We analyzed 50 Hopin events that generated over $100k in ticket sales to uncover the strategies and tactics that led to their success.
From choosing the right industry vertical to pricing your tickets appropriately, you’ll find the key takeaways distilled into 11 actionable insights that you can apply to your own virtual events.
Whether you're new to virtual events or seeking to enhance your existing strategy, read on to learn from some of the best in the business.
PRIVACY DISCLAIMER: No screenshots, links or any organizer or event information will be shared to protect the privacy of our customers.
1. To kick things off, one event made $652,570.
But like all the events in this analysis, they probably made a lot more. The revenue reported in this analysis is only coming from ticket sales so it does not include additional revenues generated through sponsorships, which almost all of these events had.
Takeaway: Ticket sales is only one way. In fact, there are at least 14 ways to generate revenue from a virtual event.
2. Data shows it's not a pandemic thing.
In 2023, there have been 14 high-revenue online events so far, surpassing the numbers for 2020 and 2021 and quickly catching up to 2022. Here’s the breakdown.
- 2023: 14 events
- 2022: 21 events
- 2021: 8 events
- 2020: 7 events
Takeaway: You can still make 6-figure revenue in 2023. For example, three events in 2023 have made $318,085, $272,050, and $241,857. The event that made $241,857 so far in 2023 uses Hopin’s Starter plan ($99/month).
3. Choose a "Rich Niche" vertical.
The industry verticals of the 6-figure events were broad and diverse, but some showed up more than others. The most common (over 90%) verticals were:
- Climate action (by far the most popular)
- Faith and spirituality
- Technical trades (e.g., accounting, legal, development)
- Higher education
- Health and wellness
- Causes (e.g., culture, charity)
Takeaway: The startup mantra "Riches in the niches" applies to events, too. Some verticals are just built for paid virtual events.
Interesting fact: The 10 largest Hopin events by registrant count are in the technology and media industries, which were noticeably absent from this list. This is likely because larger virtual events tend to make more money from selling sponsorships and offer the virtual ticket option for free to build a bigger audience.
4. Charge 7x more than you think.
The average ticket price for 50 6-figure events in this analysis was $543.56. For comparison, the average ticket price of all Hopin events ever is $77.20.
- Takeaway: Experiment with adding another zero to the end of one of your ticket prices and see how that feels for your event.
Interesting fact: 6 people paid $15k for tickets to one of the events. This was their way of selling sponsorship packages.
5. Offer many ticket types.
98% of the 6-figure events offered more than 1 type of ticket, while the average number of ticket types offered by a paid Hopin event is 4.16.
- Takeaway: Create event ticket “packages” at different price points.
Tip: Many of the 6-figure events used 24/7 access to the recordings after the event as a lever to increase pricing on tickets.
6. Size is a non-factor.
Only one of the 6-figure events was on the top 10 list of events with the highest registrants (it was 10th). In other words, these 6-figure events weren’t massive in size, but rather focused on the quality of the content and depth of the experience.
- Takeaway: You can host a relatively small event and still generate significant revenue.
7. Go hybrid.
While 40% of the 6-figure events were hybrid — they offered both in-person and virtual options — the in-person tickets cost roughly 10x the virtual option for the same event. Not surprisingly, the in-person experiences offered more programming, such as fitness, dining, and entertainment add-ons, and sometimes accommodations.
- Takeaway: You don’t need to offer a hybrid option to generate 6-figure revenue, but keep in mind most of the 6-figure events happening in 2023 were/are hybrid.
8. Invest in your registration page.
All of the 6-figure events in this analysis featured registration pages with quality copywriting, videography or photography, and branding. 46% of the events used Hopin Canvas, the custom event registration landing page builder versus Hopin’s standard event registration landing page.
- Takeaway: Think of your event registration page as a sales pitch and invest in optimizing it for conversion.
9. Pick a unique name.
A dozen (25%) of the 6-figure events had interesting names like “Boot Camp” and “Symposium” that came up in event titles. “Conference” was found 3x more often than “Summit.”
- Takeaway: Naming your event is a strategic opportunity to create a powerful brand statement.
10. Plan 1+ day of content.
86% of the 6-figure events were multi-day. Only a few were a single day, but they were all day. None of these 6-figure events were one or two hours long. Most events featured multiple dozens of speakers, sponsors, and exhibitor booths. Only one event featured one speaker.
- Takeaway: People don’t pay big money for a small amount of time.
Interesting fact: The average number of exhibitor booths at a Hopin event is 13.
11. Find your formula.
Almost half of the 6-figure events were produced by the same organizations. For example, one organization produced 5 of the top 50 events. Another organization produced 4.
- Takeaway: If you make over $100k from an online event, you can probably do it again using the same formula.
- 6-figure events happen all the time in 2023. They take work, but can be lucrative brand plays.
- Charge more than you think for tickets and sponsorships.
- Hybrid events can charge more, especially multi-day events.
- If you find a formula that works: rinse, repeat, and scale.
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