience engaged.

Your event moderator should be part of the mock event, so they are familiar with each presentation. The moderator will be steering the event, so they should be able to help the audience make connections between different sessions. 

Every event planner knows that, even with all these preparations, things can go wrong. This is why it is recommended to have a communication channel with all the presenters. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, you will be able to make quick fixes together. You can create this channel on the virtual event platform or mobile event app, or you can have a separate channel on a popular instant messaging app in case someone cannot log into the platform at all. 

Jordan Schwartz is president and co-founder of Pathable, an event app and website platform for conferences and tradeshows. He left academic psychology for the lure of software building, and spent 10 years at Microsoft leading the development of consumer-facing software. Frustrated with the conferences he attended there, he left Microsoft in 2007 with the goal of delivering more value and better networking opportunities through a next-generation conference app. Jordan moonlights as a digital nomad, returning often to his hometown of Seattle to tend his bee hives.






How to Engage Participants in Your P2P Virtual Event

Physical peer-to-peer events — like runs, walks, and rides — have been a key fundraising tool for nonprofits for years. But now, virtual peer-to-peer fundraising events and campaigns have taken on a vitally important role in fundraising, too.

In normal times, online peer-to-peer events can be a less expensive way to raise funds year-round in between in-person events. Today, when physical events aren’t practical or restricted, they’re must-haves. They can help nonprofits engage with constituents and make them feel part of a community, even when they can’t connect in person. 

There are multiple approaches to peer-to-peer fundraising that go beyond physical events. Virtual peer-to-peer events generally fall into two categories: Virtual events/campaigns and do-it-yourself (DIY) virtual events/campaigns. With virtual campaigns, a nonprofit provides an online environment for supporters to set up their own fundraising pages in support of a virtual event or campaign created by the organization. DIY virtual events/campaigns allow participants to host their own virtual events or campaigns and invite friends and family to the events to raise funds for a specific campaign for your organization.

Whether you’re moving an in-person eve\nt to a virtual event, or launching a completely new virtual event, getting participants to sign up to fundraise for your organization (and providing them with basic details, sample emails, and suggestions about how to raise funds from their family and friends) is just the beginning. Your ability to reach your fundraising goals depends greatly on your ability to engage with your peer-to-peer virtual event participants and keep them motivated to raise funds. 

Here are six effective ways to get your peer-to-peer virtual event participants more involved and ultimately increase donations:

1. Host Facebook Live events.

Facebook is a great way to connect with peer-to-peer fundraising participants. Host regular Facebook Live events with your participants on a variety of topics to help them raise funds and keep them inspired to support your cause. Here are some example topics for Facebook Live events:

  • An overview of your nonprofit’s impact on your mission 
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising tips and strategies
  • Q&A with a top fundraiser from a previous peer-to-peer event or campaign

2. Issue social media challenges.

By its very nature, peer-to-peer fundraising is a social activity. Create social media challenges to get participants more excited about your virtual event and help them engage with their potential donors. For example, at the beginning of the week, post a challenge online via your website and social media. (For those participants who aren’t super users of social media, you might want to email the challenge as well.) Challenges can be related to your organization’s mission, such as “the participant who posts the most pet themed photos wins the challenge,” or generic, like “the participant with the most donor selfies wins.”  Then, promote the winner online in the following week as part of a “winner’s corner,” or through a special shout-out if your virtual event has a live element. 

3. Use theme days.

Participants who feel as if they’re part of a group and are having fun are more likely to feel engaged with your organization and with the peer-to-peer event they’ve signed up to support. One way to foster a sense of community among participants is to establish theme days. For example, designate a “crazy hat” day in which participants wear their most unusual hat and post selfies to your event’s community page, or have your participants wear their favorite sport team’s jersey.

4. Send out a call for videos.

Ask participants to create videos to help inspire other participants. For example, ask your top fundraisers to develop a short video about why they’re raising funds for your organization or what have been their most effective approaches for raising funds from friends and family. Provide them with a few guidelines (length of video, topics, file format), an example video, and details about how you’ll use the videos (to send as motivation for other participants) so they have context as they create their videos.

5. Provide incentives.

Those who sign up for your peer-to-peer virtual event or campaign already have shown interest in raising funds for your organization. But a little extra incentive can give them a nudge to keep up the fundraising momentum. For example, offer a t-shirt, an online gift card, or other gift for participants who reach specified fundraising milestones.

6. Educate your participants.

Getting your participants more knowledgeable about your nonprofit and your mission will help them be more effective at sharing your organization’s message with potential donors. For example, create a treasure map or scavenger hunt for your participants to explore your website so they can become more well-versed with your cause. Make it fun and informative by leading participants to different areas of your website or social media. Give them instructions on how to submit their answers via social media, online form, or email. Offer weekly prizes for those who have completed the activity correctly, or include a grand prize drawing. This is an ideal approach for participants who are new to your cause. 

Keeping your participants engaged and inspired to raise funds for your organization is key to peer-to-peer fundraising event or campaign success. There’s almost no end to the ways you can inspire participants. It just takes some planning, creativity, and a bit of extra work. But the results will be well worth it. 

Need more ideas or an extra set of hands for your virtual events or campaigns? Contact Cathexis Partners.

Laura L. Higgins, Strategic Consultant, Cathexis Partners

Laura specializes in fundraising and community-building events. She has worked with nonprofits for more than 15 years.

Learn more about event compliance with Fonteva!

5 Compliance Rules You Must Know Before Your Next Fundraising Event

Fundraising events can be a great way for you to engage, educate, and inspire your members and ultimately generate revenue for your association. Understanding compliance requirements will ensure that your event brings the success you seek, rather than an unpleasant surprise. Here are 6 rules to follow before your next fundraising event:  

1. Register to fundraise where required 

Communication is key to any successful event and determines where you must register to fundraise. Before you begin emailing, posting, and tweeting about your event, make sure you understand the basics of fundraising licensing. States define fundraising solicitation as asking for donations, regardless of the means. Solicitation takes place wherever the fundraising message is received, regardless of whether a donation is given in response to that solicitation. Those event emails, tweets, and posts could mean that your association is fundraising in all 50 states. If so, you may need to register to fundraise in many of them.

State law governs fundraising registration, reporting, exemption, and renewal. Currently, 41 states require nonprofits to register before they solicit donations from their residents. Annual renewals of those registrations, as well as regular reporting, is also typically required. 25 states mandate that nonprofits include specific disclosure language in all fundraising solicitations. As part of your event planning and budgeting process, determine where you must register. This clickable map of the requirements of each state includes specific details and instructions.

2. Confirm fundraising professionals are registered where required

Bringing in a fundraising professional to help with your event can be a great strategy, but requires specific registrations and reports in many states. While each state has its own definitions, a fundraising professional is generally an independent person or firm (rather than an employee or volunteer) who is paid to assist you with its fundraising. Fundraising professionals include both fundraising counsel and professional solicitors. In most states, both types of fundraising professionals are required to register, renew annually, and report regularly. If you have hired a fundraising professional to assist with events or campaigns in multiple states, they may need to register and report in multiple states. 

Although registration and reporting are the responsibility of the fundraising professional, it’s wise to make sure that all of the people you hire are compliant. Hiring a professional fundraiser may bring extra state scrutiny to your association.  You may be required to submit contracts to the state, as well as provide details about the relationship between your association and the fundraising professional. You can learn more about the requirements for each type of professional fundraisers and the organizations that work with them in this professional fundraiser guide.

3. Meet state fundraising disclosure requirements

In addition to fundraising registration requirements, 26 jurisdictions require nonprofits to include some form of disclosure statement when communicating with donors. This may include items such as:

  • The full legal name of your nonprofit
  • Address and contact information
  • The charitable purpose for which funds are being solicited
  • Your fundraising registration number
  • Directions for contacting state authorities to obtain copies of your financial or registration information

Typically, disclosures must be included on any written solicitations, as well as donor receipts, reminders, and confirmations. These requirements may also apply to online solicitations such as social media posts and web pages. In-person, email, and telephone solicitations also require disclosures in some states, and there may be a different disclosure requirement for each type of solicitation. 

Remember that solicitation occurs where the message is received, not where it originates. This means that you may be required to include disclosures from multiple states in your fundraising appeals and donor communications. With such varied requirements, be sure that each fundraising activity you engage in meets the guidelines of all appropriate states. 

4. Obtain all needed state and local gaming licenses 

Bingo, auctions, raffles, casino nights, and other types of gaming can be a fun way to raise funds and build a sense of community at your event. If you are planning to engage in these activities, you need to investigate before signing with your event venue. Be sure to first check with the municipality where your desired venue is located to confirm that the charitable gaming of interest is allowed there.

If so, determine if you must also obtain a specific state gaming license, as well as a local gaming permit. Nonprofits that use games for fundraising purposes are typically required to apply for a license or permit from the state. Most states allow nonprofits to conduct a variety of gaming events in conjunction with an event as long as the organization holds the proper license. Depending on the activities you are planning, you may need to obtain more than one license. Be sure to comply with state restrictions on who is permitted to conduct and attend gaming activities. Finally, be sure to file all required post-event reports with licensing authorities. Consult a charitable gaming compliance guide to ensure that your event gaming meets all legal requirements.

5. Plan ahead to ensure success and compliance!

The time required to register in a given state can vary from a few days to a few months. Be sure to account for the state’s processing time when calculating your event compliance timeline. Carefully track deadlines for each state’s registration applications and all required reports. Include reminders to follow up on each submitted application. Then complete and submit all registration applications far enough in advance to confirm that you will be in total compliance before the big day! 

Make sure that your event is memorable for all the right reasons. Compliance minimizes risk, protects the reputation of your association, and sets your event up for success. With careful attention to detail, comprehensive event software, and detailed compliance guides, you can be confident that you meet all state regulatory requirements triggered by your event. To make sure that your association understands and complies with all registration obligations, consider hiring a specialist who is knowledgeable about nonprofit fundraising compliance to manage these details for you. That way, you’ll have more time to focus on your mission and members.


Harbor Compliance does not provide tax, financial, or legal advice. Use of our services does not create an attorney-client relationship. Harbor Compliance is not acting as your attorney and does not review the information you provide to us for legal accuracy or sufficiency.

Sharon Cody, J.D. is the Nonprofit Partnership Manager at Harbor Compliance, a leading provider of compliance solutions. Sharon is passionate about educating nonprofits on the role of compliance as both a best practice and an industry differentiator. Her more than 30 years of experience as an attorney, charitable fundraiser, foundation executive, and nonprofit board member give her unique insight on the use of nonprofit compliance as a strategic tool to enhance an organization’s reputation and increase its revenue. Sharon can be reached at or 1-717-431-9162.



Beyond CEUs: 5 Reasons Association Members Attend Events

Associations can glean a ton of value from events. Therefore, it’s no surprise that ticket prices for the heaviest-hitting conferences and events are in the hundreds to thousands of dollars range. After all, how can you put a price on the future of business and leadership? 

Practically speaking, people don’t solely attend events for the perfunctory continuing education (CE) certificate that proves you earned the credit. 

Your association’s members are probably attending events in hopes of experiencing these five things: 

  1. Grow your network.
  2. Discover new solutions.
  3. Get actionable insights.
  4. Explore the latest best practices.
  5. Be inspired.

Although collecting CEUs is important, especially in dynamic industries with ever-changing rules and regulations, it’s hardly the only reason that associations attend events. Registration, travel, and lodging for an event can quickly become expensive. Additionally, attending events is more than just a professional development investment. There are five key ways that associations can gain a wealth of value by attending events, which you can read about in more detail below.

1. Grow your network: engage with prospective members and partners. 

According to the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), one of the top three reasons people decide to attend an event is for networking purposes. 

Large conferences, especially those that cater to a vast spectrum of industries, present incredibly unique opportunities for associations to connect with prospective members and partners. It’s rare that the exact same body of delegates will attend the same event year after year, so the element of diversity alone is a compelling reason to attend events. 

By connecting with business leaders from other cultures, models, and stages of maturity, you stand a good chance of meeting someone new. Conversation can be a priceless asset when it comes to finding new ways to engage membership, generate non-dues revenue, and ultimately connect with others who face similar challenges.

2. Discover new solutions to ongoing challenges that impact your business, its cohorts, and your membership.

Keeping members engaged is critical for overall success and can yield high-impact results, not the least of which is revenue generation. 

How do the most successful organizations keep their members engaged? What practical solutions are bringing the most value to the process of membership engagement? What does success look like today, and how can you seize opportunities for your own members? 

Finding and discussing answers to these questions (plus countless others) is a key motivating factor for attending events. CEUs may offer an incentive to attend specific sessions for your industry, but you are likely to spend more time at the tradeshow booths if there is a product or service that’s built with your association and its members in mind. This is something that can be clearly displayed using an event app.

3. Get actionable insights you can apply right away.

The business landscape is changing dramatically and moving faster than ever before. How can associations keep up?

 To say that technology is requisite for success doesn’t quite hit the mark – these tools are paramount in today’s world. Staying ahead of trends in membership engagement, non-dues revenue generation, and modern marketing means that associations are increasingly reliant on software and other tools that keep their proverbial trains on-track.

4. Explore the latest best practices to avoid reinventing the wheel.

Like most successful business leaders and association executives, you consider attending an event to find best practices to help your organization(s) stay ahead of the curve. You want to know about the latest technology and tools that can help you meet members and community demands faster and better at every turn.  

Attending an event is a surefire way to see how others have succeeded and failed, offering a chance to learn from those scenarios. Rather than reinventing the wheel for your cohorts, you can make a few adjustments to another association’s strategy and tactics. In a matter of weeks, rather than months or years, you can offer a host of innovative and beneficial activities that will keep your members engaged and your revenue stream(s) running.

5. Be inspired.

A fresh perspective, insightful case study, or emotional arc in a well-delivered keynote can help you see your business differently. Sometimes, all it takes to be inspired is knowing you’re not alone. There is nothing better than leaving an event with reignited energy and exciting ideas that can make a big impact on your business when you return. 

Don’t get us wrong: there is demonstrable value in CE, especially if your role requires regularly brushing up on changing regulations, best practices, and trends. However, association members can get much more out of attending events than obtaining CEUs. 

Whether you’re looking to build new relationships, optimize workflows, boost engagement, or simply reconnect with the initial spark of your industry, events are mission-critical. Where else will you find such a volume of knowledge and people in one place at the same time? For more from Pathable on events, technology, and event apps for associations, click here.

Author photo.

Equal parts voracious reader and passionate writer, Maggie is an expert in communication principles and practices that help drive positive impact for business. As Marketing Manager for Pathable, Inc., she’s customer-obsessed, results-oriented, and dedicated to celebrating the value of highly customizable event app and web solutions for event planners across industries around the globe. 

5 Web Tools that Make Event Proposal Management Such a Breeze

There is so much going on when you’re managing and planning an event, if you don’t have the right tools, you’ll get left in the dust. It’s a little daunting to think about how it was to plan an event and manage it successfully without the internet or a solid set of software tools. Throw in the effort and work it takes to incorporate a proper event sponsorship strategy and no wonder the stereotype of an event manager is stressed out, overworked, and carrying around a binder full of notes.

There are oodles of tools that allow you to actually manage your event- we’ll cover some of those below, but there’s a massive gap in the sponsorship acquisition efforts of an event management team. Dozens of hours are spent on Powerpoint to try and create an acceptable sponsorship deck, then there’s the nightmare of managing the Excel sheet to track everything. Often, sponsorship campaigns leave event organizers feeling like they are running a marathon.

The digital revolution has really changed all of this. No longer are we chained to our binders and notebooks or even Excel to stay organized. You’ve got things to do and today’s tools will make the individual pieces of it all even easier. These tools will make the entire event easier to manage while allowing you to kill it when you’re pitching sponsorships and sending out event sponsorship proposals:

  1. Wrike Project Management Software

    Wrike is a one-stop team collaboration and project management tool. It has the ability to give your team increased visibility, allows you to turn strategy into action, and enables collaboration. It’s an immense benefit to have a single hub for all the work that organizing an event entails. The user-friendly navigation simplifies things for managers and their teams and the mobile app allows work out “in the field” while an event is taking place.

    Why we love it: the real-time reports and analytics integrations give a central location to track KPIs across teams and ensure you’re hitting all of your goals in an event without having to search for 100 reports in different locations.
  2. CVent

    Cvent is an institution in event management and planning. They’ve been around for years and provide software and services for event managers like venue sourcing, travel, online registration and more. The venue sourcing is limited to hotels, which means that it’s a tool that is more suitable to high budget affairs. The comprehensive features of Cvent are a draw for users, but it can be a bit complex for smaller organizations trying to make a dent in their respective markets.

    Why we love it: it’s a comprehensive tool that’s great for large or high-end events. It’s a bit costly, but for bigger budget productions, it’s a fantastic tool.
  3. SocialTables

    Social Tables is a fantastic tool that simplifies seating arrangements, room layout design, guest check-in, and even event attendance tracking. This is an ideal tool for event managers who are extremely detail-oriented and is perfect for small and mid-size events. The tool gives you the capability to collaborate with caterers, venue providers, and other organizers. It’s perfect for business conferences due to its check-in feature that will aid conference organizers, allowing them to focus on the attendee experience.

    Why we love it: The ease of collaboration and the seating/layout design features are ideal for small to medium-sized events. This makes it ideal for nonprofits or startups looking to grow awareness in networking or fundraising events.
  4. Sponeasy

    While we’re partial to other sponsorship proposal tools, Sponeasy bridges the gap between tracking and event proposal management and generation. Sponeasy got off the ground in 2014 to answer a need in the marketplace. They saw a world of event management devoid of Excel and the hassle of building decks in PowerPoint. The result? A robust proposal management tool that takes you from deck building to a powerful analytics suite allowing you to easily track and analyze results.

    Why we love it: the analytics and reporting effectively solves the issues with spreadsheets that many event management teams run into. It streamlines processes and allows teams to get back to what they should be concentrating on- perfecting the pitch and sealing sponsorships for their event.
  5. Qwilr

    Qwilr allows event managers to cut down on the time they spend building pitch decks and allowing event sponsorship management to become an efficient part of the overall event management process. Quickly create beautiful and intuitive pitch decks and proposals for your event sponsorship strategy. Qwilr gives your team the autonomy to quickly create consistent proposals to send to potential sponsors, allowing you to scale your efforts quickly without losing quality of work.

    Reimagine the pitch deck and create inspiring communications that will improve the conversion rate of your event sponsorship strategy.

    Why we love it: Qwilr gives event management teams simple building blocks that allow them to use their best work while staying on brand. It’s efficient to mix and match, allowing teams to create with ease and consistency. Qwilr also gives teams the ability to improve their upsell efforts with interactive pricing. It streamlines the pitch process by allowing sponsors to quickly sign off on event sponsorship proposals and incorporating inbuilt payments with the integration of Stripe.

In Conclusion

Let’s face it: event management and organization is hard. It takes a village to create a successful event and that village needs the right set of tools in order to be able to scale events by utilizing event sponsorships and making all initiatives churn forward successfully to hit goals. Ultimately, it’s a combination of planning, talent, and the right tools that make not only event management successful, but the generation of additional income that event sponsors bring as well.

If you are able to make your event registration experience solid, you have a solution that works for event registration and check-in, and you have tools that help you expedite the event sponsorship efforts, your team will be able to navigate the road ahead with ease. Get back to planning and pitching event sponsorships and spend less time creating documents, managing proposals, and handling registration hurdles.

Author Bio:

Kristen Bowie is a marketing leader, forging the path with data-driven decisions. When she’s not writing for thought leadership and creating sponsorship proposals at Qwilr, she’s hanging out with her two urban dwarf goats, painting, or is out watching a local band.

How to Use In-Person Tactics to Create Engaging Virtual Events

Over the years there has been concern that virtual events would cannibalize in-person events. However, while the number of virtual events many organizations are hosting on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis has grown, in-person events have not disappeared. There are certain aspects of in-person events that will always function differently when attempted to be done virtually.

One example of this is networking. Yes, there are chat pods and video conferences, but nothing replaces a handshake or a hug. Being able to chat over dinner, discuss common challenges in the industry over drinks, and share personal stories and photos among new friends are just a few ways that place-based events can provide valuable networking. Another is brainstorming. Again, this can be done through chat pods and video chats, but there is something to be said to gathering around a table with people to brainstorm and collaborate on a topic face-to-face. Lastly, themes. Having a conference in Nashville? Make sure to attend the country music performance on opening night. Your next meeting is in Austin? Don’t miss the BBQ dinner! Heading to Louisville? Plan to sample some bourbons at happy hour. Being on location, rather than attending from the comfort of your own home, allows for themes to more easily be woven into events that can keep attendees mingling and meeting long after the sessions have concluded.

While these are all true and great aspects of in-person meetings and events, it doesn’t mean that virtual events aren’t important or that they can’t be engaging. While there are plenty of virtual events that offer no engagement at all (which can probably be said for some in-person sessions), that doesn’t mean all events have to be this way! Below we outline some ways to utilize engaging ideas from face-to-face events within your virtual ones.

Customized Interactive Lobby

You did it! You got them to not only register, but attend your event. They’re excited and have arrived a couple of minutes early. Don’t let them get distracted before the event even starts — keep them entertained with some gamification – like trivia questions, games, and attendee location maps. Or, use the time to have rotating slides displaying relevant information such as upcoming events and information about the organizations who have sponsored the virtual event.

Chat Channels

While not the same as a hug or a handshake, having open chat channels during your virtual events still allows remote attendees to interact with one another and give them that sense of engagement and community. We’ve all become so used to using chat in our daily lives – whether text messaging our friends and family, using Slack at work, or even commenting on social media, it’s become second nature for us to chat online and many attendees will dive right in. Kick things off by posing a question in the chat pod at the beginning of the event! Continue to use the chat pod to have targeted discussions and receive relevant feedback.

Ask Questions!

I’m not talking about the audience (yet). YOU, the presenter, should be asking questions. Kick off your virtual event with a poll and intersperse them throughout the event to keep your audience engaged, while also feeding you useful information as you continue on in your presentation. Make sure to display the results on the screen so that an attendee can see how everyone else responded to the poll.

Post-event, it’s important to try and collect feedback — on the presenter, presentation, topic, event overall, and anything else you might like to know! Make sure to have a clear call-to-action when the event is concluding and have a link to click or a survey pop up automatically to increase the likelihood of attendees responding.

Of course, if your virtual event carries any sort of continuing education credit or certificate of attendance with it, it’ll be much simpler to get attendees to participate in a post-event survey or quiz, but still plenty valuable!

Presenter Q&A

Okay, this time I’m talking about letting the audience ask YOU, the presenter, questions. This might seem pretty simple and straightforward, and it should be! However, too often we see presenters waiting until the very end to open up Q&A. Why wait until the end to answer a question that might have been more relevant in the first 10 minutes of the event?

Instead, remind me people throughout the event that they can ask questions at any time, and make sure to pay attention to that Q&A pod!

Breakout Sessions

While we briefly touched on the benefits of breaking off to brainstorm in groups in person, these can be plenty beneficial virtually. By breaking your audience into smaller groups you’ll be making it easier for them to participate and interact with one another. You can even encourage your audience to use webcams for a more personalized experience.

After breaking out, bring your audience back together to compare notes, conclusions, and any other discussion points from the break.


Perhaps not relevant for every webinar, in specific instances, utilizing a whiteboard during a presentation can be very valuable for attendees – whether you are writing down pieces of information you are presenting or collecting information from the audience. Use a virtual event platform that allows for some sort of whiteboard or notetaking and utilize the functionality just like you would during an in-person presentation.


“Be the first to answer this question correctly and win a prize.” “Look under your seat and see if you have the red envelope that wins the prize!” There are a variety of ways to give away swag and prizes during in-person sessions, but with gift cards and virtual gift-giving the norm these days, giving away prizes during a virtual event is easier than ever. Kick your event off by giving away a prize and then do so again during and at the conclusion of the event. This will surely keep people engaged!

Whether you try out all, some, or none of these things, you can’t forget that first and foremost you must have great content and a well put-together presentation. No boring slides – spend some time on good visuals to help maintain engagement and attention when you are presenting and not performing one of the engaging tasks listed above. Be concise on slides and elaborate while you present, never spending more than a couple of minutes per slide (unless engaging conversations start to ensue!).

Once your slides are ready to go, practice, practice, practice! Make sure you’re familiar with the virtual event software, are comfortable talking an audience you can’t see and who might not be able to verbally respond, and take your time!

Last but not least, having a professional company to help plan and host your virtual event can be a big help too. From setting up your room layout to familiarizing you with the software, providing professional moderation for introductions and Q&A, and customer technical support for your end users so you don’t have to worry about them while you’re concentrating on your presentation can go a long way to making sure your event is a success!

Author Bio

Jocelyn Fielding

Jocelyn Fielding – Director, Marketing & Sales Operations

Jocelyn is responsible for all marketing activities at Blue Sky eLearn, as well overseeing sales from an operational standpoint. She has over 10 years of experience in sales and marketing, with 7 of those years being spent at Blue Sky, marketing and selling to associations, corporations, and pharmaceutical companies. When Jocelyn isn’t working, she enjoys being outside – whether hiking or heading to the beach. She’s also an avid traveler, has been to six of the seven continents, and is always planning her next trip (or two!).


How Exhibits Can Increase The Sales of Your Business

Being part of a trade show as an exhibitor can turn out to be one of the best decisions you ever made for your brand. There is a lot you can not only share but also learn that will, in turn, lead to an increase in business sales. Renting a tent and some decors for the exhibition cannot be compared to the return on investment you get if you play your cards right with the right strategy. Here’s how exhibitions can increase the sales of your business.

An Exhibition as an Advertising Strategy

Advertising is the most fundamental reason why brands decide to be part of an exhibition. It is a chance to advertise yourself as a company to a group of people that have an interest in what you do. Trade shows are planned for a specific industry. This means that the people who attend them have an interest in the industry, hence the audience you get has already been targeted for you.

Helps Create Brand Awareness

For you to attract clients to your brand, people have to know that you exist. At exhibitions, you will be able to introduce yourself to the public, helping them know about your brand and the services you offer. Your booth should be attractively designed with your company colors. can come in handy in getting the equipment you need for a great exhibition at very affordable prices. Increasing brand awareness will, in the long run, lead to an increase in sales. 

Education Marketing

In some cases, people might have already interacted with your brand in one way or another. However, they may not be fully aware of the best way to benefit from the services you offer. Educational marketing is a type of marketing where you improve your sales by teaching people how to use the products you provide or showing them why they need your services. 

During exhibitions, you have an easy one-on-one time with a prospect to educate them about your brand. Once they learn how to use your products, they might convert into regulars and also evangelize your brand to their friends.

Building Business Connections and Customer Engagements

Exhibitions give your potential clients and customers a chance to meet the people behind the brand. This is an excellent place to engage your customers and get feedback on the products and services you offer. Some may go to the extent of showing you how the brand has benefitted their lives, showing you which services you need to focus on and which ones to do away with. In such settings, you will also be able to build networks within industries that may help you enhance your products. 

A Chance to Learn the Industry’s Trends

During exhibitions, you too can take a walk around other booths to see what your competitors and companions are up to. You might get an idea in the process that will transform your brand, helping you increase your sales. 

You can learn more from being on the field than sitting in an office. As much as the internet has a lot of information, when you can personally interact with the market, you will observe the trends more clearly. Some things never become real until you see them physically.

Launching and Testing Products in Exhibitions

Exhibitions are the right places to launch a product to the market. This is because educational marketing, as seen above, is quite practical. There are a number of ways to test a product and doing so in exhibitions is one of them. With feedback, you have first-hand information about your customers’ views hence giving you room for improvement. This will, in turn, lead to better products and therefore better sales. It is not useful for any brand to be blind in their sectors.

As much as you might have done your market research before launching your product, each product is unique, and consumers whose feedback is considered feel known by the company, building a good brand and consumer relationship.


There is a lot you can gain from being part of an exhibition, and the above pointers are just a few. Some connections you create in shows turn out to be the one contact you needed to grow your business. Other times, you learn something about your brand that you would have otherwise overlooked, which would have caused you great losses. The advantages are tremendous, and if you have not considered exhibiting at a trade show, the above points should make you rethink that decision.

Author Bio

Emily Porter is the Content Outreach Manager at Expocart, the UK’s
largest provider of products for exhibitions and events. Expocart works to make exhibiting easier, more affordable, and hassle-free.

7 Quick and Easy Tips to Boost Your Next Peer-to-Peer Fundraiser

Hosting peer-to-peer campaigns and events is a great way to extend your fundraising reach. But, what do you do when your peer-to-peer (p2p) fundraising results need a boost?  

Here are seven quick and easy tips for improving your peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and events:

1. Make your website easier to use.

Go to the homepage of your website, pretend that you have never been to the website before, and step through the online process for your peer-to-peer campaign or event. Ask yourself the following questions, and work with your website manager to tweak the online process and make the website easier for donors and participants to use:

  • Is it clear what I should do if I want to learn more, register, or donate?
  • How many clicks does it take to sign up or donate?
  • How many questions am I asked during the registration or donation process (and do we really need to ask all of them)?
  • If I’m donating, is it easy to find the person I want to donate on behalf of?
  • If I’m registering as a fundraiser, how easy it is for me to sign up and then actually start fundraising?

2. Revisit your message.

You need an impactful story to get your supporters excited about helping you raise funds, and also for them to share with friends and family. Take a look at your story and communications for your campaign or event, and make sure they answer these questions:

  • What makes our organization unique?
  • What impact are we having on our mission?
  • What problem does this particular peer-to-peer fundraising campaign solve?
  • How do we want people to feel about our campaign (emotionally touched, inspired, outraged)?

3. Get the word out more clearly.

Many of your supporters will be happy to participate and help you raise funds — you just need to ask! Make sure that in every form of communication, your call-to-action is clear. And remember, asking someone to register and asking someone to fundraise are two DIFFERENT asks. If someone hasn’t registered yet, your messaging should be about asking them to register (not “register and then fundraise”). Once someone is a registered participant, then you can target them with fundraising communications.

4. Leverage your participants.

The supporters who register to fundraise for your organization can be your biggest cheerleaders. Ask your top performers how else they may want to help, and see if they can use their story to recruit other participants. You’ll likely get more fundraisers onboard and deepen your relationship with your participants.

5. Tie money to something real.

Associate the donation levels for your campaign or event with what the funds will provide for your organization. Letting supporters know that their donation will help feed a family of four or send a child to school for a year is more impactful than simply asking for a specified amount of money.

6. Reach out directly.

Pick up the phone and call your fundraisers. Ask them how things are going, and thank them for their work. Or, write a personalized note/email to thank fundraisers for their support. Also consider adding texts to the mix — they’re a great way to send a virtual high-five to fundraisers as they reach milestones.

7. Get creative.

There’s almost no limit to the number of ways you can use the peer-to-peer fundraising model to raise funds and engage with supporters. Check out what other nonprofits are doing to get ideas and inspiration on creative approaches to peer-to-peer fundraising.

When your peer-to-peer fundraising needs a boost, you don’t necessarily need to overhaul it. A few quick and simple changes today can go a long way to taking your program to new heights!

Author bio

Daniella Dowiak is the Account Manager at Cathexis Partners. Daniella has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than ten years. With a deep understanding of nonprofits’ limited resources, she is passionate about helping organizations get the most out of their technology.

Increase Conversions with Creative Email Marketing Campaigns: A Short Guide

With more brands seeing the importance of email marketing in their overall business strategy, it’s no wonder that your target market’s inbox is already brimming with emails that are left unread, with links that are left unclicked.

How do you stand out from the noise? Aside from boosting your efficiency with email marketing software, you need to make your emails visually compelling and entertaining. Vision aces all the other senses when it comes to memory retention.

A picture will boost the recall ability of information by 65%. That means content with images gets 650% more engagement than just plain text. This stat must not be surprising because humans are naturally visual beings. Just think about it — we learned to identify pictures before we could even read or speak.

Here are tips for visually creative email marketing campaigns that will help you increase conversion:

1. Create your own infographics

Original visuals, like infographics, outperform other forms of visuals like videos, charts, and stock photography. Infographics are also the most shareable form of content.  It’s better to create your own than grabbing images from photo sharing websites.

With that, try to use more people in your imagery, rather than backgrounds or technology, since the eye is immediately drawn to faces rather than objects. And also, don’t be afraid to use your own images instead of using cliché and overused stock photos.

2. Limit the number of visual elements

The images should not distract the readers from your intended message. To do this, you need to limit the number of images and use visuals that match the content of the email. There is no hard rule on how many images to place but there should be a practical ratio between text and pictures.

The number and resolution of photos should not drag down the loading time. Email load time is crucial, and thus should not be sacrificed because users can choose to exit (or worse, delete) your email in just a few seconds because of slow loading time.

3. Use videos for product reviews

Four times more users prefer to watch a product review than to read it. If you want to include product reviews on your emails, it’s best to turn it into a video. The video will make the review more trustworthy and reliable because it has the human element.

Extra tip! Use a short but useful video that you can link to a longer one on your YouTube channel or website.

4. Add humor

Using cute and witty visuals is a great way to incorporate a bit of fun in your email. Just remember that it must still be aligned with the content and of course, with your brand. Its main goal should still be to amplify your message.

Extra tip! try to avoid subjects like religion, race, and politics, especially if they are not related to your brand.

5. Build your own visual library

Most marketers struggle with consistently producing visuals. As a solution to this, you need to include the images, infographics, and videos on your content calendar. It would be great if you could plan ahead for a year’s use so that you can produce high-quality visuals regularly.

6. Automate visual content

Save time by using different online platforms to make templates for your infographics and automate them so you don’t need to start from scratch every time. There are also ready-made templates for you which you can tweak a bit to suit your message and style.

7. Use Clear and Large CTA’s

If the client has clicked on your CTA without reading your message, you probably chose the right visual. The CTA has to be highly noticeable and obviously clickable. You don’t need to think of creative designs when it comes to your buttons because users might not think that it’s a CTA.

Extra tip! Make the CTA’s mobile responsive

8. Don’t use an image background

As much as visuals are appealing, they will lose the appeal if you use them as the background for your email text. Not only does this practice reduce the clarity of your text, but it will also slow down your loading time. Only use block colors that are in contrast to the text.

9. Use animations

Embed GIF’s to your email to make your message more vibrant. These moving elements are entertaining, but make sure, again, that they’re still aligned with your message. Do not add anything just for the sake of having a visual element. Every part of your email should lead to a higher click-through rate.


Visuals add life to your emails and can increase conversions if used properly. Remember the tips above when you create your next newsletter. Using visuals is also easier with an email marketing software that allows you to create your own campaigns, or tweak existing templates.

Author Bio

Kimberly Maceda is a Content Writer for ActiveTrail. ActiveTrail is a leading provider of professional-grade email marketing and automation software for growing businesses. She writes for some top online marketing sites and blogging advice on email marketing and marketing automation.