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Industry Perspectives: The Business Case for Event Webcasting

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Benefits of Event Webcasting

Webcasting extends the reach of an event to people who cannot attend. There are several positive aspects to this potential reach. There are often people who would like to attend an event but are not able to due to budget restrictions or schedule conflicts. By extending the event to them virtually, they can benefit from the event content and remain connected to the event even though they are not physically there.

A webcast creates a virtual aspect of an event without forcing the organizer to sacrifice the financial value of the live experience. With a live event extended with webcasting, the event organizer still reaps the financial benefits of the travel and hospitality aspects of the event. However, those who can’t attend can still experience the event content and be stimulated to consider attending in the future.

With a recorded webcast, organizers can also tap into the broad and potentially viral promotional power of social media. By placing recorded event webcasts on free sites such as YouTube and Facebook, an event organizer enables the community of attendees to share the event experience with friends and colleagues online. With event webcasts on social media, the event outlives the physical experience and continues to attract awareness and future attendance online.

The Financial Case for Event Webcasting

In financial terms, event webcasting can help an event organizer develop a supplemental revenue stream. Event organizers can add revenue from event webcasting in the form of webcasting sponsorship sales and revenue from people who purchase “webcast only” access. For event management companies, event webcasting creates a new type of service that can augment the value of an event management engagement.

The accompanying table presents a way for an event organizer to model the business value of event webcasting. In this scenario, 10% of those who cannot attend the event—a total of 400 people—will spend $300 each for access to the virtualized event. This generates a net revenue gain of $120,000 for the event organizer. Sale of a webcasting sponsorship brings in another $20,000, for a total of $140,000 net new revenue from event webcasting. With an event webcasting cost of $40,000, event webcasting helps the event organizer generate $100,000 in net profit gain. Alternatively, if you model that attendance will drop to 18% of the attendee pool, the event webcasting revenue actually offsets the decrease in attendance fees and prevents a financial loss. (This financial modeling spreadsheet tool is available for free download at http://www.mediaplatform.com/webcasting-software/products/papers-etc/.)

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