How Much Does it Really Cost to Host a Webinar?

Melissa Hugel
05-Oct-2020 14:50:02

One of the first (and most important) questions people ask when exploring their webinar options is how much will that webinar cost? Understanding the pricing structure and costs associated with any potential webinar, and webinar platform is key to being able to project and manage your webinar's ROI

Let's take a look at all of the expected, and some of the unexpected costs you could run into with hosting a webinar. 

Expected Webinar Costs: 

Webinar Platform Costs and Pricing: 

The most obvious cost associated to running your webinar is the cost of your webinar platform. Some simple webinar platforms are free to use up to a certain number of attendees, while more advanced technologies typically require a monthly or annual fee to host your events. Webinar pricing for a robust webinar platform ranges anywhere from $150 USD per month to $500+ USD per month depending on your package and unique needs. 

Where you need to be careful, is with the fine print. Many companies, most often those that don't publish their pricing on their website, tend to include hidden fees and additional cost for your events that penalize you for things like needing additional presenter logins, having more attendees than you expected, or even getting technical support during your event if you only purchased a basic package. Lucky for you, companies like WorkCast keep their pricing structures really simple which allows you to easily forecast your costs and ROI.  

Webinar Equipment & Creation Costs:

One of the great things about webinars, is they don't require a lot of fancy equipment or technologies to run. All you really need are headsets that connect via USB port for your presenters, a webcam, and good internet connections and you're set. The full webinar kit for two presenters would run you anywhere from: $200 USD - $400 USD if you had to buy everything brand new. If you're running multiple webinars per year, the investment in good equipment becomes easy to justify.

Stock imagery, music, video licenses or other creative assets that you need to purchase for your webinar would also fall into this category. 

Read: What to Buy: Webinar Equipment For Every Budget >

Webinar Presenter Costs: 

If you are hiring consultants or keynote speakers for your webinars, you will need to factor in those costs. The good news is that speaker costs will be lower than what companies paid previously for in-person events because you don't have to fly people across the country, pay for meals, hotels or any other additional fees.

You do want to offer a fair rate for your speakers as their level of expertise or the value they can provide to your audience has not changed since COVID-19. Try to work out a pricing package that is fair and focuses on building a long-term relationship with these individuals, you don't want industry experts to feel like you took advantage of them during a tough situation.

Webinar Promotion Costs: 

Depending on the goal for your webinar (lead generation, thought  leadership, trainings, etc.), your costs will vary because your promotional channel mix will differ.

If you're focused on lead generation, you will want to put some spend behind paid social, PPC and other third-party advertising to help get the word out to new audiences. However, if your webinar is being used for internal training purposes you will probably rely more heavily on email and word-of-mouth to drive sign-ups so your costs will be low, or possibly even nothing.

In general, we'd recommend spending 40%-60% of your allocated budget for the webinar to promotion to ensure you're generating quality leads.

Unexpected Webinar Costs

The biggest surprise cost when it comes to planning, promoting and hosting a webinar is the amount of time and people power that goes into the organization and execution of a webinar. 

If you use an agency for design work or any task associated to your webinar planning and promotion this will be obvious for you, agencies are more than happy to bill you for every single minute of work so you will see an invoice for the exact amount of time invested into the project.

But if you have in-house teams that don't allocate hours or bill departments for each job you can quickly lose sight of how much time and resource is being dedicated to your event. While you may not be billed for this in dollars, it does have an opportunity cost associated to it which can have a more detrimental impact on the success of other teams or projects you're managing. Always try to optimize your webinar creation process to mitigate these costs. 

Example of Webinar Costs

Below is an example of what a typical webinar sprint would cost our marketing team at WorkCast this year. We host countless webinars each year but to keep it simple, I've calculated it as if we are running one webinar per month.  

  • Platform Costs: $495
  • Equipment Costs (2 new headsets and a webcam): $30
  • Presenter Costs: Free (we usually have WorkCast experts present)
  • Promotion Costs: $600
  • Employees' Hours: 20 hours total (spread across multiple people)

Total Webinar Costs: $1,125 + employee salaries for 20 hours

Important Note: If you have an idea of how many registrants and attendees you expect for your event you can easily calculate your ROI which will help you decide whether you should increase or decrease your spend for your webinar. 

To help you better calculate your costs to host a webinar on the WorkCast platform, we've built an interactive webinar estimate calculator that will help you determine how much your webinar will cost in roughly 60 seconds. Enjoy!  

 

 

How much will it cost to run your webinar? Get a quote of the WorkCast platform today. 

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