Living in a pandemic world, virtual platforms have increasingly become a popular way for people to make connections nearly as they would in real-life. However, different platforms are inherently built with varying features tailored to offer different experiences.
As an event professional it is useful to have a strong understanding of the key features, their functions and how they can help you achieve your event goals. We outlined 7 features that can help with hybrid and virtual events.
Interaction between attendees and speakers sets the standards for the success of a virtual platform. A great platform will have interactive features such as breakout rooms, demo rooms, virtual exhibitor booths, sponsor booths, group networking tables and more. For attendees and presenters who share common interests, such tools and functionalities help enhance engagement and further the conversation. People who may never meet in person due to their network or location, can now interact with each other and can better sort through user profiles to find existing and new connections.
2. Event Branding
The ability to customize a virtual platform across all attendee touchpoints will keep your brand message clear and visible throughout the event. This helps build brand consistency. Branding includes graphics, color themes, imagery, slogans and fonts throughout different sections of the platform. Brand color in particular helps improves brand recognition by 80%!
3. Live streaming content
Broadcasting in real-time helps reach more audiences, get more exposure, and is a cost-effective way to gain industry authority, boost ROI, enhance reputation, increase customer loyalty and more. Integrating branded pre-recorded videos and presentations during the event also helps increase attendee engagement for keynote speakers who cannot attend in person. You want to make sure the virtual platform can seamlessly support the uploading, scheduling and streaming of content.
4. Modularity of the virtual platform
A modular platform serves best for a segmented audience as it helps arrange your virtual event in the most effective way possible. Virtual platforms with segmented booths and exhibits allow you to organize your audience into smaller groups for a particular task, and for exhibitors to demonstrate their offerings to the relevant audience. This is more effective in turning a live event experience into a virtual event.
5. Multi-screen functionalities
You want to ensure your attendees and presenters can navigate through the platform seamlessly and are able to move various components at their own convenience. An ideal virtual platform should allow users to pin videos wherever they wish so they can explore the event floor at the same time. With a virtual event, your users can now listen to content while easily viewing the event lounge, reception, exhibitions, event feed, speakers, delegates, and other sections, all on a single screen.
6. Data and Analytics for Reporting
After the event, the marketing team needs to analyze and assess performance to better future events. Most virtual platforms offer integrated analytics and reporting tools to ensure simplicity in reporting. It is important to look at the type of data available so it can benefit your event needs and how your organization likes to measure success. You may benefit from finding a virtual platform that provide insights from the processed data and allows you to integrate Google Analytics and other web tools.
7. Custom integrations
As part of reaching more prospects and keeping them engaged before, during, and after the event, there are a couple of integrations that virtual platforms offer. You should plan these options based on the flow of your event and what your event goals are. These include:
- Social Media Integration
- Polling and Voting
- Email Marketing
- Live Chat and Q&As
- Sponsorship Ads
- Push Notifications
At the end of any event, you want to know that communication was effective, impactful and represented your event goals. Creating a rich and interactive event experience is key. With so many virtual platforms available in the industry, it is important to consider the 7 features above so you can make the right choice for your event and also leverage opportunities that you otherwise may not have thought of.