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How Much Does It Cost to Host Webinars?

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Webinar Service Prices

Webinars are the online version of seminars. They can be used for training or to demonstrate how to use new products. They're a great way to reach employees who telecommute or customers in remote locations.

During a webinar, listeners hear an audio presentation, via the web or a conference call, while watching slides on their computer. Webinars are generally a one-way form of communication, meaning that listeners are not active participants. However, some webinars include interactive features like screen sharing, text chat and polls or surveys.

Webinars can be broadcast through a live feed or they can be archived on your website so that participants can choose when to view them. Live feed webinars are more expensive because they require a live production staff to make sure everything goes as planned.

Webinar Average Costs

There are a number of factors that go into determining cost. Price is usually based on the bandwidth usage and the number of participants, or "seats," both of which vary widely depending on the type of webinar you're putting together.

Some service providers charge a flat fee for a month or year worth of webinar service. Others charge by the minute or on a per-participant basis. You'll have to do some calculations to figure out which pricing plan is most economical based on the size of your audience and how often you plan to use the service.

  • For a small-scale webinar, many providers start out at a low, flat rate of $100 per month. Once you start getting more traffic or need to accommodate larger audiences, that fee will climb to $500 or more.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, large corporations with tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of viewers will pay $5,000+ per webinar.
  • If you're paying on a per-event basis, plan on spending anywhere from $100 for the smallest and simplest event with minimal technical support to more than $5,000 for a corporate event with a large audience.

You can save money by handling some webinar-related tasks in house. If you need the technical support and bandwidth a webinar hosting service provides, but can handle your own marketing and promotions, a webinar might cost you $500. If you want a provider that manages everything for you (all you have to do is show up and give the presentation or demo) budget $1,000 to $5,000.

Paying a per-minute rate based upon the number of users is always a gamble. If the audience ends up being small, your total costs will be low. But if you attract a larger audience than anticipated, you might blow your budget.

The Downside to Free Webinar Services

You might wonder why anyone pays to host webinars when free hosting services are available on the Internet. The answer is simple: You get what you pay for.

Free webinar services are generally lacking in features. They limit the number of participants to a very small group - usually 10 or 20. They provide a host site for the webinar but do not allow you to archive the presentation on your site or keep a copy on DVD for later use. There is also little available in the way of technical support, meaning you're on your own if problems pop up.

If you're on a tight budget then tell the service provider upfront. They should be willing to work with you to put together a webinar that meets your basic needs without breaking the bank. You may not get every feature you could hope for, but you'll walk away with a professional presentation.

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