How to organise dance activities online and monetise without spending
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it hard for teachers, studios and dance promoters to continue organising their activities and keep their business up and running.
Practicing Dance in a studio or competing at a real event has become pretty much impossible, while planning for promoters is simply far from reality at the moment. This is especially true for group activities that gather people in the same place.
In the past few months several teachers, studios and dance event promoters have started arranging online courses, classes, workshops or entire competitions to overcome difficulties and bans due to COVID-19.
Dance is not just an art form, it’s also a social phenomenon that involves people globally, engaging the community through events and opportunities to learn and practice. For those who love dancing, online opportunities are of course a weak replacement as they kill the social dimension of the dance itself, however, the web is the only safe solution for many professionals to continue working and for students to keep learning, while waiting for normal conditions to be restored.
Organising classes or competitions online is a very open topic and opportunities to arrange online activities require a bit of thinking and analysis to decide what is the best way to approach such options.
Let’s take a look at how to bring your activities online using a remote approach, avoiding or minimising expenses and providing a nice experience for all parties involved.
1. What type of dance activities can you bring online?
There’s no limit to the type of dance events you can bring online, as long as you are flexible enough to understand the features and limitations that remote working implies. That being said, standalone classes or courses with multiple classes have become pretty common online, with teachers selling classes or courses through multiple platforms. The most complex shift is probably for dance competitions as they need to combine needs of individuals, crews, judges and spectators. Such scenario requires a combination of tools as well as changes in the structure of the competition itself to match remote limitations.
2. Live or pre-recorded?
In general you have the option to decide if you want to present a content LIVE or if you want to make it available ON-DEMAND as a pre-recorded video. If you’re running classes or workshops, you can use a streaming apps like Zoom, Facebook Live or Instagram Live to teach a class live. However, if you want to make your content available on-demand, you can think of popular video-sharing platforms like Vimeo or YouTube (and you can limit the access to your videos using a password). Such options are free both for live streaming platforms (Zoom limits the time of a session and the number of allowed participants on its free tier) and and video sharing platforms. A dance competition is more complex to arrange but many promoters have been successful in running competitions based on pre-recorded videos voted online or presented through a live webcast where judges score routines in real time while spectators watch online (in a way similar to an in-person event or tv show). In this case you need to be ready to go for a paid version of apps like Zoom or Livestream.com, or even more complex virtual event platforms like Run The World or Hopin, allowing also ticketing options for your audience to watch. All these platforms use different pricing models, mostly related to time or to the amount of viewers you are going to have, and the investment can go from less than 100 EUR to more than a thousand depending on what you plan to do.
3. How to charge for your dance activities?
No matter the format you choose you need to find a way to charge for your class, course or competition and make the registration process simple and smooth. Some services like Vimeo integrate a payment processor that lets you monetise your on-demand videos (but it can take up to 17% of your registrations and you still need to pay up to 140$ for a one year subscription). Alternatively you can use a solid tool like Paypal to collect payments, which would take no less than 4-6% of your fees and would still require a lot of manual work, like handling communication with participants and manually combine all data received into a work file. However if you’re looking at a free integrated solution, Registered® provides a FREE automated service to collect registrations and payments and it works both for in-person and online activities. With Registered® you can charge an individual for a course/class (or a group/group members for a competition), automatically receive properly formatted information from participants (and download them as a spreadsheet) and automate notifications to participants including a link or password to access a live or pre-recorded content (or a link to upload videos in the case of a competition).
We all know how hard it is hard to navigate through these options but that’s where technology can at least provide an alternative to shutting down and help teachers, studios and promoters to maintain the conversation open with students, dancers and groups.
If you’re looking at using free options to sell your classes online you can pair Registered with the free tier of Zoom or free video sharing platforms like Vimeo or Youtube (and limit access to videos through passwords). If you’re looking at organising a dance competition and you want to minimise expenses our suggestion is to pair Registered with the paid option of a streaming app like Zoom or Livestream.com.
Take a look at the free account by Registered and start collecting registrations and payments for your in-person and online activities, in a few clicks.