Your Guide to Virtual Platforms for Online Events
Virtual event platforms can be a minefield. With event planners spoilt for choice, it can be difficult to know which platform will serve your event best. We pride ourselves on being platform agnostic, meaning we won’t try to lure you into picking our preferred platform – because we don’t have one! Instead we take your event, your goals, and your budget into account and cherry pick the solution that we believe will bring you the best ROI and give your audience the best online experience.
If you want some general information on some of these virtual platforms, we’ve listed some of the most prominent platforms below to help you find one that will fit your event specifications.
Zoom, OnZoom & Microsoft Teams
By now, we’ve all experienced a Zoom or Teams meeting. Although general meetings can lack the certain professionalism a virtual event would call for, there are ways you can use Zoom and Teams which makes them a real option for some virtual events. Simple touches like adding a branded background, or some professional lighting and staging, are key to making your Zoom or Teams call more professional. You may also be surprised at what you can achieve with a technical team behind you.
For a long time, Zoom was known as an entry level virtual event platform, simple and cost effective. However, the company are upping their game with a new platform; OnZoom.
According to its creators, OnZoom is a ‘one-of-a-kind online events platform and marketplace that supports – and salutes – the creativity, perseverance, and innovation’ of its users. And one-of-a-kind it is – OnZoom will work by allowing organisers to livestream and monetise/ticket their events as standard but the rest of the features will be added by way of plug-in apps – or ‘Zapps’ as they are called.
OnZoom is very new to the market (as of October 14th) and is still in BETA so we are yet to see exactly how this new platform performs.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams really lend themselves to the smaller-scale webinar or virtual classroom events. With the right know-how you can create really engaging content for your virtual audience.
- Entry level platform – limited knowledge and assistance required for basic meetings
- Cost effective
- With the right guidance and support you can create engaging content for an online audience
- Perfect for smaller scale webinar-type events
- Some chat functionality and desktop sharing capability
INXPO & Ubivent
Labelling themselves as the ‘leading enterprise video streaming platform’, INXPO allows users to create TV-style event experiences enabling you to extend your reach and drive engagement. The live streaming platform offers their users flexible designs for the interface meaning you can personalise the overall look and feel of the online event and add all-important branding.
One of the best features of a virtual event in general is the ability to reach your audience in multiple locations. INXPO takes this one step further and gives you the adaptive streaming which allows your content to be viewed live across any device without compromising on quality or clarity.
Understanding how your content is received during a virtual event allows you to optimise on-the-go and to create and hit key performance indicators, helping you to understand and maximise you ROI. INXPO has video analytics which allow you to do just this during and after your event.
Like INXPO, Ubivent gives you the opportunity to organise and host live streaming, conferences and fairs, webinars and employee events. Both platforms offer interactive elements which are key to making a virtual event feel as similar to an in-person event as possible. With virtual booths, breakout rooms and chat functionality, these two platforms bring the exhibition and conference feel to a virtual space.
- Great for larger events with more moving parts to consider
- Allow for multiple talks at one time
- Includes virtual booths and breakout rooms
- Can cater for a large audience
- More personalisation involved than Teams or Zoom
If you’re looking to host a webinar or a webcast, Workcast has the strongest track record. Labelled as ‘the only cloud-based webinar platform’, Workcast has a more employee focused business model, allowing you to create engaging, professional-quality webinars and webcasts for your attendees.
Workcast requires no downloads or plug-ins, making it easily accessible. The content can be anything from slide and audio webinars to full-screen webcam or screenshare webinars, allowing you to get creative and create what you think will work best with your audience and your objectives.
Their webcast and live event packages can work with live interactions to drive audience engagement, while also collecting live data and analytics to assess and reassess your event’s success on-the-go.
- Great for webinar or webcast
- Cloud based software means no downloads required
- Live data for overall visibility on event performance
- Interactive capabilities
ON24 provides business’ with customer engagement via live, on-demand and personalised webinars or virtual events. This platform is a popular option for B2B event planners due to their strong call-to-actions and data management throughout the platform. This platform heavily features data tracking meaning you get more of an understanding of your audience whilst you are broadcasting to them and able to react accordingly.
The platform hosts an engagement hub which allows users to create and showcase pre-recorded content for audience members to enjoy at their leisure. Their intuitive system can be personalised with company branding and the user can create engaging and ongoing user journeys across the platform.
- Great for tradeshow or conference
- Mostly used for B2B events
- Excellent data tracking for actionable data
- Personalised design
BigMarker is a great virtual platform to be used for mid- to large-scale events. The platform itself is browser based which again allows for the no-so-tech-savvy among your audience.
The interface is clean and easy to use, with opportunity to personalise and make relevant to you and your brand. The platform comes with a whole package of interaction tools such as Q&A, public and private chat, polling, surveys, Call-to-Action pop-ups, raise hands and invite on-stage.
Whilst you’re streaming to your audience, you can also stream to your other business pages such Facebook Live or YouTube. This integration allows you to expand your reach even further.
BigMarker also features webinar marketing such as customisable landing pages and emails, as well as MeetingSpace; BigMarker’s personalised online room, perfect for demos or sales meetings.
- Cloud-based meaning no downloads required
- Browser based software
- Easy-to-use interface
- Tools to encourage engagement and interaction
- Capability to stream content to Facebook and YouTube live
This is a shorter list of some of the more prominent virtual platforms that have really come into their own over the course of the last 6 months. UKSV have been working with clients to bring their events to a virtual space for over ten years now. We are experienced in delivering virtual events across a number of platforms and have the ability to help you choose the platform that is right for you. If you have an event you would like to talk to us about, don’t hesitate to get in touch.