How to Best Evaluate Prospective Webcast Clients
The best way to properly evaluate prospective webcast clients is to develop coherent criteria based on a few essential considerations. Robert Reinhardt, CTO of VideoRx, outlines the systematic ways he considers prospective webcast clients.
The first basic action to take is to filter out prospective clients who are searching for too much of a bargain. “Clearly, if they're looking for someone to provide services at a super low rate, it's probably not even worth contacting them,” Reinhardt says. Beyond that, once a worthwhile proposal has been identified, the next important step is to determine the stakeholders and product owners clearly.
“You don't want someone showing up at the last minute or day of [the event] who is going to want to make changes to the whole scenario,” Reinhardt says. “It’s very much what I’d say is ‘discovery 101’ – identifying who the vendors are.” For example, he notes that he is often not providing audio services, which may be contracted out to technology solution providers such as Encore. “They will be doing the audio, and it's my responsibility to make sure I'm working with them to get the audio feed into the live webcast,” he says.
The next step is determining who is responsible for the content displayed in the live stream (such as video clips and PowerPoint presentations). “If I'm going to be responsible for driving content in the live stream, I want to ensure it's tested thoroughly ahead of time,” Reinhardt says. It is also important to set reasonable deadlines, even for last-minute changes. It is essential to test out any new changes as thoroughly as possible. Otherwise, he says, “You're introducing a potential problem–maybe a font, or a linked graphic, that's not going to show up.”
It is also important to review samples of any past live events that a client has conducted if they are available. This helps establish both the client’s knowledge and expectations. Making sure to frame the budget as clearly as possible (such as fixed and variable costs) further sets the groundwork for a client for realistic service delivery. An optimal way to determine all of this information is to do a detailed survey for the client to complete.
Reinhardt provides an example of the survey form that VideoRx uses, set up through SurveyMonkey. He says that the VideoRx survey is detailed, branching, and conditional. The goal is to check off as many boxes as possible. Some clients will not understand webcasting basics, such as Digital Rights Management (DRM), and Reinhardt encourages patience with this. “Educating your client is a big part of getting into webcasting or any other services that you're going to be offering your client,” he says, and even if the client fails to do a survey, Reinhardt emphasizes that it’s important to go over the essentials with them on the phone or a Zoom call.
Learn more about webcasting at Streaming Media West 2022.
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