As we finally shift from virtual to hybrid events, many organizers are looking at the costs of capture with a measure of appropriate dismay. But good news - it does NOT have to be so bad. The only truly bad outcome is if organizers forgo content capture completely, allowing all the hard work and investment they have made in their conference content to go up in smoke after the event is over. Let's not let THAT happen.
Here are five suggestions on how to reap significant savings and even PROFITS from content capture on site:
1. LOSE THE VIDEOGRAPHER AND CAMERA RISER - SAVE $500-1000 PER ROOM/DAY.
Nowadays with remote-control heads for video cameras and fully remote pan-tilt-zoom cameras, there really is no need to continue paying the $250-800 per day cost of a videographer. The one exception is if you expect your speakers to walk around over a pretty wide distance on stage. But for the vast majority of conferences, the speakers will stay at the podium or within a small enough walking pattern so that a continuously panning camera will not be required.
2. CAPTURE SOME CONTENT FOR ON-DEMAND ONLY - SAVE $350-800 PER ROOM/DAY.
Much of the expense in content capture for hybrid events is in the live streaming. We're not saying get rid of live streaming - we think it's important to have at least some live content - but not necessarily all of it. Determine which sessions you really want to have live, and those which can be on-demand, and make your room assignments accordingly. Content captured for on-demand use is typically made available for attendees to access anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours after capture.
3. DON'T PAY BOOK RATE FOR YOUR HARD-WIRED INTERNET - SAVE $250-1000 PER ROOM/DAY.
While our company IS experimenting with wireless solutions, for now we feel the most robust way to get the streaming video signal out remains via hard-wired internet from the venue's provider. While much internet pricing is laughably off the charts nowadays, you won't be laughing if you pay these new book rates. The bright side is that in our experience, most providers are willing to haggle. Start by reminding them how ridiculously high their rates are now, and that you just don't have that kind of budget; at this point, we’ve found they may start suggesting ways of saving money. One way is to order a lower level of bandwidth - which comes at a lower price, but often is actually the same level of bandwidth as the higher offerings, as many venues are not really able to regulate bandwidth as much as their rate sheet indicates. AND REMEMBER: for live streaming, the important number is the outbound bandwidth.
4. CONSIDER SIMPLER CAPTURE SCHEMES - SAVE $500-1000 PER ROOM/DAY.
While it is nice to have a camera (we always deploy two switched cameras for the same price as one) at the back of the room, another way to save is to mount a hi-res webcam on or near the podium. This can be set to record at the beginning of the session, checked periodically, and stopped at the end of the session. Modern 4K webcams deliver a broadcast-quality picture and now you can save a little more money whether it's live or on-demand. Another option is audio and slide movies only. Everything we have mentioned above assumes capture of the slide feed in addition to video capture - but if you don't need to see the talking heads - audio alone, synced with the slide content, may be just fine.
5. ONSITE CAPTURE SHOULD PAY FOR ITSELF.
We learned about this methodology from multiple years producing the Content Marketing Institute's annual conference. In the materials that go out for attending the physical show, add checkboxes for your online content access. For example:
"$99 to be able to see any sessions you missed!"
"$199 to share this whole event with an officemate who might not be able to attend in person!"
We have found that organizers utilizing this system usually cover the cost of their hybrid capture. And those who employ other methods usually don't.
The bottom line is that this content is all worth money and loyalty beyond the physical event, So please make sure to capture your content one way or another, so it can work harder for you, and bring in some revenue, too.
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.