With the development of technology and the changing of situations, many event organisers and companies have been challenged to convert their in-person events to online events.
When it comes to deciding on a virtual event platform to use for your event, there are several things you have to consider.
In this article, we give you a list of the items you have to carefully find in a virtual event platform.
Features to Look For
An ideal event management platform should allow you to customise how you design your virtual event.
You should be able to customize your event website’s registration pages, email templates, and rooms for breakout sessions. It should also allow you to include event details such as your event description, speaker logo, topics of each session.
If your potential event attendees see the platform’s logo instead of your brand’s logo, then it might confuse them and they will end up not registering for your event.
Make sure to have a visible and consistent branding throughout the whole virtual platform event website.
Live Broadcast Features
You should also consider using platforms that allow you to do a live broadcast for your virtual event. This will create a sense of urgency in people to watch your event because they know they will only have one chance to watch it.
Live broadcasting will boost answers to your polls and invite the attendees to send questions for your Q&A sessions.
Also see to it that the platform’s live broadcast feature will allow you to add automated subtitles in different languages just in case your viewers don’t know the language you and your speakers use.
You’ll never know which countries your audience will be watching from. Having the live broadcast subtitles in the native language of your audience will make them easily connect with you and understand your message
Pre-recorded Content Features
Although many virtual events are broadcasted live, some sessions have to be pre-recorded due to the unavailability of the speaker during a specific time and date or an unstable internet connection.
Communication and Engagement Features
Events now may be virtual, but that doesn’t change the fact that communication with your attendees throughout the whole event is essential.
The virtual event platform you will use must be able to have a messaging and group chat feature, post-event survey feature, and live polling feature to ensure constant communication with your attendees.
Most Popular Virtual Event Platforms
Now that in-person events are being converted to online events, many digital platforms have arised in the market. Some platforms focus more on virtual meetings, some on webinars, and some offer both.
Below are the most popular virtual event platforms that you could use in your virtual event or conference.
Zoom is one of the most popular digital event platforms all over the world. Attendees don’t have to pay to join a meeting or a webinar on Zoom. They can simply sign up or link their Facebook account to Zoom on the Zoom app or website.
Zoom is capable of supporting both a webinar and a virtual meeting. It offers complete communication features for chat, data, and more.
It allows you to gather data, record meetings, share your screen and files. You can also customise your branding by using registration links and video backgrounds.
It offers breakout rooms which can give attendees more time to talk with a speaker or have group discussions. The host of the meeting or conference can decide how long the breakout session will be and redirect the attendees to the main room after the breakout sessions.
If you want to have more features and customization for your webinar, you can purchase Zoom webinar which includes some features such as automatic mute feature, panelist green room, screen sharing for presenters, custom registration, live broadcasting, reporting & analytics, integrated global toll-free, Q&A and polling, attendee raise hand, attention indicator, integration with CRM, video platforms, and marketing automation systems.
Zoom offers users to choose from different types of accounts.
- Business (Small and Medium Businesses)
- Enterprise (Large Enterprise-Ready)
- Zoom Phone
- Zoom Rooms
- Video Webinar
GoToWebinar is a webinar platform that’s easy to use and offers speedy event management, performance, and data. It’s used mostly by Asian Pacific countries and in North America.
It allows hosts to run several webinars at the same time which is essential for companies and event organisers who run a digital conference.
GoToWebinar gives you an easy set up for company branding, custom branding registration, recording features, and polling. The platform offers preferred CRM and pre-set templates for organisers and companies who are first-time webinar or conference hosts.
Here are the different paid plans for GoToWebinar:
ON24 is a platform that is mostly used by the United States, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
It offers live, personalised webinar experiences that you can use to create and deliver engaging, data-rich digital experiences and increase revenue.
It supports every kind of webcast from do-it-yourself webcasts and slideshow presentations to fully managed webcasts where ON24 can moderate for you. The webinar can support up to 4,000 attendees for a single digital event.
It provides a dashboard with rich reporting data such as new leads when a large number of attendees leave a webinar.
The webcasting room is highly customizable allowing you to change template colors and add logos to the brand room. You can also make use of breakout rooms and chat.
It has many integrated marketing and reporting features that will suit your events needs. It offers live chat, Q&A, social sharing, attendee management, polls, screen sharing, reminders, multi-presenter, and more.
Hopin is an all-in-one live online events platform. It has everything you need to be able to host a successful online event.
Hopin helps you create exciting events for your global audience. It's built for all shapes and sizes of events - from small gatherings to conferences with thousands of attendees.
The platform is secure. It allows you to make your events private and password-protected or hidden and invite-only. It also allows you to sell tickets or to make the event free.
Hopin lets you customise your online event interior to your branded colors to make your audience recognizable at just one glance.
It offers several event features such as reception, stage and backstage, sessions, networking, expo, registrations, recording, analytics, and team management.
There are 2 available subscriptions for Hopin:
- Monthly Early Access plan
- Annual Pro Plan
WebEx is a tool that allows users to host or participate in video conferences, meetings, and online meetings with up to 1,000 participants allowed in a virtual meeting room.
WebEx is very easy to use. Participants can join via the WebEx desktop, web, and mobile app. To join a meeting, all you have to do is click the big green button in the invitation. You don’t need to install, plug in, or download anything from your browser to join. You can also lock your personal room and your discussions using an industry-leading and multi-layered security.
WebEx allows you to join a meeting from Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Workplace. It also works well with Google Calendar. This gives you less switching between apps and a more efficient way of working.
When you join a WebEx meeting, you will get high quality audio and videos of yourself, other participants, and screensharing videos.
BlueJeans is a cloud video-conferencing and screen sharing service that connects users across a variety of platforms such as Google, Cisco, and Microsoft Lync.
It offers collaborative video, audio, web conferencing, live streaming, and other events.
BlueJeans is known for its simplicity. It allows users to schedule, join, and host meetings in just a matter of a few seconds from any device. It may be simple to use, but it has high quality video and audio utilising the Dolby Voice services.
Blue Jeans offers a free trial as well as long-term membership plans:
- BlueJeans Standard
- BlueJeans Pro
- BlueJeans Enterprise
- One Time Webinar
- Unlimited & Large Scale Events
- Up to 19 rooms
- 20 rooms and above
HeySummit is a virtual platform that helps you increase engagement, conversions, and revenue for your online summits. It’s a good service to use especially if you’re just getting started with virtual summits.
It has you covered for everything that has to do with summit planning and organization. It simplifies the process of producing a successful summit. It allows you to create a community, offer referrals, giveaways, and more.
The platform provides webinar, live streaming, and video hosting solutions such as
- Attendee registration
- Speaker dashboard
- Talk and panel management
- Reporting features for analytics about your event
- Content landing page builder
HeySummit has pricing models that can be paid monthly or yearly. There are 3:
- Basic Plan
- Professional Plan
- Business Plan
WebinarNinja is one of the easiest platforms to use with unique thank you and sign up pages which allow you to create a webinar in only a short period of time.
WebinarNinja offers 4 different kinds of webinars:
- Live - broadcasted live for audience interaction
- Automated - webinars that have been recorder earlier and run at specific times
- Series - groups of several webinars
- Hybrid - combination of live and recorded webinars
WebinarNinja has a lightning-fast live chat, instant screen sharing, multiple polls feature, timed offers, analytics dashboard, and more. WebinarNinja has a 14-day trial to test out its features.
It also has 4 paid plans:
- Starter Plan
- Pro Plan
- Plus Plan
- Power Plan
Accelevents is an affordable all-in-one virtual event platform which is easy to use and has 24/7 live support.
It offers virtual event hosting which includes unlimited ticket sales, landing pages, unlimited attendees, live streaming, live chat, polls, virtual exhibitor booths, and break out sessions.
The platform gives importance to having events that build relationships. It offers speed dating, group discussion rooms, lobby rooms, watch parties, and more.
It also has a set of analytics tools to help you know which sessions or speakers had the best performance. You can also measure the return on investments of a virtual exhibitor booth.
Accelevents allows you to create and sell exhibitor booths which will allow exhibitors to host live demos, chat with the event attendees, schedule meetings, and so much more.
Now you know more about the most commonly used platforms as well as what to consider when choosing a virtual platform for your event.
Whether you’re hosting a conference or a virtual meeting, always see it to it that the platforms you’ll use will help promote your brand and reach your event goals.
Continue to use the data you gathered and educate yourself on these platforms to reach maximum results for your event. Understand what could work for your event and what could not. From here, you can come up with more ideas and improvements for your future digital events.