For today’s event planners, finding a robust virtual event platform has become essential. Virtual events are no longer an afterthought, an added “feature” of in-person events. Because of the 2020 pandemic, virtual gatherings are now the standard. And attendees expect the same quality from an online event as they would from a live one.
To deliver on this quality, virtual event planners need the best platforms. With so many options on the market, how do you choose?
What to Look for in A Virtual Event Platform
Filming and Live Broadcasting
The most basic feature you need from any virtual event platform is filming. You should be able to film your speakers, whether it’s through a webcam or professional-grade audiovisual equipment. A good platform will also allow live broadcasting and capture recorded content. Streaming your speakers live creates a sense of urgency for your attendees, making them want to tune in. You also want to save the footage from the event so you can publish it later or format it into promotional content for your website and social media channels.
Audience Engagement and Social Media Integration
To make a virtual event feel more like an in-person one, you need features for audience engagement and social media integration. These tools should go beyond basic video conferencing options like live chat and Q&A. The platform should integrate with social media networks, so your attendees can share updates from the event in real-time. The platform should also allow built-in registration tools that make it easy for people to sign up. An event with separate “rooms” also helps with networking, where guests can ask speakers questions directly.
The virtual event platform you choose should either produce branded content for you or make the content creation process intuitive. It should allow for pre-recorded content, if you choose to present your event that way. A platform that handles presentation design, by providing easy-to-use templates, is also a huge time-saver for busy event managers.
A good platform will also have customisation options. You don’t want your guests logging into the event or navigating to the event page to see the platform’s logo instead of your own. Your virtual event software should offer features like a branded event website, email templates, web room, and custom registration. These personalisation options also allow you to cater your networking service to your event’s needs.
Monetization and Sponsorship
Your virtual event platform should also offer monetization and integrated sponsorship options. Showing ads in different rooms of the events is a good start, but you can go further. Rather than having to devise creative sponsorship opportunities yourself, the platform should provide pre-designed possibilities for sponsors. Education sessions, registration, email, social media, and web/retargeting are all good choices for sponsors.
The Best Virtual Event Platforms in 2020
Virtual event platforms today should be inclusive. They should do more than set up a live video conference. The following event platforms include the features discussed above, making them ideal, all-around virtual event solutions.
Aventri is designed for more than just livestreaming a conference. It’s an event management software with virtual and hybrid event options. It takes you through every stage of the event process, from marketing and registration to email follow-up. You can customise registration and send personalised attendee agendas, stream to an audience anywhere in the world, and add your branding to your virtual event. Aventri also gives you real-time analytics, integrating with Google Analytics, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Marketo, so you can see how well your event is performing.
Hopin is a virtual event venue. With this platform, you can create an event with different rooms – Reception, Stage, Breakout Sessions, Networking, or Expo Area. Setting up different online spaces allows you to more easily replicate an in-person event. Hopin complements its powerful event creation feature with livestreaming, email, and analytics tools. The platform is also intuitive, so neither you nor your guests will waste time setting up and logging on.
For large companies that want to deliver brand-defining virtual events, InEvent is the ideal solution. The platform can handle events with over 150,000 attendees and supports multiple languages. InEvent also has customisable event marketing services and an integration hub for analytics and sponsorship management. InEvent even allows you to create a customised event app, allowing audience members to interact and engage.
Splash automates guest communication, providing a stellar user experience for guests and event managers. It also integrates with your CRM so you can gather insights and reports on your virtual event. Splash also makes creating a custom event a breeze with its Theme Library and Saved Content Blocks. The attendee management options, letting you segment your guest list by ticket type or access level, also makes running an event a seamless process.
Take Your Virtual Event to the Next Level
With virtual events increasingly becoming the norm, attendees expect high-quality experiences that resemble in-person events as closely as possible. Forgoing the standard webinar software and choosing a full event management platform is what will elevate your virtual event above the competition.