Many of us on the Eventive team came from (and still volunteer for) small film festivals and non-profit arts organizations, so we know what it’s like trying to maximize your impact with limited funding.

Here are some ideas and tricks to help you stay within your budget:

Control your DRM fees on free virtual screenings -- and get sponsors to cover them!

With free virtual screenings, your tickets won’t have transaction fees, but you will still need to budget for DRM unlock fees ($0.99 per viewer) for all screenings with content uploaded into the platform.

If you set a capacity limit for the screening, you can be sure to stay within your budget for unlock fees! Learn more about setting a ticket capacity here.

You can also set capacity limits on passes to further control costs. By limiting the number of unlocks per pass, as well as by limiting the quantity of unlocks available per pass per event. Learn more about adjusting those settings here.

Plus, DRM unlocks are deferred on screenings unlocked with a pass, and those deferred fees are only billed on the content passholders watch. This makes passes and ticket bundles a great option to expand your offerings.

Once you’ve set your max capacity and budgeted for passholders, you’re ready to find sponsors to cover your potential costs! Tell your sponsors that a $300 gift will help cover the bandwidth for 300 viewers -- and by integrating sponsors on your screening page, those viewers will know exactly who to thank!

And even if you’re charging admission, getting sponsors to cover your DRM costs is still a great idea ;-)

Ask for donations at checkout, use pay-what-you can tickets, or offer a “household pass” to raise revenue.

You can customize your messaging on the screening page and during the checkout process so that patrons know their generosity goes toward supporting your costs. As a reminder, all donations incur a 2.9% + 30c transaction fee. You can read more about donations here.

With pay-what-you-can tickets, you can also encourage folks to pay more if there are multiple viewers in the room, or you can also sell a “household festival pass” at a higher price, encouraging folks watching together to pay more. Learn more about creating passes here.

Encourage viewers to buy ticket bundles and passes to limit transaction fees.

Since the transaction fee (5% + $0.99) is charged per item, you can cut those costs down by encouraging folks to buy a pass or ticket bundle that provides them access to multiple screenings. Here’s a quick comparison chart:

Price Per Item

Transaction Fee Calculation

Total Transaction Fees

Selling 5 Individual Tickets

$10

5 x [(10 x .05) + 0.99]

$7.45

Selling a 5-Ticket Bundle

$50

1 x [(50 x .05) + 0.99]

$3.49

This chart demonstrates the savings if the ticket bundle uses the same per-ticket price, but you can also entice them with volume-based discounts! You can create curated bundles, or leave it up to your patrons to choose their favorites as they go.

You can read more about creating ticket bundles and pass buckets here.

Group films together into double-features and longer shorts packages.

If you’re selling tickets to your festival, you’ll probably want to offer the films as separate screenings to sell more tickets.

But if your festival is free, you will want to be as efficient as possible when planning out the number of screenings in your program. Consider bundling films into one virtual screening package to save on DRM unlock fees (which are charged per screening, not per film).This is also important to keep in mind as you divide your shorts film selections into a number of showcases.

We trust you to stay within reason here -- you may have some splainin’ to do if we find a screening with 20 hours worth of content!

Decrease ingest fees and DRM fees by using the External Link option for films that don’t require DRM protection.

Although we believe strongly that all content should be given the utmost protection, the fact is that some films (for example, student work) are simply at less risk of piracy than others. If you confirm that it’s okay with the filmmaker that you offer their film without DRM protection, you can ask them to provide an unlisted viewing link (YouTube, Vimeo, etc) instead of uploading their film directly to Eventive.

Content connected through an external link will not be DRM protected and in turn won’t incur the $0.99 unlock fee per viewer.

Externally linked content will still play within the Eventive player, but it won’t play on the Eventive TV App. Make sure to let your audience know they’ll need to Chromecast,Airplay, or connect to their TV through HDMI instead.

Content provided through the external link option also doesn’t count as an “ingest,” so you can cut down on ingest fees by using this option as well -- especially handy for pre-recorded Q&As!

Decrease ingest fees by uploading your shorts program in a single file as a feature.

If you have access to all of the content and are handy at video-editing, you can create a single file for your full shorts program and upload it as a feature ($25) instead of individual shorts ($5 each).

If you have more than 5 short films in the program, uploading as one file will help save you money on ingest fees! You’ll just want to keep in mind that with a single package, viewers won’t be able to vote for their favorite short and you’ll need to get creative with how you build all the shorts’ descriptions into one film page.

Offer a variety of content at your virtual festival!

If you offer a variety of content -- VOD screenings, Livestreams, VOD + Live events -- you can also set different price levels that correspond to your costs.

For example, consider offering some basic livestreams as free standalone events, offer VOD screenings at a low price and offer tickets to screenings with a live Q&A (ie, VOD + Live) at a slightly higher price. That way, you can make your festival accessible to a variety of patrons, spice up your catalog of events, and stay on budget!

Test your content for free! Just make sure you label the screenings as “TEST”

We recommend testing out your screenings in advance. Avoid DRM fees for your test screenings by clearly naming each test screening “TEST” or by using Admin Preview Mode. Learn more here!


If you have additional ideas or questions about how to stay within budget, send us a note in the chat!

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