One of the top search queries surrounding virtual events is what is the best virtual event platform. With virtual events popping up everywhere out of necessity, it’s no surprise that people are asking about virtual event platforms, but the answer isn’t necessarily simple. The real question is, is a virtual event software platform right for you or would you be better with a virtual event production company?
While virtual events have been around for several years, they were always more of an afterthought than the main event. Livestreaming your event was a way to include those that couldn’t be there in-person or generate additional revenue for a sold-out event. But with the global pandemic putting a full-on stop to in-person events, virtual events have taken over the spotlight. They are the main event, but they can take on lots of different forms. We’ve already covered some of your basic virtual event questions and a lot of the different types of events you can take virtual. Plus we know why a virtual event is worth the effort, but exactly…
which virtual event platform should you use, if any?
That’s a good question.
You’re probably familiar with Zoom or Microsoft Teams Meetings, but they’re not the only option anymore. In fact, those online platforms are great for general meetings or connecting with co-workers, but there are so many other virtual event platforms out there. From Socio to InEvent to Hopin and more, the options are limitless, but let’s find out if a virtual event platform is right for you with 4 basic questions:
1. What are the logistics of your virtual event?
For any event, you need to know the logistics: date, time, length, number of attendees, presenters, etc. However, for a virtual event, you also need to know do you want the event to be live, pre-recorded, or both? From how many locations are your presenters presenting? What kinds of screen layouts do you want? How secure do you need the event to be? Is this a public or private event? Will people be pre-registering and paying for the event or can they simply attend via a link? This is just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t let these questions overwhelm you. Get with a company that can walk you through exactly what you need and then hold your hand through the process so you get exactly what you want. If you’re left with questions, you might be left paying for way more than what you need.
2. Who is your audience and how do you want them to engage?
This question seems simple, but it’s really getting to the heart of the intention of your event.
- Do attendees need to pre-register?
- Do you want audience engagement or is this more of an “audience watch” event?
- If you want audience engagement, what kind do you need: Q&A, chat features, trivia, quizzes, public, private…the list goes on and on.
Knowing your audience helps create the best virtual event for them. If you’re just relaying information then it might be best to host the event on public platforms like Facebook and YouTube. If you’re sharing important and sensitive information then you need a secure connection and an event that people can register for. Knowing your audience and how you want to engage them helps set the intention for your event, which makes it easier to choose which kinds of customizations you need. This leads us to our next question.
3. What kinds of customizations do you need?
There are plenty of ways to personalize your event, and the options for customization can be daunting. However, if you’re using one of the major virtual event software platforms, you may not be getting exactly what you want. This is because they’re built for every user, every event. You’re probably thinking that sounds great, but it can be a huge hinderance to you.
One of the best ways to explain this is the difference between building your website on a platform like Squarespace or Wix versus building your website on Wordpress. A website builder like Squarespace is great because it allows almost anyone to build and design and create a website. The problem is that you may not be able to get exactly what you want. Your background coding is all taken care of, but you’re stuck with the general aesthetics. You can change the color, the pictures, the copy, but beyond that, you might not get what you want.
With Wordpress, you can not only pick the color, pictures, and copy, but you can change the actual coding to make it look exactly how you want it to look. You can add new plug-ins for special features. You can get exactly what you want. It takes someone that really knows what they’re doing to create that kind of website.
The same is true for virtual event software platforms.
You can change the color and pictures and copy, but you may not be able to make it truly yours. You need an expert in your corner that can do all the background work for you so it’s your event that shines. This might sound more expensive, but it’s actually less expensive because you’re only paying for what you need. See our next question for more on this.
4. What is your budget?
You knew we’d get to this one, right? Finances always play a factor for every event whether it’s in-person or virtual. Here’s the deal. A big virtual event software platform is great if you have the budget to accommodate it. The thing is, you’re going to be paying for all the bells and whistles that every company could ever possibly need or want, when you may only need a few bells or a couple whistles. Don’t get stuck paying for all the features you don’t need. With a virtual event production company, you can tailor the experience to your needs and your event.
If you want a custom landing page but don’t need any audience engagement metrics,
we can do that.
Maybe you want a trivia game for your attendees, but don’t need a separate chat room for them.
We can do that.
You need some pre-recorded content and some live content?
We can do that.
Get exactly what you want for your event without paying for all the extras you don’t need. Make sure you know what you’re paying for and feel good about the money your investing in your virtual event. The last thing you want is a good event but buyer’s remorse over how much you paid to make it happen.
So there you have it, a few questions to narrow down whether a virtual event software platform is right for you. If you can easily answer these questions and you’re pretty self-sufficient in navigating software platforms then a virtual event software platform could be just what you need.
But if you’re looking for someone to help you navigate all the intricacies of a virtual event or just walk you through all the options, then a virtual event production company is probably a better fit.
Let’s get you the virtual event platform you need.
With Virtual Events Powered by Absolute, we can create a custom experience that’s tailored for your specific needs.
- We’ll cover the logistics and walk with you so you’re not overwhelmed by all the options.
- We can help determine the intention of your event and then execute it flawlessly.
- Let us help you get exactly what you want with customizations specifically for your event.
- And don’t ever pay for more than you need. Know precisely what you’re paying for.