Why is a Virtual Event Producer So Expensive…Or Is it?
As meeting organizers are exploring their virtual event options, one of the biggest questions we hear is: Why is a virtual event producer so expensive?
But are they really? How much does an event producer cost? A virtual producer will typically help you with a majority of the technical aspects (and then some!) of your virtual meeting – and all at an upfront cost. Often times, a seemingly less expensive virtual event platform will deliver the vessel for you to build out your meeting at a flat cost, but additional fees, add-ons, and vendors are required as organizers add customized elements or production value.
With that in mind, what services and insights do virtual event producers provide that may justify the cost of a virtual event producer? Let’s break it down.
What Do Virtual Event Producers Do?
- Describe platform features and benefits. It is important to do your due diligence and fully understand the features of a virtual event platform – especially when your attendee experience counts on it. A producer will walk you through the platform technology, its capabilities, and highlight how it would work specifically for your event. They will also provide their insight and recommendations based on their past experience with the platform, and how you should best utilize the technology’s features.
- Provide recommendations for more than 1 virtual event platform. It’s super helpful to compare and contrast multiple options, and what’s better than to hear from someone who’s already done the trial and error of many platforms and understands the advantages and challenges of each. An experienced virtual event producer has likely experimented and worked with a majority of different platforms and technologies out there. They will be able to provide an honest, unbiased, and firsthand evaluation of which platforms are the right fit your specific needs.
- Craft event strategy and design. From conceptualizing an event theme and strategizing your promotion strategy to crafting the event branding and look & feel, virtual meeting producers are there to offer their insights on how to design an optimized experience for the virtual arena. They establish your critical goals and desired outcomes, then pair theory with practice to create an inspirational, accelerated virtual learning environment that fosters connection and professional development.
- Design unique graphics for platform and livestream. When organizing a virtual meeting, it’s important to keep your online attendees engaged throughout your event. That’s where a virtual event producer comes in. They offer visually stimulating presentation assets and event graphics to create a more polished, professional look – which can include engaging slides and lower-third graphics, custom event graphics for event microsite, graphics to recognize your sponsors, and even assets to promote in your social media campaigns. Explore some ideas on incorporating graphics into your virtual event.
- Develop an effective event program plan. What over-arching message should your attendees hear? How do you design a multi-day, multi-session experience that delivers on your theme and objectives while also managing virtual fatigue? How can you surprise and delight your remote attendees? Producers help you identify the most effective ways to engage with your audience virtually – helping you adapt your programming, assets, and scripts for an online world and source speakers that are perfect for your audience and goals.
- Provide pre-production logistics planning for event. A virtual meeting producer takes the lead in all areas of production logistics – from show flow development and rehearsal management to audio-visual and tech coordination. They organize and project manage all virtual assets and elements so you can focus on the other parts of your meeting. Their success is your success.
- Offer accessible, high-level customer service and support. Always available to answer your questions, virtual meeting producers won’t provide you a chat bot or send you to an FAQ’s page when you need support. You’ll work directly with real people who are able to answer your questions and respond to your concerns on a 1-to-1 basis and in real-time. They are there to help you tackle any issues or provide any insights that you need to make your program the best it can be.
- On-screen talent coordination, training, and management. Whether your executives, high-level keynote speakers, or a panel discussion, a virtual meeting producer takes the time to train and ensure that all on-screen talent is ready for primetime. From testing internet connection and audio/video quality, to helping talent get comfortable with the platform, virtual producers conduct rehearsals and prep all participants to deliver their presentations seamlessly. As the point-of-contact for all parties, they also take the speaker project management off your plate – handling all materials, content, and assets for live program.
- Mitigate tech risks and formulate back-up plans. Virtual meeting producers partner with your team to take the anxiety out of executing an online event. They preview, prep, practice all elements prior to the live show to get ahead of any potential risks and become the point-person if difficulties arise. From building out the platform/program for the optimal attendee experience and conducting tech rehearsals to test internet, audio, lighting etc., to using an experienced tech crew and creating back-up plans and implementing safeguards in case something does go wrong, a producer handles all potential issues and creates a worry-free environment for you.
- Manage all aspects of live broadcast production. Platforms, graphics, switchers, transitions, and more for a broadcast-quality experience! A virtual producer will handle the run of show on the day-of and ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. They also partner with other suppliers to source exactly what you need to operate the necessary equipment, seamlessly deliver your content, and bring it to life. Some features of broadcast level production include:
- Half-day technical rehearsals with all speakers prior to livestream program
- Up to four individual speaker sources allowing for single camera or double camera shots at one time
- Presenter view can include presentation deck, speaker timer, teleprompter or other; stimulates a downstage confidence monitor
- Virtual "Green Room" for speakers prior to going live to check camera and audio
- Live switching with graphics content, video support/playback, cameras, and more to stimulate an in-person general session
- Option for custom graphics behind speakers, ideal for branding and sponsorship opportunities, as well as logo bugs, scrolling lower thirds, lower thirds, and more
- Technical Crew includes Livestream Video Engineer, Audio Engineer, and Graphics Operator
How Do Virtual Meeting Producers Compare to a Tech Platform?
Most likely, an event technology platform doesn’t provide deliverables 2-10, but maybe just deliverable 1. While a virtual event producer may seem to be more expensive initially – you get what you pay for. What a majority of meeting organizers find out when they make a platform-only purchase, is that they eventually will need to invest in additional resources, services, or support to build out a high-quality and polished virtual event.
If you want upfront, transparent pricing that’s inclusive of high levels of service and event expertise – you want a virtual meeting producer. Check out the image below to get a better idea of the difference between production and platform.
THE LAI DIFFERENCE
At LAI Live, we are not a tech company. We are a team of seasoned meeting producers with a background in broadcast television, live events, and talent management. When you work with us, you get real people, with years of real event production experience… and real virtual event experience, too.
From platform selection and pre-production to day-of execution of your virtual event, our producers stand ready to make your virtual meeting a success. Contact us today to learn more: