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5 Conference Pricing Strategies

Setting conference fees is tricky. Now that your event is virtual, the puzzle is more complex.

Event organizers everywhere are trying to figure out how to price virtual meetings that are converting from a face-to-face format, often with little or no online meeting history to go by and working in a compressed timeframe .

The price of an online event needs to be low enough to attract attendees, but high enough that it reflects the value of the content and doesn’t compromise what you plan to charge when you get back to live meetings; and for many, it also needs to drive a profit. Planners are faced with a number of variables to consider:
• The expected number of attendees and their willingness to pay. Don’t be surprised if your online attendee numbers are up, but the registration fee needs to come down.
• How revenues raised from sponsors and exhibitors will transition to a virtual environment
• The event’s perceived value to attendees: A purely educational event could have a similar value to attendees whether it’s online or live, but a networking event might not.
• The costs for the virtual meeting platform and associated consultants
• The cost of event marketing, speakers, and staff
• Expenses incurred for the canceled face-to-face meeting that need to be offset

This article on conference pricing from The Balance Small Business blog was written pre-pandemic and is focused on live events, but its take on five basic strategies are evergreen. Read it for a quick comparison of retail pricing versus market pricing as well as options around limited-access pricing, incentives and penalties, and post-event access.


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