Let’s be real – virtual events are here to stay. Sure, they became popular out of necessity during the pandemic. But they offer a ton of advantages that make them an appealing option now and beyond. No hassles with travel, more flexibility to attend, and potentially broader reach. As in-person events come back, virtual and hybrid events are still going to be a big part of the mix.
And where there’s demand, there are tons of options popping up. Seems like every tech company now offers a “virtual event platform.” How do you even choose between them all? It can get overwhelming fast.
In this post, we’ll walk through what to think about when picking a virtual event platform and tech partner. We hope these tips help you navigate the crowded virtual event space!
First, get clear on what you want to accomplish with your virtual event.
- What’s the purpose – is it for fun or more serious?
- Who’s the audience – are they tech-savvy or newbies?
- How big will it be – a large conference or small meetup?
Really understanding your goals and audience is key. It’ll point you to platforms with the right features and help you avoid overkill (and overspend!).
For example, a laid-back book club meetup needs a much simpler platform than a huge product launch event. Make sense? Match the tech to the goal.
Once your goals are set, make a wish list of features you’ll need.
Here are some biggies to look for:
A platform should be intuitive for you and for attendees. You want to minimize tech headaches, not cause them!
How will people engage during the event? Chat, polls, Q&A, virtual exhibit booths, etc. Pick a platform with the elements that will keep your audience hooked.
A polished, pro video feed makes a huge difference. It elevates the whole experience compared to a glitchy webcam vibe.
This is where partnering with virtual event production companies like We & Goliath can pay dividends. Their end-to-end support ensures your virtual event looks as good as it runs.
Analytics on who watched what, networking interactions, survey results – super useful data! Choose a platform that captures and reports back on engagement.
There are tons more features to consider. Make your list based on your specific event needs.
All leading platforms have similar core features. Where you really differentiate is through support and service.
The best platform vendors have specialized expertise in virtual events. They act as true partners to create a seamless experience.
Here are signs you’ve found the right partner:
- Experience – Have they done events like yours before? Look for specific case studies.
- Reviews – Happy clients willing to vouch for them? That’s reassuring social proof!
- Customization – Will they tailor the platform and services to your needs? One size doesn’t fit all.
- Support – Do they offer robust support before, during, and after your event? That’s crucial.
Take time to evaluate partners. This choice is critical for virtual event success!
A good virtual platform also helps maximize marketing. Used strategically, it can boost exposure before, during, and after an event.
Branded website, email, social campaigns – all can connect with your audience and prompt signups.
Sponsors want eyeballs – give it to them! Contests, prizes, expo booths, polls, etc. boost participant engagement.
Repurpose content, collect data, drive follow-up…a platform gives you options to continue marketing beyond the live event.
The technology is out there to create awesome virtual experiences! Align goals, features, and partners – then watch your online event thrive.