So, which platform is right for my event?
As some of you might already know, at Conference Care we adapted our business to virtual events quickly when the pandemic hit early in 2020. Our role as a company with 25 years’ experience of venue finding and events management is to add value for our customers and continue to evolve throughout the challenges that COVID19 is throwing up.
We’ve changed our business to face these challenges and have been in the world of virtual events for nearly a year now. We now have four different platforms we can offer but what makes the difference is the team. We’ve trained them extensively to design and project manage virtual events to the same exacting standards that we have always prided ourselves on. As with physical events, we realise that it’s not always one size fits all!
With such a variety of virtual event platforms available (a quick Google search will bring up more than 40 products) how do you know as an event organiser, which one is right for you? We’ve looked at some typical events that we’ve delivered to help guide you through.
Scenario 1 – A one day event for a couple of hours, on a budget
It’s mainly webinar style but the organiser wants to give the audience a chance to interact with each other, may potentially have a couple of sponsors and would like to have an area for breakout sessions where there can be some interaction that people choose on the day. On the main stage they want 3 speakers that will include a panel session. Branding isn’t top priority but the look and feel needs to be something which offers more features than the previous events run on Zoom and Teams. The event is free to attend, delegates won’t need to access content after the event and there isn’t the need for an interactive agenda.
You might want to consider: HopIN
HopIN can cope with all of the features mentioned and we’ve partnered with a 3rd Party provider to deliver this as an option. Whilst some of the more interactive features can be limited, for a webinar style event this works as a good option. It has an event and session chat feature, can host Q&A and polls, and using VMix can bring up to 8 speakers on stage using an external link. There’s also an area for networking and sponsor/expo booths with information.
Whilst you can stream to 10,000 people, the more people you have on screen at one time limits the number of viewers, and if you need content to stay live after your event it might not be the right solution, so get in touch to have a conversation as to how it would work for you.
Scenario 2 – A virtual conference for up to 500 people for 2 days
There will be a lot of speakers who are all confident in using Zoom. Attendees are external so the branding and layout is important to the organiser. The main speaker sessions will be followed by workshops which delegates can choose on the day. They will be round-table discussions where they can see each other. There’s a small exhibition but just need information on those stands, and the organiser wants an area in the platform for the delegates to upload pictures as they are sending out gifts to open on the day and would like to document this. The platform needs to stay open for people to watch the content on demand for at least 2 weeks after the event. The organiser is experienced but would like the backup of a skilled Project Manager.
You might want to consider: CrowdComms
The branding opportunities with CrowdComms are great, so if this is an important feature for you then this would be a good route for you to take. There are templates you can choose from, but custom branding can be positioned at an additional charge. We’ve partnered with CrowdComms to deliver some fantastic events, where we have added extra value by providing our own Project Management services to deliver the event, however this is optional. There’s an interactive agenda, small workshops can be facilitated, and the platform can remain live for up to 6 months. There’s a great social feed where people can leave comments and upload videos as the event progresses.
Scenario 3 – A 3-day event, for a couple of hours each day
The speakers aren’t overly experienced with virtual and may be restricted with access to Zoom or Teams as their company views these as social media. There’ll be a mix of pre-record and live content. The organiser’s previous experience is Zoom webinars and the world of virtual is quite new to them so are looking for a high level of support.
Day 1 is made up of plenary sessions
Day 2 will be a morning of some pre-scheduled meetings and an agenda will need to be available to delegates.
Day 3 will be a Welcome and Plenary session followed by breakouts, and the breakout room hosts will need to share their screen. There’s 5 sessions and delegates choose on the day, but the organiser does want everyone on camera.
Priorities for the organiser are branding, ease of use for the delegates and audience interaction to replicate a physical event as much as possible.
There will be some external exhibitors and the agenda will allow time for delegates to meet those exhibitors.
You might want to consider: EventsAir
EventsAir has a whole host of great interactive features within the platform. It’s quite technical, which is why we’ve licensed the product and trained our in-house team to deliver the event for you. We’ll guide you through, build the platform to your specification and brand everything as you wish. You’ve got the comfort of knowing there’s a team of event experts delivering the event on the day and you can relax as we’ve got the tech sorted. Whilst we can use external streaming providers, EventsAir does have everything built into the platform, so nervous speakers will be at ease and there’s less risk. There are different networking opportunities, we can manage all your content, arrange pre-scheduled meetings, a variety of breakout room solutions, and you can have live exhibitors ready to video-chat with your attendees. We can keep the platform open for your attendees to go back in and re-watch content and there’s a couple of extra features which help keep the spontaneity of a live event.
Scenario 4 – A networking event incorporating an exhibition
Normally, this event would be held in a large convention centre with over 150 exhibitors. The organiser builds in time and opportunity for people to network and mingle. There will be a couple of educational seminars, with a welcome and wrap up on the main stage. Giving a clear return on investment to exhibitors is a key priority for the organiser.
You might want to consider: exVo
We’ve partnered with AllSeated and their new product exVo to bring you a completely immersive environment. Think of a videogame (and designed by game developers), you can ‘build’ your own venue or choose from a stock venue. In here, you can build a main stage and as many exhibition stands as you want, all in 3-D. Attendees will ‘enter’ the venue and will be shown as a robot ‘avatar’, navigating around the virtual space in real time, walking up to stands and interacting with exhibitors through uploaded videos and face to face video chat. You can even interact with other avatars as you walk around the space. When it’s time for a seminar or plenary session, the audience will move to the main stage and be given a seat, then be able to see the video content. In terms of networking, you can even build custom areas for this, and groups of avatars can come together to have a conversation. A very immersive experience for attendees and great for this type of event.
Of course, each platform has a slightly difference price-point so your budget will also be a factor in the decision you make when it comes to choosing what’s right for you. There are lots of different things to consider and all platforms have their own strengths. We’re here to help and advise as to which will make your event the most successful ever. Each brief is completely different so when it comes to choosing your platform for a particular event, make sure to get in touch to speak to one of the team the right fit.
Contact Sally McNamara on 07760 174443 or firstname.lastname@example.org