Virtual event platforms are just one piece of planning virtual meetings. Some great advice to plan virtual events is to “Begin with the end in mind”. By starting with a clear understanding of the outcome, you can design a program that:
- Meets your organization’s goals
- Incorporates your vision
- Keeps the organization’s culture intact
However, selecting the right virtual event platform is key to the success of on-line events.
Depending on the scope of the virtual event, there will be different levels of needs and requirements for choosing the best virtual event platform. These levels range from simple webinars to a full virtual event platform.
Virtual Event Platform Options
First off, consider the content and requirements of this type of event platform. A webinar platform is perfect for general session and breakouts that will be the only aspect of an event presented virtually. This type of event will be priced according to the number of sessions streamed along with the number of attendees viewing.
Virtual Event Platform
Platforms have a variety of features to choose from and typically will include the following:
- Extended networking
- Live chats
- More sponsorship opportunities
- Networking lounges
- One-on-one meetings
- Interactive sessions
Considerations for the Best Virtual Event Platform
We have researched nearly 60 virtual event platforms. Therefore, we recommend that before investing your organization’s time and money, ask yourself a series of questions. Your answers will impact your decision in choosing the best platform for your event.
Carefully consider the answers to the following questions:
Virtual Meeting Strategy
- What are your goals in providing a virtual conference?
For instance, here are some examples of what to consider in the beginning stages:
- Broaden your audience
- Revenue generation
- Marketing vehicle
- Continuing education
- Do you want to incorporate virtual events into your long-term strategic plans?
Experience with On-Line Events
- How familiar are you with virtual meetings?
- Does your organization currently host webinars?
- What is your anticipated budget for the virtual event?
- Is your virtual event revenue-driven? If so, what would an ideal outcome look like?
- Do you have internal IT support?
Post Event Availability
- How long will you have access to the content?
- How long does it take to get the videos after a session takes place? What file format will they come in for uploading to your on-line resources?
- What are the planned communications that come from the virtual event platform to the various roles?
- Do any auto emails go out post-session? If so, are they customizable?
- If there are multiple sessions in a row, will attendees stay in the same “room” or be auto-switched rooms on the on-line event platform?
- Can some sessions be exclusive to specific registrants?
- Can sessions be pre-recorded?
- How are you structuring pricing to attend?
- Will there be additional content for:
- Different tiers
- Early bird discounts
- How do you offer added value for different structures of pricing?
- Extra content
- A gift with purchase
- Extended time to access content
- Who creates holding slides and speaker intro slides?
- How does social media integrate for various roles (speakers, attendees, etc.)?
- Is a gamification option available and suitable for the event?
Collection of Personal Information
- How is GDPR compliance and information storage handled?
Deciding on a virtual event platform is much like deciding on the destination and venue for in-person events. In other words, the event platform choice will impact all of your key stakeholders such as:
- Community members
In conclusion, the time spent on the selection process of your virtual event platform will assure your success, save valuable time, and energy later in the planning process. Find out more about our virtual meeting planning services to help you with your next virtual event.
Source: Thanks to Britta Ehnebuske and Kate Wilson, MeetGreen’s Virtual Event Specialists, for providing their expertise, knowledge, and advice. They have pioneered virtual events for our clients on a variety of platforms in a world where platform providers are popping up daily, offering a wide variety of service levels and making promises not always kept. That is where Britta and Kate really shine.