Why do technical conferences seem so expensive?

    The average ticket price for a TechCrunch Disrupt is $ 2,000-3,000, and Ad Tech costs $ 1,500 to visit. A huge amount, especially in our difficult time. Of course, not all technical conferences cost so much. For many of them, the price is very affordable, and most often starts at $ 200. But even with such a price, it may seem to many that the organizers are earning extra profits. Let's try to figure it out together, is that so?

    Let's look at the admission ticket as an investment. Conferences are a way to competently build the reputation and image of the company. Conferences are especially productive in the presence of complex types of services and products, when all the necessary information cannot be reflected in advertising.

    At the conference, participants can communicate and exchange views, and its main task is to get a positive result from business communication. Therefore, it is very important for the organizing company that the conferences are successful.
    Organization of a conference is the organization of an event of a certain subject, which follows clear goals and objectives. Depending on the public, professional significance and duration, they have their own characteristics that must be considered.

    It is quite simple to arrange an inexpensive and not expensive meeting for 10 people. Occupy a conference room or office in your office, and you can bring food and drinks from a nearby supermarket and everything will go smoothly. Usually this is how mitaps are organized.

    It is more difficult to organize a meeting for one hundred people. You need to find a place with a banquet hall. University? Hotel conference room? Lucky if you rent is not expensive. They should already have chairs, so there is no need to spend money on them. Food is still easier, but harder to transport and serve. Here you will need volunteers, and maybe visiting staff.

    With a thousand visitors, everything will be much more serious. It is unlikely that it will be possible to fit them into the average conference room of the hotel, so you will have to rent event spaces, or the Electrification pavilion at VDNH. Additional signs, advertising, marketing, staff - all this is a waste of money, which is also included in the ticket price.
    Organize an event for 10 thousand people and more? Then look for something similar to the Los Angeles Convention Center. Just think about it in advance, because in such places, most dates are booked a year in advance. Organization prices fly into the stratosphere, like Elon Mask rockets. Just think a bottle of water for five dollars!
    It is scary to imagine what prices would be if it were organized by one company. It is good that such events attract partners from the same sphere. After all, than doing everything yourself, it is easier to get together and organize everything together. Large technology conferences are a place for business communication and attracting new customers and establishing connections / relationships, and the more they are, the more opportunities / the greater potential they will have.
    What does the ticket cost come from?

    Each conference has a balance point when the conference as a whole goes from net loss to net profit. The higher your prices, the earlier the equilibrium point will come.
    Frankly speaking, the conference, which sold only 60% of the tickets, is a disaster for the organizers, because the equilibrium point has not yet been reached. Most often, all profits consist of the last 20-35% of tickets sold. The rest simply serve as payment for such fixed items as premises, staff, food, speakers, etc.

    Organizing a new conference is a risky venture. You never know how well tickets will sell. Thus, when you organize a new conference, you assume that you will sell 60-75% of all tickets, and at the same time want to get at least a modest income. This makes ticket prices much higher than they could be; not out of greed, but simply out of a desire to protect yourself from a possible drop in sales. If the conference was successful even with this slightly overpriced ticket price, then next year you can ask for the same price, as it is obvious that there are people willing to pay.

    “I rented a room, called for speakers, spread Wi-Fi and that's it,” an inexperienced visitor will think. However, not everything is as simple as it might seem at first glance. Let's look at how the preparations for the conference go.

    How do people find out about your conference? If you don’t talk about her, you won’t know. Need advertising, for example, on thematic and information portals. Tickets for such technological events are rarely sold at the box office of the State Concert, so you need to organize the sale of tickets online. Where will we organize it? That's right, on your website, where all the information about the conference will be detailed. Or through special services, which also will not forget to charge you a commission for their services.

    Usually conferences involve presentations with thematic reports. It’s great if you know a dozen good speakers who are ready to make interesting presentations and speak. But people need to be lured by something non-standard, for example, a famous speaker, or a professional in the topic of the conference. And it needs to be placed, fed, and in the end paid.

    Next on the list is the rental of a room and its preparation for the event. Not everyone was able to come, so it would be nice to organize an online broadcast of the conference. This is also an opportunity to make a record, which can then be sold to those who did not have time to attend the event. Make a map and set up stands of partners, so that no one is offended. Plan a schedule of speeches, taking into account the wishes of users, because some people want to get to some reports than others, and you can’t go at the same time. And do not forget to set aside time for coaching and master classes!
    People want to eat - we need dinners. People are thirsty - water and coffee breaks. In the end, people need free wifi! By the way, why is it so slow? Probably saved again ...

    Setting up and protecting an Internet connection, coupled with general information security. This includes protecting the site and the visitors database, because no one would like to receive dubious spam after visiting a conference.

    In the dashes from report to report, you rarely manage to establish business relations. After party will increase the image of the conference as a whole, and help participants make new friends. The organization of this event is generally going on a separate plan and takes away strength no less than the conference itself.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Do you think attending a well-organized event is too expensive? ..
    Summarize. The organization of a technical conference is somewhat reminiscent of a game of chance, where there is every chance of failure. As in any business, previous experience and dexterity are important here in order to maximize your profit, which, most likely, is unlikely to exceed even half.

    Think about it the next time you complain about the price of tickets.

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