Maybe you’ve got a charity organisation, and you haven’t been able to run in-person fundraisers for months. Or you’re an events organiser who’s looking for new ways to serve your clients.
There’s no denying the huge boom in online events that’s been taking place since the pandemic started. In a 2020 survey,
“94% of UK businesses said they are planning to host an event online in the coming months to keep their normal operations running.”
And this trend isn’t going anywhere!
The virtual is bringing a whole new dynamic to events, enabling them to bring people together from all over the world in new and engaging ways, while allowing event organisers to have guests and speakers from a number of different places. The potential is huge, and it’s all just getting started.
That’s because, more than being engaging and interacting, hosting a virtual event is a cost-effective and convenient way of accommodating a larger audience and encouraging participants coming from across the globe to attend. No space rental fees, no catering or travel costs, and no logistical nightmares. It’s no wonder that, even in the post-pandemic era, many people are looking to host events online and delve into the hybrid era.
These benefits are even more evident when it comes to large events. While the principles and what you need to organise may be similar, the scale certainly isn’t! This is where virtual event platforms come in. Which begs the next question, how do you choose which is the right one for you and your event? With the multitude of events platforms that have sprung up online recently, figuring out the best way to host your online event can be a bit of a minefield.
That’s why in this article we’ll be running through some of the key components that you need to make sure your platform can deliver to ace your event.
What makes a great virtual events platform?
Let’s go over some of the most important features virtual events platforms have that come together to create your virtual event.
Event Platform Backend
Before you can host or create anything, you need to have a platform that works for you as the organiser. You may well be new to hosting events virtually so it’s important to make sure you’re fully comfortable with your chosen platform and that it’s easy and intuitive to use - that’s where demo calls are so valuable. They can give you an immediate insight into the tool, how it might work for you and also how the customer success teams are, which is key if you run into any problems.
The right platform can help ease a lot of stress, so take your time. And when you’ve found the one, you’ll know you can rely on it for your next event!
The event website, or landing page, for your event is the central place you attract both your speakers and audience to.
It’s best to look for a platform that’s all about easy navigation, as this part is your primary promotional tool to get your audience to register and potential sponsors to see if you’re searching for more, so it’s got to look the part.
First impressions matter! Your site should communicate the value of what you’ve got planned, showcase your top notch speakers and point interested parties towards a registration page. All in all, this page should be where you’re able to host all the pertinent information people need in one place.
The event registration page is one of the most critical parts of your platform, as this is where you gather data about your attendees. You’ll use this information to make sure they receive their tickets and any important details about the event ahead of time. Not only that, but it’s also useful for retargeting past visitors and attendees for any future events.
On this page, attendees will input their contact information, select tickets, and pay to join your event (ideally, you want an event registration page that has multiple payment options).
Live Presentation Content
An online events platform should enable you to present your content live to attendees and allow you to simultaneously live stream on social media, like YouTube or Vimeo. This will ensure you get maximum exposure for your event.
However, it’s fairly rare for virtual events platforms to let you integrate with social media and share your content seamlessly. If you opt for one that does, it will help you engage more people and raise brand awareness to a larger audience.
Event platforms can be used to host a single room or video event, but for large events when you’ll be hosting a whole range of talks, panels and the like, you need a platform where you can host these simultaneously. Plus, you want people to be able to move freely between your event stages so they can get the most out of the content you’re providing.
Platforms that offer multiple virtual spaces, such as breakout rooms, within the space of a single online environment are best for user experience and engagement, since attendees don’t have to keep hopping between several links to join different sessions. It’s much more streamlined and makes for a great experience when people can navigate different rooms without leaving the main event. Not only that, but it makes your event management role much more streamlined and easy to use.
This can all more closely mimic the experience of an in-person event, particularly larger conferences and summits.
Virtual Sponsor Booths
Online events, just like in-person events, also partner with other organisations and companies as sponsors.
Your virtual events platform must help you maximise your sponsors’ visibility and encourage attendees to engage with them to increase sponsor ROI. By providing valuable promotional opportunities for them in your online events, you’ll help ensure a successful partnership for the future and deliver value to everyone involved in your event.
You want to choose a platform that allows your attendees to interact with your speakers, ask questions during Q&A sessions and visit exhibitor booths, as this hugely helps with making your event engaging.
Not only that, it’s also vital that attendees can interact with their fellow professionals and network. This is and has always been one of the key purposes of attending industry events, and being able to replicate that experience for your online attendees is critical if you want to host successful events that deliver high value to your attendees. It’s a real opportunity to get creative and encourage people to send a message to others at the event, so interactivity is a really important part of event platforms when you go virtual.
Some virtual events platforms offer during-event support to immediately address your concerns and questions in real-time, helping event organisers run their online operations smoothly.
This means that you can keep your audience engaged and your speakers confident without having to worry, as help is available throughout the event.
Post-event Insights & Analytics
Having a platform that can give you detailed analytics from your event including audience behaviour and exhibitor engagement statistics is great when proving the value of your event to your business and also for your sponsors. It’s a real challenge when it comes to physical events, but in the virtual space there’s the opportunity to dig a little deeper into the figures, and if your platform can help deliver on that, even better!
The right platform is key to a successful virtual event
Choosing the right event platform is the foundation of a successful virtual event and making your job as stress free as possible. All in all, it’s got to be as easy as possible for people to use and navigate in order to have the best user experience - and that includes for you as the organiser!
If you use an online events software like Tame which incorporates all of these features, you can create inspiring and engaging experiences for your speakers and attendees, all in one place, 100% on brand and customised for your business needs.
With Tame, you can build your event website, schedule and setup and host the event with the central control hub. Plus, with our add-on support services and post event analytics, we got you covered from A-Z.
Get going on hosting your virtual event today by getting in touch for a demo!