Cutting Through The Noise
Are you being inundated with companies reaching out to introduce you to their own software for virtual conferences?
How do you know which one is going live up to your needs? How do you know even what you need for your virtual events? What are the essential questions that you should you ask both your team and the platform provider? What about continually changing technology? Navigating virtual platforms is enough to make you pull your hair out!
Fear not, we are here to help you figure out where to start with selecting the best virtual platform for your event needs. There are several amazing platforms out there and one to suit every budget and event design. To help make the tough decision of what platform to choose. you need to start with a few essential questions:
What do you want to achieve with the event? What are the goals and objectives as well as the reason for having the program?
What is the overall attendee experience you are hoping for? It is important to gauge the emotional connection and Level of interaction you want the attendees to have.
What are the budget parameters? There is no point in Looking at the most expensive platform if it is out of your budget As well do you have the budget to engage in an external audio visual/production company to assist with the event production and technical Logistics of the presentations?
What Level of technical knowledge do you or your team have? Is audio visual or production support going to be required?
Armed with this information, you can start to narrow down your search and build out your list based on what is important. You want to be equipped with the list of features that are a must have versus those that are more of a nice to have. There are great resources that provide reviews of some of the platforms. Here are a few sites and articles that can help you with your research:
Event MB – https://www.eventmanagerblog.com
Capterra – https://www.capterra.com/virtual-event-software
Voip Review – https://www.voipreview.org/blog/best-virtual-event-software
We also recommend that you connect with your colleagues. post questions on Linkedln and reach out to your industry associations. Industry experts are always willing to share their learnings with others. You are not going to be able to research every single platform option out there. We suggest you condense it to a manageable amount so you can focus on the key features that your particular program will need. We also suggestion that the platform has the capability for growth so you can add on additional features or increase bandwidth for more attendees as needed. The key here is flexibility, you want a platform that is going to be able to grow with you and your event needs.
Once you have shortlisted a few platforms that you think might fit the bill, now you are ready to build out your comparison chart. This will assist you being able to visually compare the platforms and home in on what is important to you and the program. See sample chart above from a recent review.
Once you have narrowed down approximately 3 potential platforms, it is time to do a more in-depth demonstration. Ask your platform representative for a sample program that you can walk through in detail focusing on both the front-end and back-end. The attendee experience and ease of use is important however. it is not going to be effective if you are spending double time on the back-end trying to set things set up correctly. This is also the time to negotiate the fee for the platform. Some providers offer monthly promotions if they are launching new features, so make sure to ask your salesperson.
Now you have the information to help you cut through the noise and make an informed decision. If you need help with your virtual conference, reach out to email@example.com.