Photo of a Live Webcast produced for PowerPlan, Inc. in Atlanta, GA

Live Webcasting

In a previous post, I was ranting about the video production industry paradigm brought over from the Hollywood model – waste.

Another area that has caught that bug is ‘live webcasting’. While running the Press Interview Room for a couple of major PGA golf tournaments, we happened to be working at the same table where another company was doing a live webcast of the golfer interviews. They had 6 people, racks of equipment, and multiple computers. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why – until I saw their invoice. The charade was put on to justify their astronomical charge. We recently did a live webcast for a client in Atlanta, and there were three of us, with one camera, a desktop PC and a laptop. That’s it. And our bill was 6000% less than the guys at the golf tournament.

A local rehab center came to us to request a proposal to do a ‘closed-circuit’ live webcast of their quarterly graduation ceremony. The events generally ran from 3 – 4 hours.  The phone rang almost immediately after I submitted our proposal. “Are you sure you’ve got the proposed amount right? You’re really a LOT lower than the other bids we’re getting. We’re just concerned that you can’t do what we need for that amount.”

Not the first time that’s happened, and quite honestly, we’ve lost business because of it. The difference between our charges for live webcasting and others is stark, and scares a lot of people. It puts me in a bad position where I’m almost forced to tell them that the other companies are most likely going to bring in a LOT of people that they wont need, and a LOT of equipment they wont actually be using, but it will look really good, and expensive. Granted, we used to do a regular live webcast for a sports promoter in Atlanta for his boxing events. We were mixing 4 cameras, had color commentary, interviews, online support, etc., just like ESPN – and we had a LOT of people. But a person speaking at a podium for an hour during your company’s annual report hardly compares, and yes, we’ve seen proposals for such that looked like what we used to do for the boxing events.

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