In the initial days of the pandemic, people, corporations, and organizations had difficulty managing events. Because of the restrictions like social distancing and lockdowns, events like weddings, international meetings, and entertainment could not be held or had a set number of attendees. The only practical way for people to gather was over the internet. Out of necessity, tech companies developed virtual event management platforms that came as a blessing to various organizations, individuals, and corporations. In 2020, there was a sharp rise in the popularity of virtual events. It resulted from a blend of the availability of tools (virtual event management platforms) and the necessity to cope with the situation. However, we came to realize that there are real benefits in holding events online.
This post will look at what a virtual event management platform means and the key factors to consider before using one.
What is a Virtual Event Management Platform?
A virtual event management platform refers to a software suite allowing you to hold interactive events like workshops, trade expos, conferences, and social events over the internet. Like a conference hall or a hotel is a physical platform where people attend the events physically, a virtual event management platform acts like an internet-based destination where you can hold a hybrid or virtual event. A virtual event platform is where you host the content for your event, your audience gathers to interact with it, and network with other people taking part in that event. Event management platforms allow:
• Hosting of the event content by the event managers
• Buying of tickets or event registration by the attendees
• Partners and sponsors to set their virtual booths up, and
• The audience to engage with and consume your content.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Virtual Event Management Platform
However, there are many virtual event management platforms out there. Each has unique features. To ensure you select the correct virtual event management platform, there are several things to consider. Below are the factors to consider when selecting an event management platform:
Event registration and ticketing
A good event management platform should have a tool for event ticketing. It allows the attendees to make reservations quickly. Does the platform charge any commission on the tickets sold, and how much, if any? Consider the methods of payment and payment gateways supported by the system. It helps in determining whether the banking or credit card details of your customers are safe. At Eventtia, we provide an easy registration mechanism online. You make payment, and a personalized invoice is sent to you. Our platform accepts many payment gateways like Stripe and Paysafe. We give early bird tickets and discount coupons to our clients.
The other aspect to consider in ticket registration in event management is its global reach. Which regions or countries is the platform available in? As we know, some of our relatives or business partners can live in foreign countries. The platform should also give them a chance.
The ease of use
How easy is it to use the virtual event management platform? As an organizer, ensure that you choose a system that is easy to set up and use. The exhibitors, attendees, speakers, and sponsors should not have difficulties when using the system. The platform’s user interface must be user-friendly. Remember, most of their experience will be on the platform, and you do not want the participants to waste their time making some features work.
Tools for audience engagement
The virtual event management platform should provide a mechanism for people to engage with the content on- and off-screen. As we know, many distractions come with remote attendance. The distraction may be on the virtual event or another matter unrelated to the event. The other issue is the brief span of attention and what we nowadays call “zoom fatigue”. The management of attendees in a virtual event has been a recent discussion. Eventtia offers a platform for attendee management. Without an attendee management tool, you can facilitate check-ins, control the attendee access to various event activities, and perform targeted communication.
An excellent virtual event management platform should have live polling, Q&As, quizzes, surveys, and social sharing. Others include forums, virtual breakout sessions, and chat rooms. What is the flexibility in using these features?
While there are many things that you can consider with customizability, branding is the most vital one. The ability to integrate your organization’s branding features and message on the platform can help create a consistent experience for the people attending the event. Therefore, look for the options for customization that the platform offers. It allows you to craft similar branding guidelines for your registration forms, website, virtual event environment, and delegate emails. How does the platform help the participants in customizing their experience? A good event management platform should allow the attendees to personalize their agendas, schedules, and meetings.
Engaging exhibitors and sponsors
Monetizing events held virtually is becoming a critical issue for the event organizers since losing in-person live events. You can monetize virtual events through ticket sales, sponsorship, virtual exhibitors, and bookable items.
Sponsoring hybrid and virtual events are like sponsoring physical events. However, there are additional elements with online events sponsorships. In a virtual event, you do not need to sponsor lanyards. There are no sponsored coffee or tea breaks. In virtual events, there are things like banner ad campaigns or educational sessions. These are a few things that a sponsor may be interested in.
There are infinite ideas, but does your virtual event management platform provide tools that allow them? Ensure that your choice of event management platform provides the tools you need to deliver the ideas appealingly to your sponsors. If you see a return on investment, so will your sponsors.
We can use the same rationale for exhibitors too. Many virtual event management platforms are designed for exhibitions and trade shows. What are the goals of the virtual event? If you want something simple and effective, look for a solution allowing the use of virtual booths by the exhibitors.
Analytics and data management
For any event, analytics are crucial. With the data, you can evaluate the success of your virtual event. It can also give you an insight into future improvements. How many attendees are present? What are their social classes? Such data also acts as an incentive to your exhibitors and sponsors to continue investing in your event. At Eventtia, we offer the event organizers with analytics that enable them to know various metrics like the number of attendees, the number of sponsors, among other metrics.
Besides the points discussed above, you should also consider the virtual event management platform’s customer support. It is essential, especially when you are running a virtual event for the first time. You should also evaluate the ability of attendees to network and make connections. Does the virtual event management platform allow add-on services that may help you with things like remote speaker management and Av requirements? Can you integrate a registration form from your website to the platform?
All the above are the factors to consider having a productive virtual event. And with the benefits of online events, virtual events are here to stay. You better be well acquainted with the above factors to be a successful virtual event organizer. Eventtia is an event management platform that ticks most of the above boxes. Let us help you hold your virtual events.