With all of the events I've had the pleasure of being a part of for over a decade...I have so many experiences to share with you! While here, you may find inspiration for your wedding day, corporate function or the things I like to get into when I'm not planning like a BOSS!
2020 completely changed the virtual conference space and forced it to increase and grow a decade in the virtual event space in just 1 year. With the increase in non-physical events, virtual conference costs have become a real consideration in event planning space.
As we are all learning more and more about the art of producing a virtual conference as a component of employee and customer engagement, today I want to share with you 5 unexpected virtual conference costs you forgot to budget for.
Production. Let’s say that you have an amazing keynote speaker who can really draw a crowd that can’t make it to the live event, but would still like to participate. Would you rather pre-record their message and broadcast it during the event OR pass on the keynote speaker. Exactly. In a case like this, you will want a production team to record the speaker professionally to ensure the clearest sound and addition of any visual effects to the recording to make it a more immersive experience for the virtual audience. This feature can contribute to your virtual conference costs by several thousand dollars depending on the scope of the project so be sure to account for this cost in your budget.
Help Desk Team Members. While most platforms offer support for the day of the event, it can be quite expensive to the tune of $250/hr (or more) for EACH professional that will attend. Their role will be to ensure a phenomenal viewing and litening experience for the audience by offering on demand and live troubleshooting instructions for anyone having issues logging in or viewing the presentation.
Swag. At in-person events, swag can be anything from t-shirts to pens and notepads and water bottles. For a virtual event, you won’t be able to just ship a bunch of swag to one location and have attendees grab one on their way in or out. As a part of your virtual conference costs, you will have to plan not only shipping fees but the timing it will take to ensure attendees receive their swag before the event (but not too far ahead).
Thank You Gifts. Same as swag, you are going to want to present a thank you gift to the speakers for their attendance. While it would be nice to present it to them virtually and say it will be sent out, you could also ship it so they receive it the same day of the event to make a huge impact on the way they receive your token of appreciation. An alternative suggestion would be a virtual gift card they can use immediately. It can be emailed out as soon as they finish their time slot to speak as well.
Lunch Break. Something I personally have been looking forward to experiencing myself in our virtual conference world is a lunch break that is as immersive as the online event itself. How about sending out a discount offer code to attendees for a Door Dash or Uber Eats lunch? Talk about making everyone feel like they are in the same place! My favorite part is everyone can eat ‘exactly’ what they want! You can schedule time out in the conference for everyone to place their lunch orders and they can arrive at everyone’s door almost simultaneously so that the lunch hour does not mean a break from all of the content but rather a sit and eat and remain involved with the event experience. Be sure to budget for this incentive to eat and stay for attendees in your virtual conference costs as well. Your attendees appetites will thank you.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of the costs associated with planning a virtual conference, next it’s time to establish a more accurate budget and set up your platform. Reach out today for a consult to discuss how SwaLaRue Events can help you set up your virtual conference for success.