What Is The Best Platform For A Virtual Event?
Event planners are working to find the best virtual event platforms as they move from the world of live events to virtual events to keep their clients and attendees safe. According to Event Manager Blog, it’s assumed that 30-60% of event industry experts will pivot to virtual events in the coming months. The internet is booming with the question, “What is the best virtual event platform?” From an experienced team of virtual event professionals, the honest answer is that there is no one specific answer to this question. For instance, a virtual financial conference is going to look and feel a lot different online than a virtual awards show would. Virtual events are nothing new, but the software programs that continue to evolve for virtual events are. We are here to help you compare and find the best event technology for your event.
What To Look For In A Virtual Event Platform
Virtual events are not just webinars. Virtual events are delivering powerful content to an audience of any size anywhere in the world. There is some serious thought that is required in choosing a virtual event platform. Without any “one size fits all” option for virtual events, there are a variety of features you want to consider when working to determine which virtual event platform is best for you and your specific event. Here are some common questions to ask regarding virtual event platforms:
– How am I going to educate my virtual audience?
– How am I registering attendees? Am I charging admission?
– How do I engage my virtual audience in virtual networking?
– What am I selling at my virtual event? What ecommerce options are available?
– How do I provide my event sponsors and exhibitors the highest ROI?
– How do I brand my event in a virtual environment?
– What analytics do I need to collect?
– Do I need to incorporate social media?
– How many sessions am I having? Are there breakouts?
– Will attendees be joining via desktop or mobile or both?
– Will presentations be delivered live or prerecorded? Will they be one-way or interactive?
Any great virtual event platform is going to be able to answer these questions to meet your event needs. Event technology companies are constantly working to adapt to the world of virtual events. Planning a virtual event can be overwhelming, but there are resources out there to help with that.
Your Best Virtual Event Platform Options
After spending the last five years in the virtual event world, the team at Wired Production Group in Cedar Rapids, Iowa came together to share a list of the best virtual event platforms, based on their professional experience developing a variety of virtual events with clients.
Virtual Event Platforms for Corporate Events, Product Launches & Sales Meetings
When you’re seeking the best virtual event platform to create the top-notch virtual event experience for your corporate event, product launch, or other type of hybrid sales meeting, you want to utilize the event platforms with the most engaging technology. For these types of events where engagement with education is your #1 priority, metrics are key. The high value data that your presenters look for at the end of their virtual events is exactly what you as an event planner need to be able to provide through these virtual event platforms. Focus on getting your maximum ROI from beginning to end with these top virtual event platforms for corporate events, production launches, and sales meetings:
– InEvent: InEvent is known as a leader in the virtual event software industry. Their Virtual Lobby is a preferred feature for interactive hybrid event experiences as well as their full-blown marketing suite, including personalized messages, emails, and built-in registration systems for attendee data collection and payment processing.
– Boomset: Boomset is known for offering top-level registration features, including online and on-site check-ins, custom-branded self-check-in kiosks, and more. Their QR code scanning feature is very popular for larger scale virtual and hybrid events.
– On24: ON24 is one of the best for developing personalized experiences that helps you deliver data, find demand, and drive revenue for your virtual event. ON24 is known for its data-rich experience to build a virtual ecosystem that you can move into your CRM and prioritize leads for sales or networking follow-ups.
– Pheedloop: From back-end to user-facing, the Pheedloop virtual event platform is highly rated amongst event planners. Everyone involved in the virtual event has dedicated portals to help view and manage their information and tasks related to the event from beginning to end.
These are just a few apps that include custom chat features, e-commerce opportunities, and lead generation options. You may also look at virtual event apps that include easily accessible downloadable documents, custom links for tracking, and special offers for new business opportunities for smaller product launches and sales meetings.
Virtual Event Platforms for Trade Shows and Conferences
Event planners who are organizing trade shows and conferences are looking for turn-key solutions. When you think “turn-key,” you think about the technology being user-focused. It should be easy to setup, customization, and simple to navigate with a professional look. It’s natural for these types of virtual event platforms to have great customer support from beginning to end – and they won’t break the budget.
Top virtual event platforms for trade shows and conferences include:
– Attendify: Event planners are constantly sharing the value of Attendify. Attendify offers a free trial and plans start at $1,999 per event with all the tools you need to manage your event, boost engagement, and more.
– Hopin: From 50 attendees to 50,000 attendees, Hopin provides high quality options at a good value. For your trade show, build a virtual expo with an interactive floor for vendor booths. For your conference, know that Hopin was made for you to build your virtual event program seamlessly online.
– Whova: Whova is excellent for networking, custom scheduling within a busy program, and giving attendees the experience they deserve. With clear messaging and video conferencing portals, the level of networking available with Whova is unmatched. Whova offers the digital experience that all event planners and attendees are looking for in a user-friendly and efficient virtual event platform.
The virtual event platform options for corporate events and conferences focus a lot on exhibition or sponsorship options and connecting with social media platforms. It’s also common for these types of software programs to include a variety of live streaming integration options, like Zoom, YouTube, etc. They can all offer multiple concurrent sessions through their virtual event platform and also provide high-quality networking features to keep your audience connected both on desktop and mobile.
Virtual Event Platforms for Webinars and Meetings
Webinars and virtual meetings are an excellent way to reach your audience. From ticketing to email marketing to coordinating speakers and content to execution, there are a variety of needs you may have when coordinating your webinar or virtual meeting. You can start with any basic video conferencing software program and expand your list of needs from there. If you’re looking for an all-in-one program, here are a list of the top virtual event platforms for webinars and virtual meetings:
– Cisco WebEx: The Cisco WebEx platform keeps meetings professional – internally and externally. Compared to other platforms, Cisco WebEx has more features to better accommodate event planners who want to host more advanced web-based meetings. The software keeps the setup process virtually seamless and is known for its safety and security.
– Crowdcast: With professionals being glued to a computer screen for 8+ hours per day, Crowdcast offers a fresh look with their virtual event platform. It is known for presenting with multiple hosts, including screen sharing. Crowdcast is also a solid choice if you are looking to host any paid webinars, donation-based webinars, or free webinars.
– GoToMeeting: Quick, comfortable, and easy-to-use are just a few of the words that describe the GoToMeeting virtual event platform. Meetings are easily accessible for both presenters and attendees either by phone, app, or browser-based program. Yep, that’s right. It’s browser-based, so no downloads to be required with this program!
– Zoom: In today’s world, if you haven’t heard of Zoom, you’ve probably been living under a rock. This simple video conferencing tool offers clear video with many business-oriented features like user management and cloud recording, but it’s perfect for any quick and easy webinar or virtual meeting.
Any webinar or virtual meeting platform you are choosing should include both desktop and mobile-friendly options. You can also expect basic functions, like private and public chats, polling, multiple presenters, and analytics provided during and/or after the event. Depending on the level of interactivity you’re looking for and price-point, all of these apps provide a variety of options to accommodate the needs of your webinar or virtual meeting.
Talk to the Virtual Event Professionals
If you’re ready to turn your live event into a successful virtual event, contact the team at Wired Production Group. With over 25 years of experience and a dedicated team of live and virtual event professionals, we are here to make your event happen.