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How To Choose The Right Virtual Event Platform For Your Next Event

Event management software in the coming year needs to accommodate to a variety of requirements: From new health and safety measures to evolving customer expectations and virtual events, the idea of what an event looks like is becoming more complex than ever.

In today's world, virtual and hybrid events play a predominant role in event managers’ and venues’ lives. Putting together a successful virtual event requires the right event technology. Not only should it cover CRM, sales and event planning functionality, but it also should offer many additional features that will allow for a memorable and engaging virtual experience.

Here are some questions you may want to consider when deciding which Virtual Event Platform works best for you.

1. Does it cover your event registration needs?

Whether you are planning for a 100% virtual event or a hybrid one, consider a provider that offers a powerful registration system that can cater to the specific needs of your event: single and group registrations, multiple pricing structure, payment gateway, etc.

2. Does it offer branding capabilities?

Every event has its own identity. This should be reflected within the branding of an online event website.

It should cover the following aspects:

  • Look and feel in accordance with your corporate design
  • Beautifully designed frontend experience
  • Easy to use and fast, with an intuitive user experience

3. What does the attendee experience look like?

A successful virtual event is closely connected to a great attendee experience. Keep in mind that in a virtual event, your event website is your venue. You want it to look beautiful, modern, and easy to navigate.

You may also want to keep in mind that people are using more than just their laptops to attend events online, so you may want to make sure the platform you choose is responsive and can deliver the same great experience on mobiles and tablets.

To increase audience engagement and to motivate virtual attendees consider integrating gamification. Use elements such as leaderboards or points collected throughout competitive or collaborative games within the Virtual Event Platform.

The better the experience on the website, the better the overall perceived event experience among attendees, speakers, and sponsors.

4. Does it include trade show functionalities?

If your event includes sponsors and exhibitors, then you certainly want to choose a platform that offers virtual exhibition spaces where they will be able to showcase their products and services as well as connect with attendees. It can be more challenging to secure exhibitors at virtual events, so it is important to have a platform that offers a range of options for them to engage with your event attendees. An online trade show booth should be easy and fun to interact with, offer valuable information on the exhibitors’ products and services, and offer the possibility to meet on the booth to dive into deeper conversations with visitors.

5. Does it offer integrated live and recorded streaming capabilities?

You want to ensure your virtual attendees can get as much value out of their remote experience as your onsite attendees through a seamless experience. While their method of attendance is different, it is important to look for a platform that can support your event content and replicate your onsite session content to your online attendees.

Whether you want participants to attend those sessions live or access recordings on demand, your virtual event platform should be able to accommodate for both. Another few questions you may want answers to include:

  • How many streams can you have on the platform?
  • How many attendees can connect at the same time to one session?
  • How long can the on-demand sessions remain available for?
  • Are the sessions embedded within the platform itself or does it open in a different tab?

6. Does it offer extensive analytics?

Analytics are crucial in understanding the success of your virtual event. Despite the obvious limitations in online events and virtual exhibitions, the great benefit of a virtual event is that it allows you to gather insights on attendees and sessions to a much greater extent than a physical show floor could ever allow.

From popular sessions and exhibitors to overall event engagement, the data you collect throughout a virtual event can serve as a meaningful tool to adapt content for future event planning. Furthermore, it also gives you the possibility to provide data-driven insights on Event ROI towards sponsors and exhibitors.

This whole new world of Analytics changes events and expectations towards event attendance but can also help event organizers to re-think their event concepts and pricing models.

7. Does it allow for awards and competitions?

Many Event Organizers offer Awards and Competitions within their events, allowing for additional PR and brand exposure for event participants. It is great way to celebrate achievements, and to offer industry players an opportunity to showcase their brand, products and services.

Managing the online submission process can be time-consuming and cumbersome. So, look for Virtual Event Platforms that provide solutions to help you easily manage this process. Ideally, the awards process should be a seamless experience for everyone - offering your applicants quick and intuitive submissions, your judges should have visibility to all of the application details and the event organizer can effortlessly manage all of the deadlines and submission information in a single platform.

8. Does it offer live support?

During the virtual event, your attendees may have questions. Keep in mind that even nowadays not everyone is familiar with online events and virtual participation in conferences. There may be simple questions from attendees, but sometimes also technical questions that require further knowledge on internet browsers, hardware, or other technical areas.

It is therefore a good idea to implement an FAQ within the event website covering standard questions, but you also may want to consider offering a Live Chat (Chat Bot) on the Virtual Event Platform with members of your team available for any further questions. This could be a team of a technical specialist and an event specialist, so you are able to cover anything from browser issues to questions around event details and sessions.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing the right Virtual Event Platform for your event management needs, there are quite a few important questions you may want to ask yourself before making a decision.

This list of questions is a great starting point to prepare your decision and to pave the way towards successful virtual events.