Ideas for Making Money With Events

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While we typically look at event planning from a task standpoint, there is also a revenue angle to events that, when leveraged properly, can create a significant revenue stream for both businesses and planners. In fact, there are entire corporations built around the concept of producing and selling space at events.

The most attractive aspect of making money on events (besides the profit potential) is that really anyone can do it. The cost of hosting small and medium-sized functions is minor compared to opening a retail business, and there is a wide range of concepts to experiment with. To get your creative juices flowing, I’ve put together a handful of proven event business models below.

Speaking Engagements

The best authors and celebrities can fill a room with ticket buyers just on name recognition alone. This creates a revenue opportunity for event promoters who can match the right speaker with a hungry audience. The math behind profiting is pretty simple: Take the celebrity’s speaking fee and book a venue with enough seat inventory to exceed the cost of hosting the event. For example, if your total costs are $10,000 and you sold 750 tickets at $25 each ($18,750), then you would earn a profit of $8,750.

Training Seminars

People will gladly pay to learn skills that lead to more money, more free time, or the elimination of a persistent problem. It, in one way or another, is what all successful training seminars offer. If you look online, you will find dozens of companies who design and promote training seminars for business certification, study programs, and personal development. But you don’t actually need to be a trainer to make money off the events. All you have to do is identify a need, hire a good trainer, and plan the event.

Gaming Tournaments

What happens when you offer a prize along with the opportunity for hobbyists to compete against each other? Assuming you choose the right platform and region, you should have no problem attracting hundreds of candidates willing to pay a fee to participate. From poker tournaments to corn hole competitions, every city has a market of gamers looking for an outlet to play outside of their home. Managing costs for these events can get complicated because you will need a support staff, but if you already have ties with fans then the profit potential is likely there on some scale.

Craft Shows

Events like craft shows and bake sales are perfect for new promoters because the costs are very low. High school gymnasiums can be rented for well under a thousand dollars, and exhibitors at these functions are generally easy to work with. The first step in planning a profitable craft show is to determine how many vendor tables you can reasonably fit inside the venue. It will determine the amount you need to charge to clear a profit. From there it is all about marketing, both to vendors and attendees.

If you do a good job drawing a crowd at your first show, then future shows will grow on reputation.

Pet Shows

The pet industry is huge everywhere, and yet there are very few opportunities for pet owners to get together as a group. It is where an entrepreneurial event planner could make a tidy profit by simply creating the opportunity. A “pet show” can include anything from a vendor expo to a full-fledged contest where pets can show off their talents and abilities. Obviously, there are a lot of things to manage with a show like this, so it makes sense to start small and grow with each experience.

These are 5 ideas to making money with events that event planners and promoters can consider. The profit concept for all of them is the same, and that is to bring in more money than it costs to produce the event. That means ​the best place to begin planning is with a financial spreadsheet.​