Find The Right Virtual Event Platform With These Five Questions
2020 has seen the rise of the virtual event. With that rise, many virtual event platforms are on the market competing to fit your virtual event needs. Truth be told, there isn’t a one-stop-shop event management system for all events.
Once you hire a reputable audio visual provider and event producer like Cory’s Audio Visual, a team of professionals can weed through the various platforms to find the best fit for your event plan and budget.
Your audio visual partner will have a list of questions to answer that can help narrow the search for a platform. We are breaking those five questions down for you here.
Who is the interaction level of your audience?
This might seem like a very basic question, but your provider will be looking to learn more than just baseline demographics here. In fact, they will want to know how tech-saavy and comfortable with online activities your audience is. Are the audience members conditioned to see online content? Have they likely attended a virtual conference before now?
Will your audience have control?
Some audiences prefer to have some sort of control for the content they see at your event. If your audience has choices, there are some great platforms to help with aspects like exhibit halls, breakout sessions, and virtual happy hours.
Will they decide which breakouts to attend in real time or before the event begins? Are you exhibitors prepared to educate and entertain virtually? Are there happy hours dedicated to different subjects in which attendees can appear and leave as they wish? That level of personalized control is only seen in some platforms and is an important piece of the puzzle.
What kind of interaction does your program require?
When building your program, it is important to mix up formats to prevent boredom and keep audience interaction flowing. Formats can include, but are not limited to:
- Panels with Q&A
- Chat features
- Real time audience reactions
- Recorded audience reactions
Many platforms are capable of delivering a high level of interaction, but you could be paying for more than you need. In addition, some virtual event platforms can actually make this much easier than you can imagine!
How do you plan to use social media?
Your virtual event will miss the boat if you’re not using social media to aid in the interaction of the event as a whole. Many of our clients think beyond only the use of an event hashtag. Don’t get us wrong, event hashtags are important! But how else can social media help?
Teaser content – It is no secret that much of virtual events are pre-recorded these days to prevent potential live malfunctions and produce more polished presentations. Your audio visual provider should be more than happy to provide that content for the pre-promotion of your event on social media networks.
Going Live – Perhaps you want your keynote to also go on Facebook or Instagram live as a freebie for your social media audience? Your audio visual team can also help you live stream high quality video and sound rather than your traditional cell phone “live.”
Tickers – It isn’t enough to ask attendees to use a hashtag that is only seen online. A scrolling ticker can help gather those hashtags for all attendees to see on the platform. This feature can be seen on many platforms and, in our book, is a must for events needing high social media action.
Live monitoring – Online conversation can rogue or may require responses in real time for tech support or guidance of attendees. Make sure your platform can accommodate the unexpected with live monitoring.
Is there money involved?
We are talking to you, fundraisers! If there is an exchange of money going on in your virtual event, it can completely guide the direction of your event platform. Furthermore, it is key to start these conversations with your event producer early– especially for platforms needing to raise money like auctions or just collecting donations live.
Many platforms allow real time results to be shown on screen or generate real-time calls to action based on fundraising performance.
Note: Even if you are using a fundraising platform your team is well-versed in using, it is important to share its capabilities with your production partner. You never know, they may be able to bring features to life you have never seen!
Once these questions are answered, your team will be able to make the best informed decision on which platform will bring your event to life and stand out from the sea of online and virtual events being attended every day during times of Covid and social distancing.
If you have any questions about virtual event platforms, our team at Cory’s Audio Visual is always happy to help. Let’s talk about your virtual event dreams!