Before we talk about advantages, let’s clarify what a virtual event platform is.
The world of technology has been updating at a lightning speed over the last few decades – do you still remember those ultra slow modems with 2400 kbs which we used to connect to the Internet in the 90s? That is a time that none of us wants to go back to. Nowadays, the Internet speed is really ultra fast.
But just like back then, we are at a crucial time of change in our technological lives. Yes, the pandemic made us switch to virtual events faster than we normally would have, but let’s be real: This change was inevitable. We only have 24 hours a day to do everything, so can virtual events make our lives more flexible? Of course, and that’s why we’re switching to virtual reality.
What is a virtual event platform?
A virtual event is a general term for attending some kind of organized chat or online meeting. It can be something personal like a baby shower or a corporate career fair. Virtual events are held on a virtual event platform and have many advantages for your schedule.
Some people might think that virtual events are not as personal as physical events, and I might have agreed with you last year. But the truth is that virtual events can be even more personal with new technology that makes the event interactive.
What do you need to look out for when you are looking for a virtual event platform that should suit your needs?
Customers want to use platforms which are easy to understand and which can be used intuitively. No one wants to read a 150 page manual, first, in order to understand how certain things work. If the platform is too cumbersome to use, it will create friction with attendees and with your own team, so make sure that you choose a platform that gives people a great user experience.
If you have created a shortlist of the best software platforms then you need to evaluate the user friendliness. Is the login process easy enough or do your attendees have to face many obstacles before they can finally listen to the keynote? Test it yourself and look if it’s working well on all devices, not just your laptop. Nowadays, it is very important that the virtual event platform works well on mobile since most people will be using their smartphone to access the content. Better than a responsive version of it is a full mobile app.
A mobile app will ensure that you don’t create any barriers for your attendees and that they can truly enjoy your event. It also helps your team to make everything run smoothly. Another thing you’ll have to think about are the other marketing tools and the CRM – everything should have an option to be easily integrated into the virtual event platform. You need to check in advance if it offers all the functions you need. This is especially true if you are offering interactive parts which will make people feel like they’re attending a real in-person event.
If you are running a big trade show with a global audience, you need to be able to handle thousands of guests. You don’t want to have people running into problems when trying to join your virtual event or when they want to watch and interact with your video presentations.
Large events with lots of people require a virtual event platform that is catering towards high capacity events. In case you are not sure about it, you can always contact their service team directly.
Smaller events can usually be handled more easily. If you are expecting just a handful of attendees, instead of hundreds or even thousands, you don’t really need to worry about scalability since you can just use a scaled-back virtual event platform. A feeling of intimacy and coziness are more important in that case.
Customization of the virtual event platform
A great way to offer something that differs from the virtual events others are holding is to create something that is a great experience for your attendees. And that means you should have a tool that will let you customize every single aspect of the virtual event platform of your choice.
You’ll need a highly customizable tool if you want to have a fully branded version of your virtual space. You want a platform where you can change all the colors, their imagery and the whole look and feel of the space where your attendees will meet. This makes it fun and intriguing for them, instead of having something that’s uninspired or even ordinary.
Also, with regards to sponsorships or exhibitors, lots of customization options will be great since you can offer them something that they can use to stand out in your virtual space. It can be something like moving content, logos onstage where the main speakers will be discussing the topics and even branded banners.
The world is your oyster
If the pandemic reminded us of anything, it was the importance of people. Relationships and feeling connected to people help us have a happy life. One of the main advantages of virtual event platforms is that they connect us with everyone in the world.
In your personal world, virtual events include all your family and friends. For example, some members of your family may live in Australia and others in Europe. If you want to celebrate a family event, it makes much more sense to move it to the Internet. You can create memories online by taking screenshots or recordings and preserve them forever. No need for magic, just a virtual event platform.
In your corporate world, virtual events open many doors. If you use virtual event platforms you can move your company will feel the advantages of a global company:
- You can hire employees from anywhere in the world, giving you a more skilled workforce.
- You don’t need to pay for a venue for your events, so you can reduce overhead.
- You can redirect your revenue to develop other areas of your business.
- You can market your event globally, so you sell many more tickets.
- You can ask guest speakers from any country to make your event more diverse.
- Don’t forget that many businesses are also moving to virtual event platforms today, so you need to compete with them. If you stay in the past with only physical events, your customers could be left behind.
Marketing a virtual event is easier and more cost-effective than physical events. One advantage of using a virtual event platform is that you can share clips from the event directly on your newsfeed. You don’t need to organize a camera crew to take videos and photos of the event. You could post live snippets of the event or clips afterward to show people what they are missing.
In addition, virtual events market themselves. They have many advantages for the guest, such as:
- Virtual events save time, as you can host them from your own home.
- They save guests the cost of traveling to the event.
- Online events allow everyone to attend despite COVID-19 restrictions.
- Be sure to inform your guests about the advantages of virtual events when sending marketing emails.
More networking opportunities
How many times have you been to a physical event and you meet someone, get to talking and share a mutual interest? But the next thing you know, the event starts, you part ways. You have no contact details for them, so you miss the networking opportunity. That’s happened to me a lot, but virtual events are here to save the day.
Virtual event platforms have a lot of advantages in terms of networking. Many of the virtual event platforms provide contact details for each attendee. You can hover your mouse over their image and see who they are and get a link to their contact details. This makes networking opportunities after the event much easier.
Also during the event, you can use the chat feature to have one-on-one conversations with guests. Smaller meeting rooms also leave room for more intimate discussions.
Additional branding options
Another advantage of virtual event platforms is that they allow you to customize your brand.
Just like a physical event, with decorations, signage and posters, virtual events are also branded. You can use your brand colors and logo on the event home page so that your attendees associate the event with your company. This will make the event unique to you and not just a black and white screen.
You will save money you would have spent on physical branding by moving virtual. Also, your event will be more environmentally friendly as you will not need to use paper for branding.
You can also use your sponsors as part of your branding so that they also have a presence at the virtual event.
Improved feedback collection
Virtual event platforms often have built-in systems that allow you to easily collect feedback.
You can create a post-event survey for your event to see what your guests have to say. Sure, at a physical event, your guests may complete a virtual survey, but when they’re already on their devices, they’ll be more likely to participate.
In addition to guest feedback, you can collect analytics from the event to see how it went. This will help you create a budget for your next virtual event, as you will know where the money was well spent.
Gathering feedback will be a great advantage for your next virtual event, as it will help you see where it went wrong / right. The virtual event platform will also interpret the feedback for you so you know exactly what to do. Virtual feedback is also easy to share with your colleagues.
Ready to use a virtual event platform?
I’m sure after reading our 5 advantages of virtual event platforms, you’re ready to move online. Check out expertshare’s virtual event platform if you want to organize your own virtual event.