By Fred Jacobs, The Financial Manager magazine

Some radio broadcasters are GENERATING SERIOUS MONEY from events.  Despite some failures, the industry is learning how to make them pay off.

WITH RADIO’S TRADITIONAL ADVERTISING revenue stream under increasing pressures, there’s a growing curiosity about how to bump up the bottom line with non-traditional revenue opportunities.  Within that NTR category is one prospect that’s proved to be a vein of gold for some, and an abject lesson in failure for others: special events.

The events come in many different forms: food fairs, wedding fashion markets, music festivals, even amusement- park type extravaganzas.  Enough information has accumulated about why some succeed, and others fail, to draw some conclusions about when it makes sense to delve into this sexy, but sometimes risky, line of business.

In the past, the category has been somewhat elusive for many radio stations because it requires a high level of expertise, financial investment, as well as the need to take risks.  For decades, radio has been an integral partner in event promotion, but in most cases the events were owned by third party, like concert promoters or cities and municipalities.

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