Fit Tech People
Devi Mahadevia

With Facebook paid online events, publishers can charge viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service


How can fitness providers use paid online events to their best advantage?
We’re excited to provide a menu of products that can help fitness organisations make money, no matter what type of business or business model they have. Many of these products mirror traditional fitness revenue generators, which makes them a natural fit for our partners.

With paid online events, publishers can charge a fee for viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service (eg. Zoom). Publishers can create the event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment and host the event, all on Facebook. This is just like charging someone to attend your fitness class on a one-time basis. For example, UK-based fitness instructor Rachel Holmes has used paid online events to earn revenue while broadcasting educational webinars, exercise classes, and other content that would normally have a cost to attend in-person.

Why is Facebook an effective platform for fitness events?
Facebook is a place to build an audience, a community and a business, making it an incredibly important tool for fitness organisations right now. We’re in a new era of fitness, which is in part brought on by COVID-19, but which is also the result of the continued evolution of digital, social and mobile experiences. These experiences are creating deeper online connections and relationships between fitness consumers and businesses.

In this new era, fitness has become democratised and consumer demand is met with accessibility and choice. No matter your fitness level, location, or trainer preferences, you can find the right workout online and, increasingly, find it on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Portal and Oculus.

This democratisation extends to the business side as well. No matter what type of fitness business you manage – whether it’s brick and mortar, event-based, influencer-driven or digital-first – you can now reach a global audience and tap into entirely new revenue streams through our products. This underscores how huge the business opportunity is in this new era — one that can be incremental to the historic model, with the potential to grow into entirely new frontiers of financial success.

Does Facebook collect any fees from paid online events?
We don’t take any fees today from paid online event purchases, and we do not plan on taking fees while communities remain closed for the pandemic – until at least July 2021. We’re committed to providing businesses and creators the tools they need to move their business online and help them maximise their payouts in this uncertain time.

What advice would you give to fitness providers who are considering using Facebook for paid events?
The advice we give all partners is to focus on building an engaged audience. You’re far more likely to make money if you have an engaged community of fans than if you’re starting from scratch. Across our family of apps, we have a number of products that can help publishers build community and ultimately convert that community into customers. Instagram Stories, Facebook Groups, IGTV and Facebook Watch are just a few tools people and businesses can use to authentically connect with and grow their community.

Once you’ve built an engaged audience, you can experiment with different monetisation products. Your fanbase may gravitate towards paid online events, especially if you can offer them something premium and exclusive. Or you may find that our fan subscriptions product, which enables you to charge a monthly recurring subscription fee, resonates better. There are a number of other monetisation products you can try.

Ultimately, whatever product you choose, we’d advise you to treat your followers like family. In other words, engage with them, listen to their feedback, and adjust your strategy accordingly. If you’ve built a meaningful relationship with them, meaningful business results will follow.

Ready to go live?
Devi provides some practical tips for fitness providers who are ready to hold their first paid online event.
Promote your event

Promoting your paid online event can help you increase the number of registered attendees for your event while generating awareness of your event to new audiences.

Start your live stream early

Starting your stream early can help prevent technical difficulties that might occur when starting an event online. It also gives you the opportunity to let your registered attendees know what to expect from your event.

Communicate expectations for your event

Be clear with your guests on what they can expect from your event so that they know what is going to happen. You can post schedules in your event description or in posts on the event itself. If attendees will need special equipment (i.e. a yoga mat) in your live event, you can provide instructions to attendees in advance.

With Facebook paid online events, fitness businesses can reach a global audience
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Fit Tech
2021 issue 1

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Devi Mahadevia

Fit Tech People

Devi Mahadevia


With Facebook paid online events, publishers can charge viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service

Mahadevia says we’re in a new era of fitness, which is creating deeper online connections
With Facebook paid online events, fitness businesses can reach a global audience

How can fitness providers use paid online events to their best advantage?
We’re excited to provide a menu of products that can help fitness organisations make money, no matter what type of business or business model they have. Many of these products mirror traditional fitness revenue generators, which makes them a natural fit for our partners.

With paid online events, publishers can charge a fee for viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service (eg. Zoom). Publishers can create the event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment and host the event, all on Facebook. This is just like charging someone to attend your fitness class on a one-time basis. For example, UK-based fitness instructor Rachel Holmes has used paid online events to earn revenue while broadcasting educational webinars, exercise classes, and other content that would normally have a cost to attend in-person.

Why is Facebook an effective platform for fitness events?
Facebook is a place to build an audience, a community and a business, making it an incredibly important tool for fitness organisations right now. We’re in a new era of fitness, which is in part brought on by COVID-19, but which is also the result of the continued evolution of digital, social and mobile experiences. These experiences are creating deeper online connections and relationships between fitness consumers and businesses.

In this new era, fitness has become democratised and consumer demand is met with accessibility and choice. No matter your fitness level, location, or trainer preferences, you can find the right workout online and, increasingly, find it on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Portal and Oculus.

This democratisation extends to the business side as well. No matter what type of fitness business you manage – whether it’s brick and mortar, event-based, influencer-driven or digital-first – you can now reach a global audience and tap into entirely new revenue streams through our products. This underscores how huge the business opportunity is in this new era — one that can be incremental to the historic model, with the potential to grow into entirely new frontiers of financial success.

Does Facebook collect any fees from paid online events?
We don’t take any fees today from paid online event purchases, and we do not plan on taking fees while communities remain closed for the pandemic – until at least July 2021. We’re committed to providing businesses and creators the tools they need to move their business online and help them maximise their payouts in this uncertain time.

What advice would you give to fitness providers who are considering using Facebook for paid events?
The advice we give all partners is to focus on building an engaged audience. You’re far more likely to make money if you have an engaged community of fans than if you’re starting from scratch. Across our family of apps, we have a number of products that can help publishers build community and ultimately convert that community into customers. Instagram Stories, Facebook Groups, IGTV and Facebook Watch are just a few tools people and businesses can use to authentically connect with and grow their community.

Once you’ve built an engaged audience, you can experiment with different monetisation products. Your fanbase may gravitate towards paid online events, especially if you can offer them something premium and exclusive. Or you may find that our fan subscriptions product, which enables you to charge a monthly recurring subscription fee, resonates better. There are a number of other monetisation products you can try.

Ultimately, whatever product you choose, we’d advise you to treat your followers like family. In other words, engage with them, listen to their feedback, and adjust your strategy accordingly. If you’ve built a meaningful relationship with them, meaningful business results will follow.

Ready to go live?
Devi provides some practical tips for fitness providers who are ready to hold their first paid online event.
Promote your event

Promoting your paid online event can help you increase the number of registered attendees for your event while generating awareness of your event to new audiences.

Start your live stream early

Starting your stream early can help prevent technical difficulties that might occur when starting an event online. It also gives you the opportunity to let your registered attendees know what to expect from your event.

Communicate expectations for your event

Be clear with your guests on what they can expect from your event so that they know what is going to happen. You can post schedules in your event description or in posts on the event itself. If attendees will need special equipment (i.e. a yoga mat) in your live event, you can provide instructions to attendees in advance.


Originally published in Fit Tech 2021 issue 1

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