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Hybrid Events: A Breakdown of Profits and Costs

How much does a hybrid event cost?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get here at PayBee from nonprofits and charities ready to host a hybrid fundraising gala.

And it’s a good question. While you may have heard about all the cost savings you can expect from hosting a virtual event or hybrid fundraiser, putting on a successful hybrid gala also means adding some extra costs to your budget. Depending on the complexity of your event, you may also need to invest in some additional support to help with setup.

So, we decided to give you a concrete look at the unique costs involved in producing a hybrid event for your charity or nonprofit organization. In addition, we’ll share what we’ve learned about the profits our clients enjoy from hosting digital events and why our online platforms increase profitability by offering a better experience for your guests.  

The Cost of Hybrid Events

When creating a breakdown of hybrid gala costs, it’s important to understand that you’ll essentially be producing two experiences – an in-person gala and a virtual event. In addition, you’ll need to invest in tech support and staff to help you manage these galas and make sure both your in-person audience and online attendees get to participate in the activities you offer.

With this in mind, here are some of the most important services you’ll need for your hybrid fundraising event along with what you can expect to pay for them.

Videographer

Providing your online audience with good video and sound of your hybrid gala means investing in the services of a professional on-site videographer. An event videographer will film and edit your event into high-quality video footage. Not only will this give your virtual gala attendees a more immersive experience, the video can also be used in promotional videos for your nonprofit or charity. This will help attract more attendees to your future fundraisers and can also help you gain more sponsors.

When hiring a videographer or videographer team, be sure to find out if the people you bring on have experience filming hybrid events, have filmed traditional fundraisers, or only have general videography experience. Ask if they’ll be supplying all of their equipment or if you’ll have to rent additional gear. And definitely make sure their video will be produced in a format that’s compatible with your event software, including your online platform, live streaming software and content distribution network.

It’s always a good idea to look at samples of your videographer’s past work and read reviews from former clients. Remember, a good videographer team should be virtually invisible at your event and produce a video that makes your virtual audience feel like they’re at your in-person fundraiser.

We’ve found that a professional on-site videographer will cost anywhere between $300 and $1000. Keep in mind that depending on your event needs, you may have to invest in a videographer with specialized editing or filming skills which will need to be factored into your budget.  

On-Site Producer

Getting a live and virtual event to work together can be challenging, which is why it’s important to hire a producer or production team to help your hybrid gala run smoothly. These producers can help you coordinate your live entertainment and provide on-site management.

If you hire a producer who specializes in hybrid events, you can also expect to receive help with the online portion of your event as well.This can include help with building a custom landing page, offering online registration, and live streaming your content. Producers can also help run your webinars or manage breakout session interactions.

As always, be sure to check your producer’s track record before hiring one. Ask to view a demo reel of their past work and judge for yourself how experienced they are at producing nonprofit or charity hybrid fundraisers.  

We’ve found that a professional on-site producer costs around $1500. Again, you should be very clear on all of the responsibilities your producer will take on during your hybrid event and how this will affect your budget.

Virtual Event Platform

A good virtual event platform should be easy to use when setting up and managing your event campaigns. Hybrid fundraisers that offer silent and live auctions need an online platform and mobile bidding apps that coordinate bids from in-person and online participants. Your virtual event platform should also be able to efficiently create and run ticketing campaigns and donation campaigns as well as make it easy to advertise your hybrid gala through social media marketing.  

Even after your hybrid gala is complete, your virtual event platform should continue to assist you by providing detailed reports on your fundraiser. You should also be able to make it easy for your supporters to deposit their donations and provide tax receipts for their contributions.

PayBee’s user-friendly virtual event platform offers all of these features for a one-time setup fee of $399. In addition, our credit card fee is 2.7% + 30 cents and ourAutomated Clearing House (ACH) fee is 1.3%. However, we also offer an option for donors to cover this fee and find that 90% of donors elect to pay these fees themselves.  

Package Fees

Thanks to the way event services have adapted to virtual events in 2020, many auctioneers now offer an all-in-one package for their auctioneer services as well as their virtual event services – including video producing services. This can offer your hybrid fundraising gala some great savings, so it’s definitely worth it to see if a package deal is right for your nonprofit or charity event, particularly when it comes to saving time on setup.

How Profitable are Successful Hybrid Events?

By now, you’ll have heard that hybrid fundraisers are not only cost effective but can also be extremely profitable. And it’s true. Provided that you offer both your in-person and online guests a great experience by investing in the proper services, hybrid events offer a number of benefits for your nonprofit or charity, including:  

More Money Raised

Most digital clients exceed their fundraising goal by between 30% to 50%. This is due to both the reduced costs of hybrid galas and the increased generosity of donors at virtual and hybrid events.

Remember, being able to attend your fundraising event virtually often means your supporters save money in travel fees. People pressed for time can also easily pop in and out of your virtual event and leave a quick donation. You may even choose to make your event free to attend for online audiences. All of this can leave your supporters feeling more generous and many are willing to turn their savings over to you in the form of donations.  

Better Outreach and Support

Although your in-person audience might be small due to necessity, your hybrid gala will still be able to reach many more supporters virtually. This gives you some great opportunities to increase the profitability of your fundraiser.

If you’re offering a silent or live auction, for instance, investing in a digital bidding interface like the PayBee app will create some very active bidding competitions among your donors. Since anyone with the app or a laptop can place bids on your auction items, getting the winning bid is more challenging and fun. This adds a lot of energy to your event which in turn results in more money raised.

Being able to engage such a large live/virtual audience also benefits you in other ways. Where before your traditional fundraisers may have only been able to reach a few hundred people, a hybrid gala can gain you thousands of potential new supporters and vastly improve your brand recognition. This will come in extremely handy when you need to recruit more volunteers or support staff, showing how these hybrid events provide some long-term benefits.  

Hosting a Cost-Effective and Profitable Hybrid Fundraising Gala

Hybrid fundraising galas are quickly becoming the future of nonprofit and charity fundraisers. This makes it important for you to understand not only how to host such an event but also how to properly budget for one. While most of our clients find that virtual and hybrid events are more cost-effective than traditional fundraisers, they also know that they can’t expect to manage the entire gala themselves, especially since most people still aren’t familiar with this new method of fundraising.

Be willing to invest time and money when securing a professional support staff and virtual event platform. Although it might be tempting to try and save some money by filming and producing your event by yourself, you need to remember that your hybrid gala will greatly determine how your nonprofit or charity is seen by your new and existing supporters. By including some additional services in your budget, you’ll end up with a more professional fundraiser that gives your donors a great experience and raises more money for your mission.

To learn more about the type of services and new expenses you’ll need to invest in for your hybrid gala, sign up for a free PayBee demo. You’ll get to see first h and how a virtual fundraiser looks and be able to ask your questions and virtual galas and hybrid events to our experts.      

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Michael Jung

Michael-Jung