live crowd at music event

How to Choose the Best Virtual Event Platform for You

The best virtual event platform must be secure, customisable, offer integration capabilities and a variety of space types. It’s time to get your head around the world of virtual events.

We have a human need to stay connected and to meet, share ideas and form communities. If there’s one thing the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us, it’s that when we can’t interact, we turn to the internet.

Virtual events are one of the only ways the events industry can continue with a shred of normality, offering event organisers a chance to offer a space to share thoughts, feelings and ideas as part of a hive mind.

A virtual event can be anything from a webinar to a virtual conference to a virtual festival. They can be entirely online through a platform, or they can even be a hybrid of online and offline.

The event industry is set to see a real emergence of hybrid events as we come out of our worldwide hibernation. Hybrid events host part of an audience online with a small portion in a Covid compliant socially distanced venue – what a prospect!

Whether it’s hybrid or all online, big or small, complex or simple, one-time or a series, you need to broadcast your event using the best virtual event platform. Seatedly have picked out all the features an event organiser should be weighing up before embarking on a search for the best virtual event platform.


Security

When choosing the best virtual event platform, think about cyber security. Like with any in-person event, you don’t want just anyone wandering in. An audience member or participant must have a pass or a ticket to enter and there will be systems in place to block those trying to barge their way in or fake their ticket validity.

And it’s the exact same with virtual events.

Think barriers. How do people access the event? Is it free of charge or is there a payment process customers have to get through? Often there might be a password needed to gain entry to an event. If that’s the case, be wary of where you’re sharing it; a wide public share could attract unsolicited and malicious participants.

When finding the best virtual event platform to host a virtual event, make sure it offers secure network options. A system in place protects a network from being accessed or, essentially, hacked. Ask about the security systems in place and make sure your event has only paying or invited participants on the roster.

Branding

Make sure, when picking an event, that you can add your own branding onto the platform. When the recognisable brand associated with their event is missing, it can be disorientating and unprofessional. It could even make an audience member exit an event or give a bad review.

It’s not just a simple logo on a banner that makes a virtual event congruent and consistent for the participant throughout the whole process of a virtual event. See if you there are customisable registration capabilities, maybe even a branded web room or customisable email templates.

Don’t compromise on the look and feel of your virtual event. Choose the best virtual event platform coupled up with a ticketing system that you can customise give off your brand’s signature look and feel. Seatedly offers a robust ticketing system for a range of virtual events that can be constantly customisable and adaptable to the needs of any brand, allowing you to be you.

Event Engagement

If you’re hosting a virtual conference or webinar, engagement with your participants will most likely be a key part of how it all works. The hosts might want to ask the audience questions and create demographics based on their answers. Or vice versa, a Q&A session can teach an audience in a webinar.

When putting on a virtual conference, networking is a key aspect and huge selling point. You need customers to know that they’ll be provided with features like chat channels and chat rooms that allow them to mingle virtually with other decision makers.

Ask the question: does the platform include the ability to engage with your audience and can they engage with one another? It’s the key to any great networking event.

However, remember: an event, a concert perhaps, could be a simple face-on performance. Think about what level of engagement your event requires and what engagement tools you might need.

Laptop and tablet showing Virtual event taking place at home.

Integration Capabilities

Get savvy and smart with your virtual event; push the boat and integrate the tools you already use to help your workflow with your virtual event platform. Have a think about whether your event requires integration capabilities for a range of features.

You might need to integrate Paypal to take fees from your customers. You might need to integrate an event management software, or there might be event registration services you need to add on. Is there an app you need to integrate the live event with? Look for an adaptable virtual event platform that caters for any existing tools you use.

Some events organisers might need videos to be archived within the platform instead of an external place like Youtube. With integrated features you can have the whole experience in one place – no need to hop back and forth between tools.

Virtual Space Types

Check about space types, too. Some events will only need a fairly basic interface but other event organisers might want to create an immersive virtual world their participants can experience. Some space types include:

  • Lobby
  • Exhibit Hall
  • Auditorium/Theatre
  • Meeting Room
  • Networking Lounge

Data Management & Analytics

You might know how to track the data of your real-life events, but data management and data analytics for virtual events can be tricky.

Some virtual event platforms will help you out with that, offering analysis services that go further than real-life events. You can find out:

  • Who attended the event
  • How they attended (phone, laptop, tablet, desktop etc.)
  • Who clicked on links you provided during the event

The best virtual event platform will run down these useful statistics at the end of an event meaning an organiser can market their events properly. A breadth of data maximises ROI so you know what parts of the event are successful and what you should be improving for next time.

When it comes to selling tickets for a virtual event, Seatedly provide useful data analysis that ensures future event’s ticket sales and attendees’ experiences are optimised.

Ease of Use

“And now… for all the viewers at home… we welcome th- one… only… brilliant new- e- a- oh- mi- … pa-” screen freezes

We’ve all been there, right?

Malfunctions when streaming any live video are rife. We’ve become yet another victim to a live stream malfunction. It takes away from the brilliance of an event, leaving customers dissatisfied after a virtual event. Unpredictable issues can put a dampener on what could have been a top notch experience.

The process of a virtual event should never be painstaking and if it is, you’re going to lose customers – fast. Some might pity the event organiser whose event has turned into disaster, but they shouldn’t. If an event has a complex camera setup and large audience, look for an infinitely scalable, capable virtual event platform.

If you are left to your own devices, try checking the bandwidth, lowering your configured video quality or disconnecting unnecessary devices.

Make it seamless. Make it swish. Try it out yourself and if you are stopped in your tracks, the platform most likely isn’t offering your perfect user experience.

Seatedly prioritise customers, with a system built by experienced UX experts that gives the best experience throughout the ticketing process. Are you hosting a virtual event soon? Take a look at our features and enquire about how they could be applied to your virtual event today.

Pick the best virtual event platform

Which features do you need? What can you afford to do without? Decide and go ahead, check out the available options – they all specialise in different areas. Go with the big guys (Vimeo, Youtube) or go bespoke and get snazzy features that work for you.

Those are the essential components of any virtual event platform so be sure to factor them in when picking the perfect virtual event platform.

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