cost of producing a continuing ed program?
November 16, 2015 1:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm on a committee that is being asked for a grant of $10,000 to produce a 3-hour continuing education program for lawyers. The venue is free of charge, and the speakers will be members of the bar association sponsoring it, so I assume they are not charging either. The bar will not charge admission; they will make the program streamable from their website.

I asked for a breakout of costs, and got this: professional design and printing, $200; PrintNet (?) $2200; computer professional, $6000; CLE fee $200. The computer costs were specified as recording the program, possibly interviewing off-site and editing that footage in, and possibly editing in historical footage (rounding up from their last event).

Does this sound reasonable? I asked my local CLE contact and she was shocked. But I'm trying to keep an open mind here.
posted by mmiddle to Education (5 answers total)
I would ask for a quotation for the $6000 and a breakdown of what that gets you in terms of staff and number of hours worked on this project. Also ask what PrintNet is and why it is necessary. I assume this is handout printing costs or something but it's the applicant's job to justify the budget, not mine.
posted by grouse at 1:40 PM on November 16, 2015

Definitely ask for more information about what PrintNet is and what the role of the computer professional will be.

I've run educational courses and conferences, and they can get quite expensive, despite the free venue. Things that will likely cost (in addition to design/printing) are eg who will be responsible for planning the program/seminar, how will they be letting participants know about the program, will there be catering (even just coffee) and who will be recording/streaming the sessions. In addition, free venue may not mean free venue staff.

Feel free to me mail me with any specific questions you may have.
posted by A hidden well at 2:57 PM on November 16, 2015

This kind of sounds like a grant to support someone's friend/spouse the computer professional.
posted by Salamandrous at 4:03 PM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

It sounds like what a video production group that hasn't caught up with just how much digital media has changed how easy it is to make reasonable quality recordings compared to a decade ago but has enough clients that haven't either to keep going. Is it a company required by the venue? At the very least, I'd suggestion getting samples of their work to see if it merits what they're charging.

That said, depending on what is actually involved, $6K may not be completely out of line if you're looking for a multicamera shoot of something like panel discussions, field production, and editing together all of the footage along with Powerpoint or other computer graphics into a professional looking video.

Part of what's reasonable depends on how much the video is realistically going to be used - if it's going to be watched a little by some lawyers, something cheaper and simpler may be absolutely fine, so you could find someone that does a very simple and inexpensive production. If it's something that many people are going to study intently, spending a higher amount may be worth it because it's easier to learn from better produced material (particularly if they make sure the audio is good) and wasting expensive professionals' time with lower quality content may not pay off in the end.
posted by Candleman at 5:50 PM on November 16, 2015

Thanks, each of you! These are all really helpful.
posted by mmiddle at 11:14 AM on November 17, 2015

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