Comments on: The cost of hybrid events Unconferences, peer conferences, participant-driven events, and facilitation Thu, 19 Aug 2021 13:14:12 +0000 hourly 1 By: Kitti Whittaker Fri, 26 Sep 2014 18:34:00 +0000 With face to face events the cost does depend on the number of people attending. Looking at a business event in a 5 star hotel as an example, DDR (daily delegate rate) is usually between GBP46-56/head/day. Can be more of course depending on whats included but it will not be less than this. This will include the usuall tea/coffee breaks, lunch and the room where the event is held.

AV usually comes on top. It is true standard AV equipment will cost the same regardless of whether there are a 100 delegates or say, 200. Other things, will however again depend on the number of people attending. (headphones for simultaneuos translation, interactive voting equitpemnt etc.) although that is now being replaced with mobile handsets people already own.

With regards to hybrids, I think someone was saying it works out about USD 60/head, and I think that’s not bad at all.

Having said that prices as usual, will depend on many things. As an example wine served in a hotel is expensive and also limited (usually cheap wine sold expensively), and when we took a wine tasting event into the hotel we also had to pay the hotel corkage to make up for what we are not buying from them.

So while I understand why they do these things, a lot depends on the people/businesses involved and how they want to run the business.

Because at the same time, while companies usually want to maximise what they earn they also need to make sure they can get and retain customers.

All in all when it comes to hybrids, and any event in general, I think people need to feel that’s it’s worth their while in the first place.

In terms of pricing, I find that the cheapest way to make anything happen is to have people who get on and want to get it done.

By: Adrian Segar Sun, 15 Jan 2012 18:51:00 +0000 In reply to Nancy Largay.

Thanks Nancy for your 2 cents. I’m impressed that this post is still getting comments a year later, though not surprised; hybrid events have the potential to radically change what we think of as an event over time, and the issues of cost and feasibility are not going to go away.

I think some of the expenses and concerns are going to lessen as technology costs decrease and our experience with hybrid events grows. Just as “desktop publishing” moved from a professional specialty requiring an expensive investment in the early days to something that most of us do to some degree as part of our jobs, perhaps producing a hybrid event will eventually become work that enough people will find familiar. When this will happen, however, I’ll leave to others, more knowledgeable, to predict.

By: Nancy Largay Fri, 13 Jan 2012 14:56:00 +0000 In reply to Adrian Segar.

Hi Adrian, 

Here is my 2 cents in this discussion: as much as we all “love” new technologies and hybrid events, there is the hard facts of ROI and ROO.  If the costs are prohibitive and prevent community and event organizers from engaging with the hybrid solution, you get a half ass result.  Dana is right about the math, it is expensive and hard to justify the ROI.  Our love You also have to honest with yourselves that for those in the “for profit” space, the math has to make sense relative to costs and true value of the community is serves.  The reason hybrid events aren’t always thoroughly embraced is because it can be very expensive, sponsors don’t always see the value, it’s alot of work for everyone involves (sponsors have to really take on alot to fulfill their commitment) and is a potential distraction to the core mission.  On the other hand, for those who get it, they love it.  

It’s all a balancing act, and for the hybrid event to work, there needs to be the right balance within a given event community.  

By: Adrian Segar Thu, 14 Oct 2010 01:37:02 +0000 If you’re still reading these comments (I’m impressed!) you should check out a great article by Steve Gogolak that breaks down the budget for hybrid events into five key components. Well worth reading!

By: Adrian Segar Mon, 04 Oct 2010 13:09:25 +0000 In reply to Brandt Krueger.

Brandt, you make an excellent point: the incremental cost to add a high-quality hybrid component to a large event may be relatively minor because much of the technology and staff needed will already be present.

Thanks for adding a much-needed perspective from a 15 year event technology veteran (fair description?)

By: Brandt Krueger Mon, 04 Oct 2010 02:49:04 +0000 Hi Adrian (et al.),

Without going into too much detail on a topic that’s been weighed in on heavily, I’ll try and hit your original question regarding the economics of the hybrid event. As has been pointed out, there isn’t much of a change in costs whether there are 50 virtual attendees vs. 500 (though there may be some- 500 concurrent viewers is a LOT more bandwidth than 50).

Likewise, however, the costs are the same regardless of the number of in-person attendees- a lot of the equipment listed would already be there for anything other than a small meeting. In most medium to large meetings you already have most of the camera and video switching equipment necessary. What you wind up adding to gain a similar experience to ECTC would be the costs of a company like Sonic Foundry (to stream it), the host (the voice of the virtual), and a second camera and camera op. The set behind the host is scalable to the client’s needs and budget, and could just as easily be a couple of potted hotel plants against a nice neutral wall.

My point is that for anything other than the small meeting, adding a quality hybrid experience might not be as expensive as someone might think. And the larger the group, the more likely that more of the necessary equipment will already be on the scene.

As for the smaller meetings, of course it’s going to be a much trickier proposition in the budget department- but then again, what isn’t for most small meetings?! That’s when you do your best to be creative and try to maintain the “spirit” of a quality hybrid experience- Just like we do in planning all of the other aspects of an event that has high hopes, but low budgets…

Be well, my friends!

By: Adrian Segar Thu, 30 Sep 2010 12:11:00 +0000 In reply to Jenise Fryatt.

Yes, Jenise, this is the longest comment thread on this blog, and I’m very happy to be the host for our discussion. Your suggestion is a logical next step for an enterprising organization to take; researched ranges of figures for various options would be very useful information for event planners, and such a report could help to establish the provider as a useful authority in what looks to be a rapidly expanding market for hybrid events.

By: Jenise Fryatt Wed, 29 Sep 2010 19:43:23 +0000 In reply to Adrian Segar.

Wow! What a spirited and enlightening discussion!! First, thanks so much for raising this issue Adrian. It’s an extremely relevant topic, especially in these economic times. Hybrid events are certainly the “it girl” of our industry at the moment. It seems only fair to question how much it’s going to cost to take her out on a date.

Discussions like this are really what make social media such a driving force in our industry. When we feel free to ask questions and hash things out, we come away with insight and answers that we didn’t have before. I think as long as we are respectful and refrain from personal attacks, we can get a lot accomplished this way.

I think Dana’s comment (even though her event was on the higher end) was particularly helpful to give people a bit of an idea of the financial costs. Yes, I agree with Mike that costs will vary greatly with size, type & location of event. Nevertheless, research can be done and estimates made that might give event planners a better idea of the costs. This could be a very good topic for a white paper or in-depth report by some astute organization. More information would not be a bad thing.

By: Adrian Segar Wed, 29 Sep 2010 19:07:05 +0000 In reply to Dana Freker Doody.

Thanks for the clarification Dana.

By: Dana Freker Doody Wed, 29 Sep 2010 19:01:57 +0000 In reply to Dana Freker Doody.

I should have noted that was for three days.