How to get to the right virtual event solution?
COVID-19 era has brought many changes not only in personal but also in professional life. In our event industry, which thrives on human interactions, the change is more evident. Now that we have spent significant time amid crisis, we are shifting towards new normals. One big shift that the industry has made is towards virtual event solutions. As an event planner, you need to adapt to this change to stay relevant. Abrupt changes are hardly comfortable and there are many confusions involved. In this article, we attempt to resolve the dilemma you’re in while looking for a virtual event solution. These are the questions you must ask your solution provider as you plan to invest in virtual event platform-
How integration-friendly it is?
- Neither event nor your event planning work in silos. Thus, it’s important for your virtual event solution to be integration-friendly so that you can centralize your planning to personal CRM whenever need.
- API integration lets the virtual event solution share data with other applications.
- It’s an added advantage if your virtual event solution comes as a part of a virtual event suite. Then, you have added accessories such as event app/website builder, event management dashboard, event analytics tool to enhance your overall event planning.
Does it help you establish your event brand?
- Event branding is something you can’t compromise with!
- Check if your virtual event solution allows you to brand your landing page with your custom colors & domain.
- If you’re planning to have an event-specific app, make sure it’s a white-label app. A white-label app (unlike a container app) ensures 100% branding of your event.
- Moreover, your virtual platform should also offer ways of providing a branding opportunity for your event sponsors and supports. We’ll discuss more about it further.
Is it event-specific?
- There is a significant difference between a generic web-conferencing tool and a virtual event solution. As an event planner, you need the latter one.
- A real virtual event solution translates entire physical event experience into the virtual ecosystem. From virtual booths to the reception, from the networking lobby to the waiting area, everything specific to the events is present there.
What about security?
- Security is important for both you and your attendees. Look for a solution that is secured with best-in-class systems. Moreover, check if it allows multi-level permissions.
- There are many regulating authorities out there that determine the security and privacy of data. Your solution should be compliant with such regulations.
Effectiveness in terms of driving engagement?
- Your event attendees are looking forward to great networking opportunities. You can make the event more engaging for them by providing them with the right networking.
- Check if the virtual event solution offers the feature of matchmaking. That way, it helps you automate the process of matchmaking by a robust AI system.
How compatible is it with the Browser?
- Attendees usually refrain from additional downloads and plugins. It’s obvious as there are so many applications trying to get a place in their limited storage space.
- As an event planner, you must put yourself in the shoes of your attendees. It will be easier for them to join you at your event if your virtual event platform can work smoothly on the browser. This makes the process of onboarding a cakewalk. A few clicks and the attendees land up inside the event.
- There are multiple-sessions within the event and the number of participants may go up to million. Thus, it’s crucial that your solution should have that room for scalability.
- Even if you’re organizing your event at a limited scale as of now, you might need to scale up in the future. There’s no harm in having a solution that can adjust with extraordinary footfalls.
What are the various monetization options?
- Virtual events are no more a sidekick to the physical events. Many event planners are considering virtual events as the next big thing! Other stakeholders such as exhibitors and sponsors are showing confidence in the virtual events. This change can be attributed to the impact of COVID-19 and the various monetization options that virtual events are offering. Check if your virtual event solution offers these options or not.
- From registration to feedback, there are so many touchpoints in a virtual event viz email, banner, notification. Make sure that the virtual platform offers these event insights so that you can get the best out of your event.
Does it offer event-specific analytics?
- The event-specific insight that you get out of analytics makes your event planning more-data driven. You’re able to plan your event marketing campaign accordingly for further editions.
- Analytics also allows you to track all touchpoints which open new avenues of monetization for you.
Does it provide ways to repurpose content?
- Repurposing your event content is the most basic yet effective way to branding and further monetization.
- Check out various ways in which your virtual platform lets you repurpose content.
From the above discussion, it is clear that you must look forward to a solution that takes care of the 3 Ms of your virtual event planning i.e., manage, market, and monetize. Above all, you should get all this in the right budget. It is advisable that you take a free trial of the tool before taking any final decision.