How to recession-proof your event strategy

With economists not sure if we will enter a recession or period of high inflation, companies must look at how to operate during an economic downturn. Events are critical to most organizations’ strategies and can help with marketing, product rollouts, internal events, and more.

During the 2008 recession, exhibition revenues dropped by 15% in an industry largely dependent on in-person events. However, things are different if a recession hits soon. The CoVid pandemic has increased the availability and acceptance of virtual events, allowing you more options for your business. Below are four things to consider on how to recession-proof your event strategy. 


Mindset is the most critical factor in recession-proofing your events and your event strategy. 

You cannot let fear and uncertainty take hold of you or your organization. Opportunities abound during recessions, and more people became millionaires during the Great Depression than at any other time in American History. If you can anticipate and prepare for any economic downturns, you will be miles ahead of your competitors. Microsoft, Apple, Netflix, and Lego made giant steps forward in market share during recessions, so you can too! 

Specific attendees will also be looking to create new opportunities for themselves, which will create even more options for you! Stephen Wynkoop, Founder of Bits On The Wire, said, “During the 2008 recession, we saw a massive increase in people looking to gain a leg up. Certification courses, new information, and online education really took off after that point.” Take advantage of this and expand your audience to people looking to further their careers or change industries. 

Track KPIs and stay on budget

During an economic downturn, every dollar matters. Your organization will be looking to optimize cash flow and profitability, so you need to maximize the revenue from your virtual conferences. Use the tracking and reporting tools inside your virtual event platform to keep in touch on registrations, event usage, minute-by-minute reports, and more to keep track of your organization’s KPIs. 

Here are three ways to increase your revenue to help you stay on budget. 

  • Keep the momentum going after your event! Most event organizers host virtual conferences for lead gen and to establish thought leadership. While virtual events can sometimes be a lot of work, you want to ensure that you don’t miss out on the chance to maximize the power of the post-event timeframe. 
  • Speaking of post-event strategies, ensure that you fully take advantage of your event’s On Demand time frame. Keep in contact with your attendees, review your reporting often, and don’t leave your content hanging! 
  • Use your event for marketing to gain market share. Hosting a series of virtual conferences will help any organization gain visibility quickly, even if you struggle to get noticed in your industry. If you aren’t struggling to get noticed, use them to continue obtaining market share and increasing your organization’s presence! 

Meet your attendees where they are at

While your organization may begin to feel the pinch, your attendees and their businesses likely are also feeling any effects of a potential recession. You’ll need to solidify your offer with your event. 

Here are 3 tips on how to provide great content while keeping in mind where your attendees are coming from: 

  • Provide freemium content! Stephen Wynkoop of Bits On The Wire said, “Events that shared free and paid content were super helpful for everyone as long as they had meaningful content for both free and paid attendees.” Use different ticket types to provide access to different tracks, which can offer either free or paid content. 
  • Provide free content to help attendees with certifications for their new endeavors. This will be an excellent opportunity for you to generate leads while providing attendees with information for their budding careers. 
  • Create lower-priced CE options. This will dramatically increase your registration numbers, bring you top of mind for your attendees (or potential attendees), and help everyone from your organization and other organizations continue through any economic downturns. 

Get Help

Your event platform should be able to help you. Experienced platforms have various support options, ranging from a Self-Service option to a Fully Managed experience. While companies have made top-line revenue the #1 goal in an attempt to reap the benefits in the marketplace, they have been ignoring their bottom-line expenses. This puts jobs at risk, and many major corporations are currently looking at layoffs in an attempt to trim the fat and make profitability the #1 goal once again. 

To avoid being looked at for layoffs, you should look to make yourself as irreplaceable as possible. To do this, find a platform that will help drive massive revenue through your events while allowing you the time and resources to hold as many events as you need. Here are some things to be looking for in a platform to ensure that you have the help you need to be irreplaceable as an event organizer: 

  • Look for a platform that is experienced and has stability within the staff. High turnover is never a good thing, and inexperienced virtual platforms often have bugs and support operations that will not provide the help you need. Ideally, you’ll want a platform that has been through a recession before and has successfully come out the other side. They’ll be the best ones to help provide you with the forward-thinking support you are looking for! 
  • Look for a platform that works to lower their prices by constantly evaluating how event organizers are using their platform. vConferenceOnline has just announced a dramatic decrease in pricing to help companies struggling with inflation, uncertainty, and rising interest rates. 
  • Look for a platform with a Done For You offering. The ability to offload the entire build of the virtual event is priceless, especially regarding the platform’s ability to provide support and training for your speakers and sponsors. vConferenceOnline is offering a free Fully Managed event with specific contracts. Keep reading for how you can take advantage of this limited-time offer. 

So, how can you recession-proof your event strategy? First, adjust your mindset – think about ways to get more out of what you have. Second, track your key performance indicators, so you know exactly where your money is going and what’s working (and what’s not). Third, meet your attendees where they are by offering various affordable options. And fourth, get help from the experts – like vConferenceOnline. Click below to schedule some time to see how we can work with you to create a virtual event that is both successful and budget-friendly

For a limited time, we are offering a free Fully Managed event with any annual agreement. Click below to schedule a demo to see vConferenceOnline in action, and put “Wifflesnargits” in your note section to get your free Fully Managed event. We’ll be your support for your event and allow you to focus on other ways that you can be irreplaceable for your organization.