Conference & Meetings World Issue 108 - Page 14

Virtual platforms Platforms for change THE CONFERENCE DIRECTOR’S MICHELLE FANUS GIVES AN OVERVIEW OF SOME OF THE VIRTUAL EVENT SOFTWARE PLATFORMS ON OFFER ith the lockdown ban on live events, virtual events have been a God-send - saving the bacon of many organisers over the past few months. However, now that many are moving out of survival mode, how can virtual events really drive value and what should planners be looking for when selecting a delivery platform? I’d like to share some tips for creating more value from your virtual events and compare and contrast here online event software platforms in my comparison grid, below. Meeting and event organisers should be looking for a software platform that: 1. Creates a delightful experience for all attendees 2. Ticks as many boxes as possible to meet the criteria set and, if not, can be integrated seamlessly with other software platforms e.g. registration or live streaming solutions 3. Is good value for money and can translate into a hybrid platform when we return to live events 4. Is the best platform for the specific event concept in question – avoiding the one size fits all approach 5. Offers customisable digital spaces for branding and sponsorship packages 6. Has in-built reporting and analytics 7. Offers event set up and management support Generating value from virtual events The biggest obstacle on the road to virtual event success for most conference organisers is that it’s difficult to replicate certain event formats in the virtual model. You just can’t make a virtual event personal enough to match the live experience. So what’s the value that live events bring and how do you unlock that potential virtually? 1. Content is King Knowing what content to deliver to your audience is an obvious place to start. Create value with compelling content and people will flock. We’ve Broadcast & Livestream, 1 to many (Webinar) Meetings & Groups, many to many Keynotes, Panels, Breakouts/Streams, Roundtables Conference/ Awards Format Networking, 1-2-1’s, Chat Interaction Polls, Q&A, Surveys Gamification Reporting & Analytics Lead generation, tracking, user engagement Virtual Exhibition Audience Personas/ Avatars Lobbies and Branded Spaces Zoom Q&A Lifesize HD quality Keynotes & panels only Go2Meeting Go2Webinar Keynotes & panels only Glisser *Full support Comprehensive No digital avatars Hopin Q&A No digital avatars Blue Jeans HD quality, 1-50k <150 pax Immersive video, whiteboards, note taking feature All in the Loop EventsAir ONAir *Registration ON24 INEXPO *Full support vFairs Fully immersive Multi-lingual No digital avatars No digital avatars No digital avatars Digital avatars Digital avatars WorkCast *Full support 14 / CONFERENCE & MEETINGS WORLD / ISSUE 108