Event planners looking for virtual event delivery options are spoiled for choice. For simple events with limited budgets, an off the shelf solution such as Goto Webinar or Zoom Webinars will suffice.
For more sophisticated events, dedicated virtual event platforms are in high demand. This is largely because they offer a raft of features and services that go way beyond session live streaming, Q&A and chat. However, with prices for a single event ranging from less than £5k/$10k to upwards of £50k/$100, planners have plenty of questions about return on investment, in addition to which features and integrations are available.
One of the driving forces to use a dedicated virtual event platform is the ability to offer attendees a fully branded experience. When evaluating virtual event platforms this is one of the first questions event planners typically ask:
1. How customisable is the event platform, how can our event branding be applied?
Flexibility is key here and virtual event platforms such as CrowdComms’ excel in this regard. Engaging the platform provider’s design team can make the virtual event platform look like a bespoke creation for the event. Clever design templates can also achieve a custom look for an affordable price. For planners with their own design teams, the option to create and easily apply a design is also available.
The follow up question to customisation and branding is around sponsor value. As sponsorship is key to many events, the ability to showcase sponsor branding and offer fully brandable virtual exhibition spaces are key considerations.
2. How can my virtual event platform deliver value to sponsors?
A customisable event platform will allow event planners to make sponsor branding as prominent as desired and to incorporate one or many sponsor logos and messages.
Platforms such as CrowdComms also offer sponsored, branded alerts and event app push notifications, along with rotating banner ads and dedicated fully brandable virtual exhibition spaces. Detailed data and reporting relevant to sponsors, are also important and available on high quality platforms.
3. What support and services does the virtual platform provider offer?
Service offerings and approaches vary across virtual event platform providers. Cheaper platform offerings may not have the breadth of service and support planners need.
Support to set-up and populate the platform with content can be a lifeline for busy planners working to tight timeframes. A dedicated support specialist or a specialist team is also hugely valued by planners. Dedicated support teams can provide help with a multitude of tasks, from helping to devise event run-sheets to on-site technical production.
Different levels of support, along with the flexibility to switch between options event to event, is especially useful.
When it comes to streaming the event, many providers only offer the virtual event platform itself. We are seeing an increase in the numbers of planners looking for a one-stop-shop. Planners are now asking:
4. Does the virtual event platform provider also offer live streaming services?
It’s helpful to have the option to use an external production company to run the live streaming for those that have a preferred provider. However, in-house streaming teams at virtual event platform providers are streaming events on a daily basis and can provide highly experienced technicians at a reasonable price.
Combining the virtual event platform with the live streaming delivers a streamlined experience to planners and their event attendees and speakers.
And last but by no means least, a question that is sometimes overlooked by event planners is the question of security.
5. How safe is my event data?
Planners should ask the provider for evidence of their commitment to data security and privacy.
Good providers will have a security team and certifications, such as the UK’s ISO 27001, and will utilise multi factor authentication. It is always a good idea to ask the provider to show you examples of other events like yours that they have successfully delivered.