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How much does a virtual event consultant cost?

How much does a virtual event consultant cost? Blog Feature

Stephanie Baiocchi

Director of Membership & Events, Speaker, Co-Leader of the Chicago HubSpot User Group, Host of ‘The IMPACT Show’ Podcast

June 10th, 2020 min read

Turning our in-person event into a virtual event was no small task. 

In addition to being a massive undertaking, there are so many things that can potentially go wrong with virtual events. 

For example, I’m sure you’ve seen at least one of the many viral embarrassing Zoom mishaps from the quarantine so far.

Even on this episode of their podcast, content marketing professional Peter Vamos and president of The Streaming Network Matt Ley, shared horror stories from virtual events and how to prepare to avoid these when streaming on a large scale.

After seeing all of these failures, you may be asking yourself should we even have a virtual event?

But you should. Virtual events can be incredibly rewarding for your audience and your business. 

In addition to saving businesses and attendees money and time, virtual events are more accessible and convenient to attend which means you can reach a larger audience than with an in-person event. 

Plus, you don’t have to go on your virtual event planning journey alone.

Since most businesses are so new to virtual events, many companies are offering guidance through virtual event consultants

The question then becomes, however, how much does virtual event consulting cost?

Types of virtual event services

Before we get into cost, let’s get on the same page about what we mean by virtual event consulting.

In the search for assistance hosting your virtual event you will come across a variety of services and professionals who can help including virtual event consultants, planners, and producers. 

What type of help you choose will depend on what your team can cover and where you need to fill in the gaps. 

You have to have the right team in place, successfully promote the event, choose a software on which to host it, and make sure your speakers have the proper setup for a quality online stream.

Based on these needs, let’s break down your options for virtual event services:

Virtual event consulting focuses mostly on the strategy of your event and helping you make it a success. Virtual event consultants can guide you through choosing the best software for your needs, structuring virtual presentations, developing creative ways to translate our previously in-person experiences into virtual ones, the promotion process, assisting speakers in creating professional and engaging sessions from a remote workspace, and more.

Virtual event consulting might be a good fit if you already have a team in place from your planned in-person event but need help transitioning it to a virtual experience.

It could also be a good fit if you want help creating the perfect virtual event for your space but then plan to hire or outsource parts of the work your team can’t cover. For instance, you could hire a one-day technical event producer to manage the technical details of your event and troubleshoot issues day-of.

Virtual event planning usually involves every detail of your virtual event and will usually even include a lot of the work such as creating promotional content, finding the right software, and even finding speakers and presenters.

They’re very focused on the details and making sure nothing slips through the cracks. 

A virtual event planner could be a great fit for a business that doesn’t have anyone on their team with the bandwidth or experience to focus on the little details of hosting a virtual event. If you need someone to manage things every step of the way, a virtual event planner may be the way to go.

They’ll be able to help you make decisions, answer speaker and attendee questions leading up to the event, and help you promote and get registrants.

Virtual event production is mostly focused on the technical execution on the day of your event. Virtual event producers are going to make sure everything runs smoothly, any questions from attendees get answered, speakers are prepared to present and use the tools available, troubleshoot any tool issues, and more.

They can also help with the technical setup ahead of time to ensure your software is secure, your video and audio will work, and your system will be able to support the influx of attendees with enough bandwidth.

A virtual event producer is a good fit when you are experienced in putting on an in-person event but want help with the technical challenges that come with hosting an event online. Whether it’s setting up the software, prepping to stream live, or dealing with audio and video issues, a virtual event producer can help. They will not help with things like promoting your event or hiring speakers, but they can make sure the day runs smoothly from a technical standpoint.

So, how much does virtual event consulting cost?

While many companies are offering virtual event consulting services, unfortunately, most are still afraid to discuss cost and price of their services. This will make it challenging for you to budget and plan for your virtual event needs. 

What I can tell you is virtual event consulting is typically priced one of three ways: 

  • based on the specific project needs
  • hourly
  • with a standard project fee 

This is typically the case for virtual event planners and producers as well. 

Per-project pricing

When virtual event consulting is priced per project, it’s often based specifically on things that need to be done such as designing promotional materials, writing promotional copy, and setting up event registration. A project may be priced higher or lower depending on the amount of work involved in the project. 

Hourly pricing

When virtual event consulting is priced hourly, it is typically for things that, regardless of outcome, require a set amount of time-bound work. Maybe this is something like calling every speaker and checking in with them. 

However, the value of virtual event consulting is beyond simply the time it takes to do something. 

For instance, while setting up the registration for your event may not take long, having it set up correctly by someone who has experience doing it is vital to the success of your event. 

When planning events, it can be hard to determine what you need ahead of time as you’re still developing your strategy and there are a lot of small tasks that may be quick or labor intensive.  

This can, in turn, make it difficult to determine what your investment will look like when priced based on hourly work. 

If you’re seeking guidance and expertise on virtual events, you will probably not find an hourly cost. However, if you’re looking for someone to execute a predetermined set of tasks leading up to your event, a virtual event planner with an hourly rate may be a good fit. 

From what I’ve seen recently, hourly virtual event planners range anywhere from $10 per hour to $150 per hour depending on the services provided.

Standard project fee pricing

Finally, when virtual event consulting has a standard per-project fee, it typically starts at a given amount but can go up based on additional add-ons.

For instance, at IMPACT, our virtual event consulting packages start at $10,000. 

This is for a package that typically lasts around two months and includes: 

  • Eight weekly 30-minute meetings with a strategic consultant to cover things like how to choose the right event software, how to adapt your event strategy to the virtual landscape, and creating a promotional plan. 

  • Eight weekly 30-minute meetings with a video consultant to help with the video promotion process for virtual events, teach you how to properly structure virtual presentations, and guidance on how to produce visually stunning sessions from a remote workspace.

Plus, you get direct access to your personal consultant via Basecamp.

Determining your virtual event consulting needs

When researching virtual event consulting services, it will help to have answers to as many of these questions as you can: 

  • What do you already know about your event?
  • How many people on your team are going to be working on the event and what relevant skills or experience do they have? 
  • Are you transitioning from an in-person event to a virtual one or starting a virtual event from scratch? 
  • What is the goal of your event?
  • When is your event, how long will it last, and is it live or pre-recorded? 
  • How many attendees are you expecting?

The more information you have determined ahead of time, the more accurate cost you’ll be able to get for your consulting needs. 

However, if you don’t have the answers to these questions yet, that’s okay! A virtual event consultant can help you determine the best answers to all of these questions and more to set your event up for success. 

While a virtual event consultant won’t do everything for you, they’ll help you put on the best virtual event possible.

The in-person event world has changed so drastically in the past few months, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your events strategy all together. Instead, focus on transitioning the experience you provided at your in-person events into an online one that accomplishes the same goals for you and your attendees. 

Whether that means a series of webinars or a full-day virtual conference, a virtual event consultant can help you determine what is the best fit for your goals and help you make that a reality. 

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