Live Events For Podcasts
In 2018 there were 550,000 podcasts on iTunes. By April 2020, this number passed 1,000,000. This growth seems to correlate with the figures of various platforms and industry analysts.
As a result, the market is becoming increasingly competitive, and to get a step above the rest, many podcasters have taken to hosting live events. And it’s clearly working for them, some of the most successful podcasters are going on world tours to host live events. The beauty of doing this is that anyone can! Let’s Dive in, and find out what Live podcasting can do for you.
Why Podcasters Should Host Live Events
Live events are great generators for leads, revenue, and listeners. The events tend to make a much bigger impact leaving your listeners more invested in your content. That way you will strengthen their engagement, and loyalty to your podcast.
Engage and Expand Your Audience
When you perform live, you will monopolize on one of the most influential forms of advertising there is: Word of mouth. The only thing that still beats word of mouth are mentions from other podcasters.
You can see it in the statistics taken from a survey done in 2019:
Live events encourage word of mouth, and, if you play your cards right, you can partner with other podcasters, capitalizing on both. This will ensure that your event will be a space where people will be introduced to your content, expanding and engaging your audience.
Generate Additional Revenue
The first revenue source to think of is ticket sales. Ticket sales alone should cover all of the expenses you will have for the event. And, if things go well and you sell out using our recommended ticket price (more on that later), you can potentially generate an ROI of 150% purely on the base ticket sales.
But after that there are many other ways to generate even more revenue. During your live event, you can sell services, content, merchandise, and gain and use sponsors for even further earning.
Live events are also a brilliant vehicle for personal development. Not only does hosting a live event increase your drive to grow your business, but it will also potentially boost the quality and efficiency of your standard podcast.
Doing your podcast live takes your content to a whole different level. Think of it this way: Live Podcasting and pre-recorded Podcasts are like hockey and ice-hockey. You are still playing the same game, but ice hockey is much more action-packed and spontaneous. This level of action also makes it much more entertaining to your spectators.
With Live Podcasting, your inability to edit and retake will push you to learn to perfect your recording in your first, and only, take. That is something you probably didn’t have to worry about before causing a bit of a paradigm shift in your style of engagement. If you prepare well enough, you will begin to internalize your script, shorten its length, and spend less time making it.
A live event will also provide you with an opportunity to be surrounded by your ideal customers, this is the perfect opportunity to get first-hand feedback on your product on service and potentially get leads. This provides an opportunity to get to the bottom of your market’s likes and dislikes and improve your way of doing business.
To recap, the benefits of Live Podcasting in a nutshell:
Planning a Live Event
First, before we go into planning a Live Event, it’s important to draw a distinction between a live podcast event and a live podcast.
CRUCIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LIVE PODCAST EVENT AND A LIVE PODCAST?
It is one word, that word makes all the difference. An event can be anything, usually there is one main activity and sometimes there are more activities to support it. Most podcast events end up having a podcast or interview as their main activity here are some excellent alternatives:
Have fun brainstorming some ideas of what you can do with them and add some of your own. Don’t forget to make notes of how long each might take, and what equipment you might need.
Choosing a Venue
While you might have many options in terms of venues for your event, it can be challenging to find the right one. Some venues have different functionalities available, price ranges, and purposes altogether. Here are some examples of a wide variety of possible venues you could consider:
And the list goes on. The venue can be situational to your topic, and in some cases, specific venues would be better than others. For example, hosting a workshop in a school hall would be much more affordable and practical than in theater.
While there is a vast price range for venues, the rule of thumb comes down to the more you pay, the more likely it is that it will specialize in hosting events. This obviously makes making planning the event less stressful. On the other end of the spectrum, low-cost venues tend to require more time, effort, and money to plan and prepare a quality event. There is a whole list of things to consider when comparing venues. To save time (and space) we have made a compact list that you can download:
[Download Box like in the other playbooks: Download the List of Factors to Consider when Choosing a Venue here]
Keeping tabs on timing and sticking to it is crucial to hosting an effective and memorable event. Plan how long your event will be overall and how long each activity will take. These times are crucial as many venues charge per hour. We recommend having an event last for about two to three hours, giving you enough time to set up, run, and close your event.
Having your overall time in view, you can set specific times for setting up, the activities, breaks between, and packing away. Something to keep in mind when making the schedule is that you don’t need to have all your activities set up to start your event.
A good example of a schedule might include:
Planning Ticket Sales
You want to make the event worthwhile for you and your listeners. But allocating a single price can be challenging, not all your listeners will be equally invested in the event. In our view, this creates an opportunity to plan a base ticket price and then have higher tiers, which have bonuses over the basic tier.
As a rule of thumb, once you have sold 40% of the base tickets, the expenses should be covered. Which brings us to the question of how many tickets we should sell? There are three variables to consider:
Use these three to estimate the number of tickets you will have, don’t worry in too much detail about the 3rd point we will cover for that later in more detail when setting the price.
SETTING TICKET PRICING
We have set up a simple calculation to estimate the total number of tickets you should have available. In order to do this calculation, you will need the following numbers:
From all of your planning so far, you should easily have an estimate of the total expenses your event will have, as well as your rough idea of the number of tickets you will sell.
To start, look at your online audience and their engagement. You set the confidence level for how many you think will attend from them. We personally never set our confidence level higher than 70%, even if we know that everyone who can, will come.
We set up a few statements to help you do this:
If you picked the first one, it is a sure sign that you should not be hosting an event, yet.
You then multiply your confidence levels with the number of people in the area that can attend which gives, for calculation purposes, your total number of tickets.
And to wrap it all up, you take the total expense and divide it by 40% of the total number of tickets. And voila! You have your recommended base ticket cost!
In summary this is how we type it out mathematically:
Total Expenses/(Estimated Audience Size x Confidence x 40% )= Price Per Ticket
You may also want to compare the price to similar events that happened in the area to see if you have over budgeted or not.
WHAT IF YOU DECIDE TO SET YOUR TICKET PRICE BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE?
If you’d like to follow this route, you will need to start by determining the value of your customers.
You might have already done this earlier, but if not, one of the best formulas to calculate the value of your customers is available in our Podcast Monetization Playbook, where we cover the value of customers in detail. This resource even has a calculator which, after asking a few questions, will calculate the value of your audience.
Now you can set a budget using your ticket price just like before:
Price Per Ticket x Estimated Audience x Confidence x 40% = Budget
SOME MORE WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR PROFIT
With your base ticket cost set, you can increase your profit (and interest) further.
An excellent way to increase profits is to introduce tiers to your tickets. The tiers can give bonus merchandise, access to exclusive activities, or better seating positions to those who purchase them over the basic tickets. One example of a higher tier offering would be a private contact session with the podcaster only available to a lucky few.
Another way to bring in more profit would be to incorporate a meal and beverage into the base ticket price. This “free” meal will ensure that every guest buys at least one drink and one meal from the event before it even started. Bare in mind that some of these will not even be collected, however, still paid for.
The access to your “free” meals is an easy thing to monitor as well – you can use stamps or punch holes on your guests’ tickets. This will even speed up the process time as the food will be paid for beforehand not needing to exchange money, simply stamp and give the meal.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t sell during the event. A meal and drink coupon will cover the majority of the customers, and entice them to have some more. They will then come to buy extra refreshments at Download our Planning guide the standard price!
This leaves us done with the planning in general for the event itself. Admittedly there are a lot of things. For your ease, we have condensed the steps into their core components in a workbook available for you to download.
<Download Box like in the other playbooks: Download Our Planning guide now>
Promoting Your Live Podcast Event
There are a lot of ways to advertise your event. One of the ways is to prepare a page on your website to cover the event in detail. To handle your ticket sales you might want to have another website or micro-site to market the event as a separate or unique entity.
If you do set up a landing page, make sure it has strong calls to action. Entice the viewer to get their booking while they still have the chance.
Some good calls to action to consider are live countdowns, warnings of a limited stock, early-bird specials, and more. As a final motive, once they purchase a ticket, offer a follow-up reward for them, such as a discount coupon.
If you are looking for an excellent site to handle your ticket sales, Eventbrite is well-known for selling tickets.
Rehearsing and Preparing Your Performance
If you don’t already write scripts for your podcasts, there is a big chance you will need to start working on one now. Considering this script will be for a Live Event, you may want to try to have fewer sentences, or following a bullet point script.
By using bullet points, it will be easier to internalize your content and have a stronger grasp on the concept, rather than sentences explaining it. Speaking from an internalized concept will come across as genuine and help your talk flow more smoothly.
Rehearsing your content will form a part of internalising the concept. It can be done in four stages:
You can see from all this that you should prepare your script far in advance. So make sure that you prepare well before the time!
Hosting a live event takes a lot of planning and changes the game of your average podcast, but it is well worth the effort!
You will be ahead of your competition, taking advantage of the most potent forms of advertising there is. To help you host a fantastic live event, we have compiled a step by step guide to making sure you have an easy time planning and hosting your perfect show.
Along with a concise set of steps, you will find an added bit of bonus content with some informal ways you can reduce costs of the event even to the point where your entire event will be completely free of charge!