When we think of a typical virtual event platform for online meetings and conferences, platforms like Zoom (affiliate link), WebEx, and Microsoft Teams might come to mind.
However, with increasing demand for software that can support hybrid events (which include a combination of both in-person and virtual audiences), organizers are finding more options for all-in-one platforms. These platforms can solve problems that used to challenge event organizers:
- Scaling: Can the interface handle thousands of participants?
- Interactivity: Can the program offer opportunities for one-on-one interactions, breakout rooms, and meet-and-greets?
- Variety of content: Can presenters use a mix of prerecorded and live media?
- Customization: Does the interface allow for custom branding?
- Analytics: Can event organizers measure the success of the event with valuable metrics?
- Accessibility and translation: Are there ways to support international audiences and people with disabilities (ex. through captioning and translation)?
When deciding on how to choose a virtual event platform, it’s useful to consider the answers to these questions and identify your top priorities.
Depending on the type of event you are organizing, you can rank how important the answers to these questions are for your specific goals:
- Do I need integrated event registration?
- Will I have multiple sessions happening at the same time?
- What kind of support interface does the platform offer during the event (chat feature, bots, etc.)?
- Do I need an integrated event website?
- How does the platform offer consistency in the audience experience (integrations with other platforms you use, consistency in performance, ease of use)?
- If the platform has an app, is it easy to use for Android and iPhone users? Does the platform use a cloud-based interface?
- Do I need a way to capture leads and contact information? Can this information be easily transferred to other CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems?
In our next article, we’ll cover some common virtual event platforms and how you can evaluate them for your specific needs and goals.