What is a virtual event platform?
A virtual event platform is a platform that delivers an entire event experience, from pre-planning to post-production. But it’s more than that. Virtual event platforms weave together features and functions that empower event organizers to create dynamic, immersive attendee-centric experiences and offer features like ticketing, interactive sponsor booths, and lead analytics.
The best virtual event platforms go far beyond the capabilities of video-conferencing applications. Fundamentally, they’re designed to help people connect and engage in a way that feels fluid and familiar, like an in-person event. And they are meant to make your events more successful by supporting better brand perception, sit-through rates, and easier conversions.
In short, top virtual event platforms allow you to offer authentic, meaningful, and memorable experiences.
Many virtual event platforms can produce different types of events—like trade shows, job fairs, workshops, town halls, conferences, team-building events, and more. You can use them to create events that work as growth machines for your business and enrich your marketing efforts.
How to choose the best virtual event platform?
Virtual event platforms have many features that help with everything from planning to event execution. Some are meant to engage attendees, while others also let you design and track your event’s success.
We think that the ability to curate differentiated and valuable experiences for your stakeholders – like attendees and sponsors – is a must for any virtual event platform. Successful virtual events leave attendees feeling excited, motivated, and tied to your brand. They transform your virtual events into growth machines for your business. Or breathe life into your workshops and internal events.
Instead of dry webinars that do little to spark participation, the top platforms give online events and hybrid events the magic they need.
So let’s explore these steps for choosing the right virtual event platform for you
Step-1 You should look for these features in a virtual event platform
Registration and ticketing
Get more signups for your events and monetize them with an option to manage registrations and ticketing through your virtual event platform or with a supported integration.
Feature your brand visuals throughout the event and stay on top of your attendees’ minds.
Feature and function customization
Create unique events with your choice of interactive stages, booths, exhibits, attendee spaces, and overall presentation style.
Include chat, polls, Q&As, gamification, photo booths, feedback collection, or a virtual lounge to encourage more organic conversations between attendees. You can even explore unique concepts like a Fluid Space to freely empower your attendees to network.
Features like closed captioning, remote presentation and multi-language support ensure that you can cross barriers and cater to a diverse audience.
Multi-channel streaming, multi-track sessions, and an option to go hybrid
Your platform should have features to stream your event live to different platforms, host multi-track conferences, or take your event hybrid with hybrid readiness.
It’s good to have data and reports that help you measure ROI and identify warm leads with insights on ticket sales, attendance, engagement, interactions, and more.
Integrate with your existing marketing stack, CRM, event management tools, engagement tools, and more.
The available features are a huge part of choosing a virtual event platform. But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Follow these steps to find the perfect platform for your events.
Step-2: Understand what makes a good virtual event platform for you and your attendees
Let’s face it—most virtual event platforms act only as virtual boxes for people to consume live content and communicate with each other. At this point, most of us have watched coworkers or group members awkwardly talk in virtual boxes over video meetings. And we know how boring it can get. Even worse, you’ve dealt with the frustration of frozen screens, lag time, or audio issues.
Now imagine a virtual space with ambiance. An inviting interactive, vivid, colorful world that promotes a feeling of togetherness. It’s easy to engage with other attendees through different tools. There are multiple virtual spaces–each for a different function–and it’s easy to navigate through them. Moreover, it’s easy to learn and use the platform as a new user. Isn’t it the ideal scenario?
The best virtual event platforms keep people’s attention. In other words, people aren’t going to get distracted easily from being part of the event.
The best part of top virtual event platforms is their ability to drive engagement and interaction through:
Networking is the heart of many events. It’s about enabling people to connect and build meaningful relationships without any friction. Exciting virtual spaces like virtual lounges, breakout rooms, and Fluid spaces where people can move freely inspire and empower attendees to network.
When a virtual audience can raise their hands to join the stage, comment in real-time about what they’re seeing, or participate in a Q&A session, polls, and fun activities like selfies booths, you’ve provided a stage and event that encourages interaction.
Gamification transforms events into friendly competition. Attendees keep an eye on a leaderboard in their quest to earn the most points. This way, they stay glued to your events.
Integrations help empower event organizers to track data, sync registrations, create more targeted ad campaigns, act as a language interpreter, hold fundraisers, host pop quizzes, track conversions, record, monetize, add support and security, and help increase your team’s productivity, to name just a few.
Anytime you have outside apps and platforms you already use, choosing a virtual events software that supports integrations should be a priority.
Top virtual event platforms also offer hosting and planning features like:
If all events looked the same, nothing would stand out. Virtual event management software should allow you to showcase your brand’s unique identity. This might mean tailoring all the virtual touchpoints like receptions, booths, lounges, and even stages to your brand’s theme. Imagine logos, the stage’s design, the content’s color scheme—anything that immerses attendees in your world. Think of it as creating touchpoints between event attendees and your brand.
Brand visibility also lets attendees know right away that they are at the right event and adds a vibe that creates an immediate impact.
The best virtual event platforms are scalable. Whether you have 100 attendees or 100,000, your chosen platform should be able to support your needs. Think about scalability in a couple of ways.
Is the virtual event software scalable to the amount of attendees/viewers? The last thing you want is to surpass a platform’s capacity and have to migrate all your work on the event to another.
Can the platform support multi-speaker sessions? Performance shouldn’t be affected by multiple users.
Lastly, does your platform maintain a welcoming environment for smaller activities and still allow attendees to network? Each platform facet should scale to sustain an engaging environment and meet the needs of the attendees.
Are you producing a multi-day conference, trade show, or a Dreamforce-like event? These three different events shouldn’t look the same. A customizable virtual event platform has the tools and features to ensure the ambiance fits with the theme.
You should be able to customize:
- Virtual spaces like reception, stage and lounges.
- Who can access what
- Schedules, meetings, and calendars
- Landing pages
- A number of attendee spaces (chat rooms, lounges, breakout sessions, main stage, workshop spaces, etc.)
- Number of booths
- Number of sessions
- Event features (gamification, chats, photo booth)
With customization, you can change the information you gather from attendees or customize a live event experience. Bottom line: A customizable virtual events platform gives you the power to create a show-stopping event.
Besides the ability to drive engagement and customize, a top virtual event platform is easy to use. It eases the process from pre-event planning to post-event follow-up, making the event production flow seamless.
Moreover, it should be friendly for the attendees. Everything from event entry, to navigating through different tracks and virtual spaces should be intuitive for attendees. I
The last consideration for choosing a virtual event platform is privacy. Attendees trust you to meet or exceed any organized event’s data protection and compliance standards. The top virtual event platforms adhere to best practices around data security, data protection, infrastructure, and systems availability.
Now that you understand what makes a good virtual event platform, the next step is how best to select one.
Your content is the soul of your event. You should look for a platform that lets you plan your content and present it the way you want.
Step-3: Identify your needs and then look for what you need in a virtual event platform
There are key elements to any event: event infrastructure (the framework and resources required for the activity), venue, organizers, attendees, and media. Each is part of identifying what you need in a virtual event platform. Asking questions is a great way to help you identify your goals.
- What type of event is it? There are many types of events. Are you planning a conference, networking event, tradeshow, product launch, social gathering, speaker series, or educational event?
- What size is my event? Think about the scope of presentations, the number and type of sessions, and the number of attendees.
- Is my event virtual-only or hybrid? Think about how the different virtual event platforms support hybrid events or virtual events. Do they meet your needs?
- Would this virtual event platform make planning and executing an event easy? What tools and features do you need? This could be branding, registration capabilities, integrations with other platforms, scalability, availability of virtual booths, analytics, customization, engagement devices, a variety of virtual spaces, or live-event support.
- What is the goal of the event? Why are your attendees coming? What values and goals do you want them to gain through your event? As an example, if your goal is to support networking, find a platform that gives some freedom and space for attendees to mingle outside of structured sessions.
- What media and technology do I need? What would make your event the most engaging for your audience?
- Does the platform blend into your existing marketing stack? A lot of people use platforms like Hubspot, Interprefy, and Salesforce. An events platform that can blend into your existing set is great.
- What is my budget? Your budget will be a factor in determining what the best virtual event platform is for you.
List of the best virtual event platforms (Top 6)
- Airmeet – Airmeet offers a superb attendee experience and makes it easy to customize, integrate, and design an exceptional and unique event. It’s why we’re the leading event technology platform. Airmeet is also the undisputed king of engagement and networking. To learn more, Check out Why Airmeet and how they help create authentic human connections.
- SpotMe – SpotMe is a virtual event platform built for enterprises. Users can integrate with enterprise systems and create branded and personalized event apps.
- vFairs – vFairs is an all-in-one events platform that supports in-person, hybrid, and virtual events. Their goal is to create immersive experiences and life-like virtual experiences.
- Hopin – Hopin provides multiple virtual spaces that attendees can move in and out of. The interactive atmosphere encourages attendee networking and engagement.
- Eventcube – With comprehensive planning tools, Eventcube gives hosts a way to take control of every aspect of their event. It’s a single platform for both online events and hybrid events.
- BigMarker – BigMarker is considered a great choice for hosting webinars. It offers robust features to let events stand out in a crowd.
So, what are your takeaways?
A capable virtual event platform is the key to your event’s success. Platforms that can put networking, engagement, and attendee satisfaction at the heart of your event make a good choice.
Airmeet is the undisputed leader of virtual events. Airmeet’s virtual and hybrid events platform helps you deliver event experiences with more convenience, more choice, and more
customization. Who doesn’t love that? Try Airmeet today.