When we discuss the direction of the news media industry revenue streams on either a macro or micro level, two predominant revenue streams head to the top of the charts. Traditional print still is king at most news media companies, with online/mobile building momentum in most corners of the globe.
While both of those are and will remain critical to our long-term survival, let me offer a potential third leg of that three-legged revenue stool we all seek: events.
News media companies have dabbled in the events arena for quite some time, but with limited success because they often focus on events not destined to create any significant financial windfall. Cooking shows, for example. Or community events such as runs, concerts, and so forth, which are great for local support and exposure, but offer little in the way of significant financial return.
The return on investment falls far short of what the industry has grown to expect from print and even online ventures. And so the full value and revenue potential of event sponsorship for media companies has become clouded and jaded.
But there is money to be made from events, when handled the right way.
Most event experts say two of the largest expenses are the cost of a venue, and event marketing — two areas media companies excel in. They are well-positioned to pull off their own events and eliminate much of the traditional cost associated with these events, due to their expertise in the above key areas.
Marathons and half-marathons as well as triathlons have been known to make tens of thousands of dollars in profits. Concerts and motivational speakers can do the same. Home shows, garden shows, outdoor shows, fishing or golf tournaments — all still can rake in dollars in a big way.
Bear in mind, every one of these events that enters your market without your involvement does, in fact, impact your bottom line. They can extract valuable dollars from potential advertisers, customers, etc. All of those dollars will no longer be circulating throughout your community.
Factor in the compounding value of a dollar either entering or leaving your community and the impact is significant. For every dollar that leaves your community, you can compound that into five or six dollars subtracted from the community.
You can bet some of those are out of your revenue streams.
Much like a stool that needs three or four legs upon which to stand in a balanced fashion, media companies need more than two revenue legs on which to balance their long-term survival.
Embracing events can add a third leg to the revenue mix (or stool) with little risk and a great upside. You don’t need to hire all new staff; you can dabble in the event arena with the employees you currently have and see how the operation goes.
The key with events, just as with print and/or online and mobile, is to have someone passionate about growing that segment of the balance sheet. It won’t happen by itself. It doesn’t take a whole team of passionate employees. All you need is one employee who is motivated financially and the magic begins.
You won’t be alone. Other media companies are starting to find the magic of events — and turning it into significant revenues in short order.