How long has it been since webinars and video calls became the new normal? With the loosening of the restrictions and physical events still off the books, the industry has adapted to onboarding virtual and hybrid event models.
Every successful business has figured out by now that it is a swim-or-sink situation when it comes to events. So virtual event hosting became the hottest topic of the year.
Growth in Demand for a Virtual Event Platform
Having embraced the idea of not attending a live event anytime soon, events companies started looking for alternatives. The virtual landscape proved to be the answer.
As the demand grew for virtual event platforms, so did the supply, and before long, the market became very saturated. In this article, we will outline the top five features an event streaming platform needs to have.
Functionality, Usability and Data-Analytics
You need three things from a Virtual Event Platform: for it to work, be easy to use and collect data insights. Different widgets within the platform work towards one of the three pillars, even if you can’t tell that without closer inspection. So, keep your eyes on the following features when choosing your Virtual Event Software.
Let’s start with the basics. Registration is crucial to a virtual event for quite a few reasons. First of all, it allows you to track your audience’s interest by the number of registrations and the number of attendance conversions. In other words – the ratio between those who register and those who attend.
Additionally, this allows you to prepare better from the technical aspect. If you have a registration list on hand, you will be able to avoid common online event platform malfunctions such as server slowness caused by overcrowding. Knowing the approximate number of attendees allows you to prepare for what could go wrong before it goes wrong.
Data Collection and Processing
As mentioned above, data collection is one of the key features you want from the virtual event platform. From registration to chat features and polls within, you can find out a lot about your audience by simply engaging them during the event.
This is where interactive components like polls and Q &A come into their own. Not only do they provide a more satisfactory user experience, but they also collect valuable insights you can study later on.
But collecting data isn’t where it ends. After a virtual event, the last thing you want is to go through pages and pages of raw data.
A decent event platform won’t just scout the information – it will also process it and analyse data effectively. Presenting the findings will vary from software to software, but the best products on the market will give visual, easy to read charts and diagrams.
Showcase’s EVENTalytics come with a complete package. Information on attendees, engagement by company, the number of videos, the length watched and many other valuable features. These insights displayed as top-level graphs and tables that are easy to read, analyse and report.
Customise to Suit Your Event Needs
There is no one-for-all template for hosting a virtual or hybrid event. And if the event platform of your choice is offering you one – run. Similarly to real-life events, you want to keep your virtual occasion unique and reflect your brand values.
In short, the platform shouldn’t limit you. It should assist you.
Adding your bolt-ons will allow you to tailor a virtual event of the highest quality and deliver a bespoke experience.
Customisation will allow you to build an event best suited for your creative demands and your audience.
Additionally, this means you will be in control of what data you’re collecting—taking the time to customise your event results in great things and makes it easier to develop on-demand content and follow-up once the event is over.
Keep Virtual Events Interactive
The biggest mistake one can make with virtual events is viewing them as a one-way street. The purpose of the event remains the same no matter the format: networking.
And to do that effectively, you need to engage your audiences and get the conversation going. Plus, an on-screen monologue doesn’t drive data nor interest. People have YouTube for that.
A high-end virtual event platform will offer many forms of interactions between you and the attendees. Polls, Q&A, chat features are the basics requirements. We went a little further with our virtual platform Event@: live stream stage, virtual exhibition floor plan, speakers profiles, and many other exciting features that will keep the ball rolling.
More interactive attendees and better customer experience – more data for you. More data for you – more room to improve in the future. Improved events – more interactive attendees. In other words, the loop of success.
Virtual Event Platform for eCommerce
Finally, if your event is not free to attend and requires tickets to be purchased – we have some news for you. You will no longer need to pay a commission to a vendor, even an online one.
Did you know that you can use your Virtual event platform for eCommerce, not just for selling tickets but merchandise too?
Doing so will save you some external costs and keep the number of items all in the same place. Instead of exporting different data from different sources, you will have it all stored on one online platform.
Virtual Event Platform For You
As you see, there is a lot to take in. And if you are dreading hours of research to find a virtual event platform to tick all the boxes we’ve raised above, don’t. Because we have you covered.
Having been a major industry player for a long time, we know better than to offer a one-for-all template solution. No event, virtual or live, is the same. And should ever be treated this way. The flexibility and fluidity of our event platform is the child of creative thought and years of expertise.
And to accompany it, we have EVENTalytics – an event-specific software package created by Showcase that provides invaluable insights into attendance. If you’d like to know more, please reach out to one of our team. We would be happy to introduce you to our top-notch virtual event platform.