If my team had to choose our million-dollar question for the year of 2020, it would hands down be, “how much does a virtual event cost?”. While organizations across the country have embraced virtual events as a part of their business strategy, there is still a lot of confusion about virtual event pricing.
Many people tend to tumble down a Google rabbit hole, uncovering all the conflicting answers scattered around the internet. Want to know why the answers to creating a virtual event pricing is conflicting?
Because there is no one perfect way to craft a virtual event budget! Just as there’s no one right way to create an in-person event budget!
Here’s the thing I want you to remember when working out your virtual event pricing— just because you’re taking your event online does not mean creating your budget is all that different than your last in-person event! Maybe you’re switching out the opening reception with a branded virtual cocktail making class or adding a line item for extra camera angles, but don’t let the words “virtual event” freak you out and lead you to reinvent the wheel!
Take a step back, breathe in deep, and use these top considerations I work through with our clients to help them discover what their virtual event will cost as a guide!
Consideration #1: Virtual Event Platform
When it comes to virtual events, think about your platform as your venue. It’s your canvas for building event that will generate the bold impact you wish for in your organization. Just like searching for an in-person venue, you have a heck of a lot of options when it comes to virtual event platforms.
You could spend less than $100 a month for ongoing access to Hopin or up to $50,000+ for a one-time virtual conference setup in 6Connex.
But let’s take a step back to what we know before confusing ourselves.
Before you search for virtual event platforms, like you would a standard venue search, you need to make a list of your requirements and non-negotiables for your event. Think engagement, number of attendees, breakout session requirements—this will guide you to the right event platform and determine price.
Once you have those factors in mind, take our handy quiz to eliminate the guesswork! It’ll help you determine the best virtual event platform for your needs.
Consideration #2: Audio Visual Requirements
Audio visual is a major piece of any event budget and when you bring an event online AV costs can accelerate quickly.
As an example, let’s think about if you’re live streaming the event from your office.
If you’re paying big bucks for a livestream broadcast, you’re absolutely going to want to invest in the perfect lighting to bring speakers to life and a professional videographer to set up the shot for attendees logging in from home. These costs can come in starting at $1,750+ per day or more depending on location and hours.
Then factor in other considerations like multiple camera angles, how many speakers will need to be mic’d, pre-recording of breakout sessions—among other factors—you’ll need to add to the budget to accommodate.
Consideration #3: Entertainment & Engagement
A virtual event should NOT be a webinar! You want people to engage with your company and brand, right? The reason you’re hearing the term “Zoom fatigue” so often is because people are tired of seeing the same ol’ thing on their screen.
How are you going to be different?
Entertainment is the perfect place to start!
Think about hiring a professional DJ to get people moving and add an element of surprise. Picture upbeat music perfectly timed to introduce your guests and sprinkle your agenda with high-energy virtual dance parties! How could attendees not have fun with that?
Consider sending a swag bag to each attendee’s home pre-event or have a sponsor send a virtual swag bag with fun freebies that can be used for livestream engagement.
There are so many options for entertainment and engagement and they’re key to success—whether you add it to your budget as a line item or find a sponsor to help out!
Consideration #4: Execution
I’m sure you’ve all seen the BBC video “Kids Interrupt Dad’s Live TV Interview,” am I right?
While working from home is the new reality for most, it adds a layer of complexity for event execution that needs to be thought through. Using kids at home as an example, there are ways to produce a professional event regardless of who is home. Consider renting a space to stream the event from if you don’t have office access. We’ve even rented hotel rooms for speakers with kids that they can retreat to for the event!
That being said, you also may want to hire a professional to help you think through these scenarios and tie up all the loose strings to wrangle everything together. This way your execution will be flawless, impressing attendees and leaving your mark.
Consideration #5: Getting the Word Out About Your Virtual Event
You want people to be in that virtual crowd watching and engaging from home, right? Consider how you’re going to make a splash and get people to sign up.
Great ways to do this are bold captivating graphics (graphic designer cost) and online ads with pay-per-click options like Facebook or Google ads.
While it’s not necessarily virtual event pricing, it’s a part of your virtual event budget that shouldn’t be forgotten!
Tying it All Together to Determine Your Virtual Event Budget
Just as with an in-person event, your next virtual event can cost as little or as much as you want to spend. Simply work through all the key considerations and put together all the pieces of the puzzle as you would a live in-person event. But if virtual event pricing has dollar signs swirling around in your brain leaving you confused, let us help. Schedule a free discovery call with the Eventistry by Alecia team to finally understand how to successfully budget for your next virtual event.