Most of our clients have one big conference a year and one or two smaller meetings / events. These conferences are generally bring in much of the revenue to fund the associations annual operating budget. Our conference management software helps by automating many of the tedious tasks of running a conference (getting abstracts, management speakers, taking attendance, dealing with sponsors, etc….). That is all great, and our company mantra has always been to help associations make the most of technology.
As we work with more senior level staff at associations, our thinking has started to shift as well. Operations and technology efficiency are very important, but they are almost a baseline for how an association should run. Once this baseline is reached we need to start thinking about ways we can find new revenue to fund new ideas and further the overall organization.
Last month we talked a bit about selling practice questions and exams as a way of generating $30-150k in new money. Using the same tools, I want to take the idea of selling content already generated and morph it a bit. The first question is how much will it cost to professionally video tape a session; if that is too expensive how much to record audio and provide slides? Now that this material is recorded and packaged, what can you sell it for? Perhaps by itself it may be of great intellectual value, but not many people will pay for it — if however you can manage to get your content approved for some continuing education credits, then you have a rich source of materials that can generate new money. One way our clients do this is by adding a few questions to the end of the session, doing this allows them to package the video + questions into a quick module. When the person is done watching and answering questions they can print out a certificate.
What’s nice too is that these are all one-time costs. Once the materials are produced they can be sold until the information is stale, for most industries we work in that generally means 3-5 years. If your content is good and there is a market to buy it, we highly recommend taking the step of recording content.