While the Wi-Fi is free to attendees, it’s a cost to NACC. But Collins and his staff are able to offset the wireless and computer fees in The Hub—which usually total $6,500 to $8,500 for the 4-day event—through sponsorships. The main sponsor for The Hub gets great visibility with its name on the banners, signs, and even on the screensavers on the computers, among other places. It also gets to place brochures and business cards throughout the area. The specially designed Hub business cards feature the sponsors’ logo and the daily Wi-Fi password. Other sponsorship packages offer visibility on the conference Web site.

Bandwidth Bound

The organization also live-streams all general sessions to remote attendees around the world. To accommodate these broadcasts to individuals, large church audiences watching together in one place, and in-house monitors, Collins buys about 10 megabits of bandwidth.  

The costs can vary for that amount of bandwidth. He has seen fees as low as $5,000 and as high as $15,000, but it’s always a negotiated item. Collins tries to get a few extras in order to mitigate the overall cost. For example, last year he negotiated for the use of about a dozen high-definition television monitors that were placed around the convention center so attendees could watch what was on the main stage. Then he turned that concession into a money-maker by selling 30-second commercials to exhibitors that would play all day on the monitors. “They loved it,” says Collins. Those ads, along with other sponsorship opportunities on the Web site, were enough to cover the cost of Wi-Fi.

The live video content went to attendees in 47 U.S. states and 27 foreign countries, and got 15,000 views throughout the conference. The content was also archived and placed on the NACC Web site for viewing on demand up to 30 days post-conference, which attracted more than 25,000 views.