How Much Does It Cost to Live Stream an Event?

Posted by Jaclyn Martinez on Apr 21, 2017 4:57:50 PM

You want to use video to amplify your next event - great idea! Live streaming has become a vital part of event organizers’ and marketers’ success. More and more, people are expecting to see live content from companies and brands they follow. Furthermore, audiences are trending towards preferring to watch live, rather than reading about it. 

live stream backstageBefore you can add live streaming to your event plans, you will want to know: how much will this cost. Let's find the answer by first considering the whenwherewhathow, and why of your event.

When is it? Fall (October and November) and Spring (March and April) are peak event seasons, so planning ahead will help cut costs and give you plenty of lead time to prepare. Even if you plan on live streaming one conference for the year, you can create more live streamed content from behind the scenes access, to one on one interviews with live audience Q&A. Consider live streaming more often during slow times to keep your audience engaged throughout the year.

Where will it be? In a conference room, a music hall, a stadium? This will affect logistical and technical expenses: sound, lighting, travel expenses, union fees, etc. Also, consider where you will be live streaming to. Will you be streaming to a landing page on your website or to a social media platform or both? Be sure to make it easy for your audience to access your live stream. Use a service like Blast to stream to multiple destinations at once without having to pay for extra bandwidth. 

What else do you want in addition to the live stream? We encourage event organizers to think bigger – social video, sizzle reels, backstage interviews. It all come with a price tag, but it may be well worth it. The other “what” to plan for is what content are you streaming? Just one keynote from one stage or will you need cameras for different rooms? Use a service like Flip to stream from multiple destinations at the same time, while saving on costs (rather than having to set up seperate streams from different rooms).

How many cameras do you want? Is it an all day event or a brief panel discussion? The bigger the team, the bigger the production, the higher the cost. How will you be connected to the internet? Use should use a dedicated network of 10mbps, as network speed can be unpredictable if event attendees connect to your streaming network during the event. Bandwidth can be pricey, but it is one of the most important requirements to keep your live stream up and stable.

Why do you want to live stream your event? What are your goals? If your goal is to convert leads, you should consider using a tool like Brightcove Gallery to bring viewers back to a branded page that allows them to convert or learn more about your brand. If your goal is maximum exposure, consider using a service like Boost to increase reach and engagement, or create highlights for future content distribution.

The budget summary below consists of pricing for a professional broadcast quality production live stream for medium to large businesses, and not low-level streaming such as user-generated content. It is hard to give ballpark pricing because every project and its requirements are different, and we do not take a cookie cutter approach to events. If you work with us, we will create a custom quote based on your unique needs and specifications. However, this should give you an idea of what to budget for.

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For professional live stream management only – meaning you already have a venue, an IT person, an editor, marketing covered, internet, and a director and video production company covering A/V, lighting and all other aspects of production. You would like to stream to multiple destinations such as your website and social platforms, with real-time graphic integration and onsite management. A full day, with no add-ons, starts at about $5,000.

When you start getting into a production with cameras, it depends on everything. For example, whether it will be one camera or a multi-camera shoot can change the price significantly. Reason being is when you add a camera, you also need to add a hard disk recorder, a switcher, sometimes another body to man the camera, etc. Also, what you are trying to capture, and the venue size, will effect every camera - and cost of that camera - that will need to be used (ie shooting from the back of a large room or an up-close interview, or both). You may need risers for the cameras, they may be robotic or need a camera operator, depending on the goal of your production. A straightforward, full day, two camera shoot with a project manager, production and streaming personnel starts around $15,000 - $25,000. It all depends on many variables (such as add-on's like an extra camera, creating a portal experience, collateral creation, etc.)

Then you must determine whether you need lighting, post-production, graphic integration, bandwidth, hosting, switchers, mixers and so many other pieces that only come out when you speak to an expert and figure out all the intricacies and components you need to make your event successful. We have worked on everything from global internal communications that are password protected, to fashion shows, to large scale conferences hosted by Fortune 500 brands – and every event had its own unique requirements.

In addition, we offer all kinds of services from our own technology (Blast, Boost, and Flip) to renting an IMAG or a studio to use. We can simply help you create live highlights of your stream or project manage, plan an entire production, and create a custom portal for your stream (like we did for Pacific Union). And we won’t charge you a yearly subscription fee or additional viewership fees (like live stream softwares do). Feel free to contact us if you would like more information about partnering with a live stream company. 


Looking to get started with live streaming your event? Check out our "Guide to Professionally Live Stream Events: The Basics to Best Practices" for information for marketing novices to seasoned event organizers, to help plan and execute a successful a live video production.

Topics: Blog Post, Industry News