Maybe you’ve heard the story about the event Money20/20. A couple of smart guys started an event from scratch to attract an audience in the financial services space. They saw an opening to disrupt and compete with the many association and commercial events targeted at bankers, the payments space, FinTech and mobile players, and really the entire “money ecosystem.” With reportedly just a few million dollars to get started, and in just four short years, they have grown to having more than 10,000 attendees and…drum roll…they sold the event for $100,000,000. That’s right, one hundred million dollars.
It got me thinking: how much is your association event worth? Who would buy it? Why? How much latent potential does it have over the next five years?
The $100MM for Money20/20 wasn’t paid for just the past four years of results—the buyers must have felt pretty good about the future revenue and value of the event. That’s what they invested in.
Have you considered hiring a valuation company to tell you what your event is worth? What’s the multiple of your net profit? What have the past five year-over-year growth rates been? Have you ever been approached by a buyer?
Why does this matter? Three reasons:
1. An event that is growing is an asset that is valuable to your audience, your exhibitors, your sponsors and your organization. A valuable event is a sign of a viable event.
2. An event that is increasing in value is an asset you can borrow against, and use to invest in your organization and improve your “financial rating” with your investors—otherwise known as your board and your members.
3. An event that is financially valuable is a leading indicator of your association’s overall economic viability and future. Nonprofits with deep reserves, a strong balance sheet and top-line revenue growth are more attractive—attractive enough to draw and retain the top talent needed for a strong team; attractive to a leadership team compensated with bonuses based on financial metrics; and attractive to CEOs interested in renewing their contracts.
Your annual event and trade show is worth something. How much it’s worth, and whether it’s increasing or declining, is something you should know.
It’s worth it!