In the current world of hybrid and virtual events, for some the rule of thumb is that DIY (Do It Yourself) costs less, boutique turn-key service offerings cost more. And that's correct, typically, on its face. But if you consider some of the risks that DIY introduces - and some of the protections, as well as time and stress savings that come with a proper turn-key approach - the "more expensive" option may actually save you money . . . and angst.
Sure - it's great to have complete control over your virtual and hybrid events that DIY tools provide, but it's a lot of work, right? And how much does this work take away from other things that you and your staff also need to do? How easy is your DIY tool to use - was it hard to learn - and harder to train your staff on? There are wonderful savings to be had from DIY platforms, but they come with an awesome responsibility, which can sometimes become a burden. So it is probably worth spending a little time going over the calculation - is it really saving you money? And if so - are the savings enough to make it truly worth it?
You can send them invites, and guidelines, and tips and tricks, but when the time comes a large portion of speakers for hybrid and virtual events come to the event with little time to spare and often with little understanding of exactly how things are going to work. One facet of the boutique approach is typically some number of rehearsals with both the speakers and your staff to make sure everyone is completely familiar with how it's all going to work on game day. Sometimes several rehearsals may be needed. Occasionally speakers will need to make last-minute changes to their location, slides, content, or plans - so it can be helpful to have other folks helping coordinate and execute that.
Certainly, there are a myriad of choices to deal with when putting together your event with Do-It-Yourself tools, but even with those hundreds of choices, are you still able to change the things that matter most? For platforms with a lobby look - what if you want a menu-driven look instead - and vice versa? Are you able to get the occasional little customizations that you need? DIY schemes rarely permit anything like that.
If you have worked with DIY platforms, then you know that questions often come up about how to do certain things, or even more concerning - why certain things don't work - and when will they be fixed? Most DIY platforms do a pretty good job of delivering their services without many hitches, but the hitches that remain can have a tendency to seek you out - and is anyone there when you call? Do they respond the same day when you email them questions? And how about mundane things like getting your live content from today turned into on-demand content for tomorrow - do they make that easy? Boutique service offerings typically flip that script - quick responses, quick fixes, and worry-free delivery of tomorrow's on-demand content.
What happens when something goes wrong and it turns out the reason it happened was that you or a member of your staff made a mistake. Very little comfort can be derived for most DIY service providers by pointing out to their clients that the problems they experienced were their client's own fault. Boutique service providers benefit from making sure that their trained and experienced staff are at the controls, and you have the benefit of knowing that should make your event more bulletproof. Plus if there is a mistake made 1. now it's not your fault, and 2. unlike situations where it was your mistake - you may be well within your rights to demand a discount on your vendor's next invoice.
If you are in the market for either a DIY platform and/or boutique virtual or hybrid event services, it makes sense to evaluate your staffing situation before committing one way or the other. If you and/or they will have the time and inclination to fill out and maintain a lot of forms correctly, then DIY probably makes sense, as long as you have the resources allotted and organized for it. If not, boutique may well be your best bet.
At Performedia, our laser-focused team does the lion’s share in organizing and executing the online portion of your event. We are a rare provider - supplying our online platforms as well as onsite staff.
Schedule a call with us, and we’ll show you how we can elevate your virtual/hybrid events.