As part of its broader push on hosting virtual events, which has become a bigger focus over the past 18 months, LinkedIn will soon begin testing paid events, which could provide new opportunities for engagement and monetization on the professional social network.
The new element was first reported by TechCrunch, which had been sent a tip on new code in the back-end of the LinkedIn app which indicated an inactive, paid events element. LinkedIn has since confirmed the test, explaining to TechCrunch that:
“Amid the changing world of work and transition to a nearly all-remote workforce, LinkedIn Events has seen a surge in growth, with 21 million people attending an Event on LinkedIn in 2020. We continue to learn from member and customer feedback and test new ways to improve the experience. As part of this, we are exploring options for payment in the Events product based on feedback from event organizers.”
That could be a big boon for industry event organizers, many of whom have lost huge amounts due to COVID restrictions forcing the cancellations of their regular programming.
According to research, the trade show industry in the US was worth some $15.58 billion in 2019, before dropping to $5.6 billion in the COVID-impacted 2020 period. The industry is now gradually recovering, with the vaccine push enabling the slow resumption of physical events. Yet, even so, many are still considering their options, with the forced move to virtual events highlighting new, and cheaper, possibilities for similar showcase functions and displays.
That won’t be for everyone, and there is clear benefit to the physical networking aspects of such events as well. But as LinkedIn notes, 21 million people attended virtual events hosted on its platform in 2020.
If people are getting a good experience from such, and there’s a way that brands and organizers can make money from the same, it seems like it could be a popular option.
The addition would also add to LinkedIn’s broadening creator monetization push.
Like all platforms, with digital creators now becoming an industry of their own, LinkedIn is exploring new ways to attract the best talent, and boost usage and engagement by hosting their work. The platform added ‘Creator Mode’ back in March as a means to help creators better showcase their work, while it also recently launched its new $25 million Creator Accelerator program “to help creators build their audience and amplify their voice”.
Being able to host ticketed events could be another part of this, with creators then able to share paid, virtual functions with their LinkedIn audience, providing another avenue to monetization of their work.
Given that Facebook and Twitter are also testing ticketed events, in different forms, it makes sense for LinkedIn to also try out the same, with the professional focus of the platform, again, leaning into that trade show audience, that’s willing to spend on professional development.
LinkedIn hasn’t provided any information on a live test of the option as yet, but we’ll keep you updated on any progress.