If you’ve been staying updated with the latest trends that are changing the event industry, you’ll already know the relevance of virtual and hybrid events in today’s digital-first world. With workplaces and workforces going remote over the past two years, it’s not just events that have taken a virtual form; day-to-day activities such as team meetings, hiring processes as well as training modules have all done so too.
From an organization's perspective, the need of the hour is knowing how to tap the potential of the virtual realm to best suit business needs. One of the essential aspects of taking this step is to lock in on a virtual events platform that can turn this idea into a reality, easily and seamlessly- which brings us to our main point.
If you’re looking for a virtual event platform but don’t know where to start in terms of exploring your options, this article is just about to make your life so much easier.
For starters, it helps to have a basic checklist in place in terms while you’re exploring and comparing platforms.
What should you look for in a virtual platform?
- It should be easy to use
No matter how much a platform boasts of its capabilities, it won’t make a difference to you as an organizer or as an attendee if the platform is not easy to use. This is why finding an easy-to-use virtual platform should be the first condition on your checklist.
- It should be scalable
Next, ask yourself how your events are going to be in the near future. While you don’t have to zero in on the exact details, you can still gauge certain things such as the size of your events. This will help you choose a virtual platform more suited to your needs. For instance, let’s say your event plan has a mix of smaller focused events as well big conferences with a typically high attendee expectation. In this case, you’re going to need one platform that can help you run it all.
- It should be customizable
Another important factor to keep in mind while choosing the platform is the scope of ownership and branding. To say it in simpler terms, always pick a virtual event platform that will empower you to own the event rather than the platform owning you!
With the trend of decreasing attendee attention spans, customization goes hand in hand with engagement when it comes to delivering memorable and immersive experiences, so if these are things you consider important, don’t choose a platform that will limit you from making your events epic.
- It should suit your budget
As with anything else, pricing plays an important part when it comes to choosing your virtual event platform too. Once you’ve checked the previous items in the checklist, you can now further filter your search to find a platform that offers the features that you love within your budget. Keeping a flexible budget makes sense if you feel there’s a platform that more than meets your expectations.
- It should have good reviews
As much as technology takes over our lives, there is one thing that a human being values more than anything else; it’s the firsthand experience or story that another human being has to offer. It’s no different when it comes to choosing the right virtual event platform. User reviews can really inform you about the pros and cons of any platform from a lived experience perspective, so while this is our last point on your checklist, it is surely not the least!
Popular virtual event platforms for you:
Now that we’ve told you how to pick a virtual event platform, here are some big names that are making waves in 2022!
If you’re on the hunt for a platform that puts your brand ahead of anything else, Zuddl might just be the perfect choice for you. 100% customizable and super easy to use, it’s hard not to see why this virtual event platform could be your obvious choice - it can help you create impactful and immersive virtual experiences that are on par with in-person events.
Some of the highlights that set Zuddl apart are that it is latency-free, scalable to an attendee capacity of 1,50,000 and features a drag-and-drop editor that makes adding widgets such a breeze. From an organizer’s perspective, the all-powerful virtual greenroom ‘Backstage’ lets you take control over your virtual event like never before.
“How do I engage my attendees?” is possibly one of the key areas of concern for many event organizers in any virtual event is the level of engagement. Thankfully, Zuddl’s event-wide gamification. Chats, Polls, Q&A and a host of other features can help you not only reach your engagement goals but also surpass them. (Click here to read more about our gamification feature)
On the networking front, the AI-powered interest-based matchmaking feature makes networking a simple, fun and meaningful experience rather than an awkward obligation that you’d otherwise dread.
AES 256 encrypted and GDPR compliant, Zuddl has consciously been built keeping data security and attendee privacy at the core of its design.
To complete the whole experience, Zuddl also provides you with actionable insights with realt-ime analytics and post-event metrics that are sure to take your future events to a whole new level.
Hopin is another popular virtual event platform that emulates the in-person experience. With an attendee capacity of 1,00,000, it offers basic tools such as chat and polls to get your engagement going.
Its standout feature is the event schedule tool which allows you to swiftly plan a series of events by giving you a top-down perspective. With Hopin, there is scope for customizing your event to an extent; you could work with the default themes and partial drag-and-drop capabilities to add your stamp to the event experience.
vFairs offers a 3D virtual environment for your virtual event needs. With features such as 1:1 networking and group networking, video and document hosting, the platform offers a value-driven alternative to traditional or in-person events.
Like Zuddl and Hopin, vFairs too is integrated with useful add-ons to further customize the event experience. When it comes to networking, attendees may enjoy the choices it offers: striking up a conversation on the spot or scheduling a conversation for later.
BigMarker is a popular choice for those hosting small to medium scale virtual events. This browser-based platform offers standard features such as polls, surveys and screen share while the chat function is enabled based on the organizer’s preference?permissions.
While this platform may not have the best audio and video quality, it fairs well in terms of its email marketing, landing pages and social media streaming capabilities.
This virtual event platform can host a virtual event of up to 1,00,000 attendees. As an organizer, you’ll be able to accept up to 300 sponsors on Airmeet, so it’s a good choice if you’re looking for extensive sponsorship.
Its networking tables and usage-based pricing are notable, and it is also available as a free version, which is limited in its capacity but still offers networking features such as the social lounge and 1:1 networking.
Another notable platform for virtual and hybrid events is Hubilo, which allows you as an organizer to focus on attendee and sponsor experience by offering engagement features such as a leaderboard and points for participation.
Apart from the basic essentials of a virtual event, Hubilo also offers full-time customer support and event insights that organizers can leverage.
So there you have it, folks. Choosing a virtual event platform doesn’t have to be difficult, and we’ll make sure it never will. Want to make your decision even easier? Talk to us today.
Zuddl is a unified platform for events and webinars that helps event marketers plan and execute events that drive growth. The platform has clients across the globe, such as the United Nations, Kellogg’s, Microsoft, HSBC, VMware, Google, StackCommerce and Cipla amongst others. In January 2022, Zuddl announced that it closed $13.35 mn in Series A funding.