From virtual events to hybrid conferences, the event industry is evolving rapidly. Virtual events have taken center stage as businesses see the ROI and wide range of audiences they can attract through virtual events. As companies start to partner with virtual platforms, certain virtual event platform features are more important than others.
“What businesses need to keep in mind is that not every event is the same and not every virtual event platform is the same. Businesses that are looking to add a virtual element to their event need to find the right virtual event platform that will deliver all their needs and help them reach their objectives from the event,” says Stephen Handisides, V-Unite CEO.
So, what are some of the most important virtual event platform features for your virtual event?
Here are 10 of the top virtual event platform features to consider before choosing your virtual event platform.
People love a little competition. Ensuring a virtual event platform has gamification features is an excellent way to ensure your audience's engagement during the event. With attendees constantly checking the leaderboard, participating in polls, downloading content and participating in other opportunities, you can definitely ensure audience participation at your event. Additionally, gamification also allows for attendees to interact and compete with one another which further enhances networking opportunities among peers.
Automation will only help make your life easier. It’s important to have a virtual event platform where most things are automated such as uploading speaker data, event pages, and other processes. Not only will this help to streamline the virtual event planning and execution process but it will also bring the overall costs down.
This is probably one of the most important features a virtual event platform needs to have. You will want your attendees to post and share your event on their pages before, after and during the event. Having this integration for easy sharing during the event is especially important so they can share the event's content in real time and generate more buzz around your event and business. It’s important to make sure this platform accommodates most social media platforms for all attendees.
One of the main reasons for people to attend a big conference or event is the networking opportunities that come with it. Therefore, the virtual event platform must have as many networking opportunities as possible. These could include breakout rooms, networking sessions, chats and any other opportunities to facilitate a conversation between attendees during the event.
Virtual booths allow sponsors, exhibitors and other participants to connect and engage with attendees. Attendees can engage with relevant booths and have the opportunity to take away content to research after the event is over. Virtual booths are a great way to share content and increase exposure for a business.
You will want to be able to re share your content. Once your virtual event is over, you should be able to save content to be used in the future or on-demand viewing. This is an extremely important advantage as you can continue to generate buzz and intrigue more of your audience to want to join your next event.
If you’re planning to have speakers and looking to broadcast videos and other sessions, a live streaming option is a must. Most virtual events have live streaming options for their audience to view content in real time. This is extremely valuable for engagement and networking during Q/A sessions after guest speakers and other hosts have presented.
When it comes to hosting your event, you want to make sure you can design your event with your own branding. You should also be able to personalize the event with your designs. This means that the virtual event platform should allow for white labeling to make your event your own. A virtual event should have your audience feeling immersed in the experience you provide for them, therefore you should be able to customize it to your design potential.
Having customer support during a virtual event is a must. Remember, not everyone is technologically savvy and some attendees may need some guidance during the event. Additionally, having customer support will enable you to fix any problems that may arise and ensure a smooth event. This is also a great way to gain additional feedback for improvement.
The reporting and analytics feature helps you understand where your audience was the most engaged, what you did right and what you could improve on in the future. It could also be a good idea to see if the feature allows for integrating analytics platforms like Google Analytics.
The bottom line is to find the virtual event platform that works for your business. It’s important to take your time when looking at your options. Virtual events are here to stay, and partnering with the right virtual event software is key to successful experiences.
The virtual world is here to stay. While in-person events are slowly starting to come back, event planners and businesses have seen the value and revenue potential that comes with virtual events - making them a hot commodity. Events such as virtual trade shows have proven to provide immense benefits to businesses. One of the main advantages being the ability for businesses to attend a virtual trade show over an in-person one. Oftentimes, costs and travel factors can come in the way of businesses attending events. With virtual events, the possibilities are endless.
With the potential of being able to host and have more attendees at events, you’re going to want to invest in your virtual booth to increase awareness and buzz around your business. Moreover, the connections you can establish and community you can build can be a great benefit for you and your company.
Navigating the virtual world can be a bit tricky. Especially if you're new to understanding how it works for your business. If you’ve been a bit hesitant in exhibiting virtually, there are many reasons you should consider it. Here are some top benefits of exhibiting at a virtual trade show.
Lead generation is one of the biggest reasons why you need to exhibit at a virtual trade show. You can attract a much wider range of attendees who are interested in your products. That’s why they opt to attend these trade shows in the first place. With features such as webinars, live Q&As, downloadable content and branded booths and platforms, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of this opportunity?
Keep in mind - your competitors are going to take this opportunity for themselves. You need to up your virtual booth game and spend some time creating unique booth that showcases your brand in the right way.
By exhibiting with a virtual booth, not only can you reduce costs by using pre-existing designs but you will also save on manufacturing costs of designing a new booth. Additionally, you will also save on shipping and other costs associated with physically being at events. You can also increase your ROI by gaining new customers and increasing the volume of leads you might get from the virtual event in the first place.
Your brand will not only have the opportunity to become well-known nationally but you will have people knowing the name of your brand on a global scale! With virtual events being accessible from all over the world, you will have the opportunity to increase brand exposure to different parts of the world. Imagine the possibility of attracting customers from far and wide. It’s a win-win for you and your brand!
Creativity can go a long way when exhibiting virtually. Whether you want to think outside of the box, change your visuals and update content every hour - your virtual booth is yours to explore and customize however you like. Play around with your brand colors and come up with a fun way to showcase your brand to the audience. Remember to have fun with it and let your creative juices flow.
With virtual events not going away any time soon, this is your opportunity to learn and understand the online community. This is a space where you can constantly evolve and showcase the latest around your brand. By understanding what you can do better and how you can take advantage of this space, you can push your brand to the next level and really wow your clients and customers in the long run.
Virtual trade shows can be a great opportunity to research your competition. Get a feel of other brands showcasing and understand what they are doing with their marketing. You can take note of any other promotion tactics they are using and what their customers are enjoying about their booth. This is an advantage for you to make sure you are providing better offerings to your customers. By learning about your competitors you can proactively try to take charge of the market.
Gathering analytics is one of the best advantages of exhibiting virtually. By looking at who downloaded your brochures, what part of the booth most attendees were engaged at and what the audience was captivated by will help you get to know your clients and customers better. Making reports and noting the numbers and other feedback will be invaluable to your organization.
Markets and businesses are constantly evolving and it's important now more than ever to jump on the best way for your business to expand and thrive. There are so many benefits to exhibiting at a virtual trade show. Not only will your brand benefit from the virtual booth but you can come out with so many more connections and opportunities to expand your business! Virtual trade shows have been a great way to increase the exposure of brands. The virtual element has only allowed for a wider reach and more opportunities for growth and visibility.
Need help designing your first virtual event? To further get inspired with virtual events, here's how you can make money while hosting a virtual event. We even have a guide to hosting successful virtual and hybrid events.
Here’s a fun fact - virtual events CAN drive revenue. With the rise of virtual events bringing people together, various virtual conferences, trade shows, meetings, training sessions and other experiences have proven to be the best way to educate, connect and provide networking opportunities for clients and employees. If you’re a company that has just tapped into the virtual event space, now is a great opportunity to monetize on your online platforms as you adapt to the ever changing business climate.
We all know that planning a virtual event is no easy matter. Just because the event is online doesn’t mean that you can let things slide. After all, you’re still trying to impress clients and show your audience you value their time and investment. Another great result that comes from a virtual event is revenue, and if done right, you can make a hefty profit when hosting virtual events.
If you’re ready to host a virtual conference or event, here are some helpful ideas on how you can make revenue with your virtual event.
As you host a conference or event with notable speakers and engagement activities, you can and should charge per ticket for your audience to access the event. You have put in so much work to plan the event so why should you give it away for free? Additionally, guests are also more likely to attend an event if they have paid for it making it open to serious attendees only. This helps to keep your numbers more accurate as you continue to plan your event.
Pro tip: To figure out the ticket price, make sure that it covers your overhead costs and that you will end up making a profit! Analyze your audience and what you are offering at the event to figure out the budget and what you think your attendees will be willing to pay for the ticket.
Depending on your event, you can offer different experiences for each tier of attendees. You can prove basic content to the least expensive tier and the most content for the most expensive tiers. You can offer extra content or other access and exclusive deals after the event.
Pro tip: Split your options into 3 tiers where you offer a regular experience with general access, a VIP experience where your audience can have more features or more access to the speakers and an all-access pass where your audience can have the full experience. This tier could also have exclusive on-demand content access for a limited time as well.
Jumping off the previous idea, you can charge attendees an extra fee for them to be able to access video-on-demand after the event. This is a great way for your audience to be able to attend or view the event at a convenient time for them. Video-on-demand is also a great way to allow attendees that were unable to attend, be able to view your content.
Pro tip: You get to control who has access to content and how much they can view. Therefore, you are able to control the pricing model accordingly.
Sponsorships are a great way to make some revenue from your virtual event. Advertisers and marketers love to be in front of their target audience. They will also be more open to collaborating with your brand if your audience and brand aligns with theirs. Use this as an opportunity to get paid for these companies to sponsor your event.
Pro tip: It’s important to make them see the value in sponsoring your event so treat them with care and thank them before AND after your event!
When you offer demos for your software or products, it might be a good idea to sign up for their affiliate program to earn commission. When you're part of an affiliate program, you will get a unique link to use during your event when you are promoting them. If an attendee buys or registers anything from the affiliate companies, you earn a commission. It’s a win-win!
Pro tip: Research the most relevant affiliate programs for your platform. These links should compliment your software or provide extra value when purchased.
During your event, you want to make sure you are selling your product to your audience. Whether it’s special add-ons to your software, a package bundle, online courses or access to products before they launch in the market, you can and should expand your bottom line by having these products and services for sale at the event.
Pro tip: Get your attendees excited about these products and how it will help them in their work and business. This in turn will also help convert your attendees into loyal customers in the future.
Virtual events are here to stay. While in-person events will start coming back, we will continue to have the element of signing on virtually moving forward As you gear up for event season, you need to gauge the business climate and make sure you are not missing out on reaching potential customers. With the virtual element, the possibilities of reaching a wide audience are endless. We hope these quick tips will help you start making revenue and get you in the full swing of planning your next virtual event!
The rise of technology has opened so many doors. The biggest door it has opened for us is the door to the virtual world. With the pandemic affecting live meetings and events, moving online to virtual events has been the solution to continue training, daily meetings and even hosting employee morale-building workshops. It's no doubt virtual events have taken center stage lately. Which brings us to the big question, “How do we host a successful virtual event?” Our answer? We have the ultimate virtual event guide ready for you.
Just like planning a regular in-person event, the most important aspect of planning a virtual event is figuring out how to successfully keep your audience engaged. Whether it’s having inspirational speakers or an exciting performance, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when planning and executing a virtual event.
There are a few important tips to keep in mind to ensure the event runs smoothly. Follow along for the ultimate virtual event guide to hosting a successful virtual event - whether it is a conference, trade show, meeting or training.
The first step in planning a virtual event is choosing the right virtual event platform. Your event might need certain features that one platform does better than others. Your audience needs to know how they will log in and any information that will help them sign on easily. They also need to know if they need to download an app or other software to attend the event.
It’s important to choose this platform carefully as not every platform works for every event. For example, you may choose Instagram Live for hosting interviews or briefings, or for larger events, Zoom or Teams. There is also engaging software that provides animations and avatars to make your event more unique and personalized.
Taking a little extra time to research the most appropriate time to host your virtual event is important. You need to keep in mind important holidays and that there are no other big events coinciding with your event. You also need to consider when your audience will be able to log on and enjoy the event.
If you’re hosting a global event, it could be a good idea to go through your analytics to see what is the most popular time is for your community to be online and engaged. You can even conduct a survey to gauge the best time from prospective attendees. This is extremely important to make sure you get the attendance you need for the event.
You need to start putting the word out there, ASAP. Use all the appropriate tools and online channels to market your event and spread the word to your target audience. Let your potential attendees know about the key speakers, performances, networking opportunities and everything else they will gain from attending the event.
There are so many ways to market to your audience but you need to take a strategic approach when doing so. You will need to entice your target audience and show them what value you are providing at the event. Using social media channels, online videos, and other social platforms are a great way to market your event to a large audience at a relatively low cost.
It’s helpful for you to start registering your audience before the virtual event. Not only to collect their information but to keep them updated on speakers and other information leading up to the conference. This is a great way to start engaging attendees and get them excited for the upcoming event.
Additionally, your audience will be able to see information on other members which could facilitate networking opportunities during the virtual event. Allow for attendees to set up profiles to everyone can learn about others before the event.
How you will keep your attendees engaged the most important step in the planning process. This is what will drive success. Make sure you have networking opportunities available such as breakout rooms, engaging speakers with live Q&As and anything else that will provide value to your guests.
Your guests want to feel like they are learning and gaining something enriching from this meeting. With gamification features and other engagement tools provided by a virtual event software like V-Unite, you can keep your feel involved at the event.
People forget. Everyone has a million things going on and might not remember certain events until it’s too late. To combat this issue, schedule a reminder email that attendees can add to their calendar to make sure they know when they need to attend when the virtual event goes live.
Keep your audience engaged and encourage participation and networking opportunities among attendees. You can create dynamic live polls, Q&A sessions or even set up interactive group sessions for participants to share their ideas and chat with one another. The more engaged and social the attendees are, the more they will interact at your event ensuring a successful event overall.
It’s important to keep your virtual event’s and your attendees’ privacy intact and safe as you collect information and data. Make sure you have the proper encryption and safety features setup and that the software is tested and double-checked before going live. Your platform should be extremely secure before you have people sign on. Additionally, only collect data from attendees that you really need for the event.
The keyword here is to be prepared. Tech-related issues can always come up and it’s often hard to predict when glitches might happen. To make sure you are on top of things during the event, it’s imperative to do as many tests as possible and have your whole team do different tests on all their devices including phones, tablets and desktops and laptops.
You should ensure all your attendees have a good internet connection and it's a good idea to have a backup of speaker presentations and other files if possible. Also, always have a tech support booth or live chat available for attendees to reach out with any concerns they may have during the event.
Sending out a survey or poll or any way to collect feedback is important to collect post-event. You will be able to gain valuable insights on how the participants liked the event, what they enjoyed the most and what they would like to see improve in the future. This is a great way for you to learn more about your audience and what you can do next time to run an even smoother event.
Plan to give your attendees the option of viewing content on-demand after the event. This could be a great way for you to see what content was popular and gain any other feedback from attendees on the way the content was presented during the live virtual event. Additionally, you will be able to capture more of your target market who were not able to attend the live event. You can also charge a fee for the audience to view this content to earn more revenue in the process.
Does this virtual event guide help you feel more confident about planning a virtual event? Always remember that the first step in planning a virtual event is to come up with the right game plan and the motive for the event. Make sure to keep the audience in mind. Ask yourself what attendees are going to get out of the event and how you can create more value. Good luck!