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How to Budget Live Event Streaming

VideoRx Robert Reinhardt discusses the key elements of budgeting and bidding live event streams for clients--from labor to equipment to deployment--in this clip from his presentation at Streaming Media West 2019.

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Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Robert Reinhardt: Working with a budget, this is probably the hardest thing to do when you're trying to run productions, is, figuring out just how much the client wants to spend on redundancy. Right now, I'm going through this right now with a discovery for a big medical event that's gonna happen in New York, probably in two weeks, I don't know yet if I'm gonna be flying to New York to help this client do this surgical streaming that they need to get done, but, I was sort of walking my client through the very same steps that I have outlined here, outlined here is like, well how, how important is this event and how important is it for it not to fail? Because that's gonna dictate our budget, right, what's our liability if this thing doesn't work? And it's just like, well it's gotta work.

Okay, well let's talk about making sure that we've got all of our, all of our ducks lined up so that if there's any point of failure, especially any kind of lockdown network, hospital networks are notoriously locked down, and even getting a port out can take a week, two weeks, three weeks to work through an IT administrator to make happen. They inherently don't trust outsiders, and that's for good reason.

How do you present your bid? This is interesting, I know a lot of videographers, in my area, in BC vendors and videographers' association, in British Columbia, that I've presented at, but it's interesting, when you talk to people about how they present their bids to clients, how do they outline it, is it just, they come up with a lump sum that's gonna cover every base? Do they outline all their equipment cost, so that they know it's gonna be extra if something else happens, they have like, oh hey, can we get an extra monitor over here? Trying to, again, cover all your bases in terms of what needs to happen, and outline it so that they know, if they want changes, this is what it's gonna cost.

Usually I just spreadsheet it. I have a template that I use on Google Sheets that I replicate for, especially with the BC Dublin recurring clients, so they can review and see what's happening.

Often times, especially for ongoing engagements, who's managing the archive? I'm not paid to manage archives, but clients often expect you to have backups even months later, right, like oh, we just suddenly misplaced that pro-res master, did you delete those 10 terabytes of recordings that you did over two days, and it's just like, well, y'know, I'm not gonna just keep my SSD drives hangin' around when you didn't pay me to just keep those drives reserved for you, so, making sure that, I always keep mezzanine files any time I edit, and I'll put high-res 1080p files, they're gonna be compressed, they're not gonna be ProRes masters, but again, just how those costs are gonna be managed.

Any time I have a new event, vendors--or I should say clients--will just presume that I've got an offering that's gonna just be available if they need a change the next day, or right before the event happens, like hey, could we add a paywall in front of this at the last minute? It's like, well that's a pretty big change, and we need to discuss who's gonna be collecting the money, how do you wanna manage, it's a big conversation that, again, I try to make sure during my discovery, I call it out to the clients.

I had some breakdowns here on what equipment costs can include, and of course, redundancy for everything, so making sure, I usually just try to be competitive with rent, the rental rates on my gear are gonna be competitive with any of the locally accessible rental shops in that area, 'cause if I'm, if something happens to gear that I'm using and I have to get a backup at the last minute, I don't wanna be in a position where I can't necessarily cover my costs to get that same gear into the equation again.

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VideoRx CTO Robert Reinhardt outlines the essential elements of a successful live stream from capture to delivery to playback in this streaming producer's primer from Live Streaming Summit at Streaming Media East 2019.