13 Steps to Choosing the Best Virtual Event & Virtual Fair Platform
From live video streaming to interactive speakers to automated social media marketing, the best virtual event platform can do it all. Virtual events can be simple webinars and also professional, high-level online events.
Asking the right questions is essential to decide on the best virtual event platform. This ensures you get all the right features and benefits for your event. Features can be added as the events scale-up, as technology enables advanced tools & features for better collaboration & engagement.
To guide you in choosing the best virtual event platform for your events, HexaFair presents the top13 listed questionnaire that you can ask your virtual event production company service provider. Read on!
1. What networking features does the platform have?
Communication & networking are the key engagers for any event. Virtual reality events enable a massive audience to gather and connect in a very engaging way.
Some of the best networking features include:
- Real-time chat, messaging, group chat for interaction between attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and event managers.
- Q&A survey feature post-event.
- Live polling for record-keeping.
- Feedback acquisition.
2. Does the platform support integrations?
Virtual event platforms enable hosting and are known for their engagement. But do they allow the exhibitor or sponsor to manage virtual event production is the question?
Some of the important event management features involve
- Professional registration services,
- Marketing & promotions,
- Integrated apps & features, and
- Building a professional website.
Exhibitors must run the presentations, Q&A & also have complete authority over the video, audio, and other interactions. If the virtual event platform does not have these features, then it must support essential technical integrations for a better experience.
3. Can the event be recorded and stored?
Be it physical, virtual or hybrid, recording and storing the event for analysis & future strategies is important. This helps the organisers to gain long-term ROI and maintain audience engagement post-event.
Choosing the best virtual event platform that can record and store the event content will help you in later promotions.
4. Is there any ad space or monetization features?
One of the crucial features that every virtual event platform must provide is monetization. The feature opens new avenues for exhibitors, marketers, sponsors, and hosts to market their brands online. Monetization feature allows hotspots to connect with the ad space where sponsors can interact with their audience. Ad spaces are also a great means for building new sponsorships and their promotions.
5. How many space types they have?
Virtual event spaces are of many types, and some of them are sponsorship spaces, exhibit halls, virtual sessions, lobbies, registration booths etc. All of them are facilitated for better attendee engagement & navigation. The spaces are assigned unique names to assist in event promotions or social networking.
Based on your capacity, you can also ask for a dedicated space to generate new networking opportunities for your concepts, sessions and sponsors. People get an opportunity to meet & collaborate with like-minded people and who share common interests over one space.
6. Can the platform be customized for new branding opportunities?
Branding while registrations or navigation becomes a free advertisement for your attendees and might turn them off. Make sure your virtual event platform is white-labelled. This way, event branding becomes a priority in pre-, during, and post-event in sessions, chat rooms and websites.
7. Is it possible to get access to backend operations?
Virtual event platforms backend operations often are automated systems and processes. If not, then there will be a set-up team to make your event flow smoothly. In the manual setup process, you might have to wait longer, risk more and slower the transitions, and that might drive your audiences away.
Backend operations say a lot about the company. To learn if the company can keep up the trust & deliver their promise, have automated systems etc. It is necessary to have access to backend. If the virtual event platform owners express their disinterest to show their backend functions, then things might be haywire there.
8. Where can attendees spot the social integration buttons?
Social media buttons as LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are crucial and play a big role in branding and promotions. They enable seamless sharing, live interactions and can win you new sponsors & audiences. A broader reach is ensured with better ROI in terms of money & knowledge.
9. Do they upload pre-recorded content?
Be it virtual or hybrid events, uploading and scheduling pre-recorded content online is very important. The process brings many things together and betters the impression of audiences. This also enables to produce simulated real webinars or webcasts that render a lot of benefits including flexibility. Pre-recorded content can be uploaded & scheduled with Q&A for a better experience. It also reduces technical issues & enables scheduling in set times across multiple timezones.
10. Do they support live broadcasting?
Live broadcasting gives audiences the most intimate experience. It works great for hybrid events as you can show your attendees what your event looks like giving them a real experience. You can reach out to more new attendees and grow your networks. You can also leave the camera on to record, get in and out of the event, capture moments behind the screens and meets and greets of people, and host that in real live sessions.
11. Is there real-time troubleshooting?
Virtual event platforms must offer 24*7 live troubleshooting to tackle with any unseen technical issues. The support is important throughout the event promo as it ensures all backend operations, data collection, lead generation & support staff are at their best in performance. The best virtual event platform will give you all the support, dedicated staff and amenities to run your event smoothly without any hassles.
12. Do they share event analytics?
Event analytics & metrics help you learn where your brand stands in the market, focusses on the areas that need improvement, shows your audience engagement hotspots, traces the engagement levels,& lead generation funnels etc. Insights will give you the right idea in which area your audience was most active. Metrics dashboard makes visibility a lot easier, & gives you a lot of essential data to make your event a grand success.
13. What is the company growth rate strategy for the next years?
A minimum of 6 months will take to set up your virtual reality event. Your teams will be exclusively working to build the most unique platform with authentic features for your event. In the process, you will learn about the features, functionality, backend process, ins and outs of virtual events. It will be the right time to compare other platforms for facilities and try to bring them into yours for extra smooth operations and management. The best virtual event platform will have long-term strategic plans and will want to continuously upgrade their platform. If they don’t have an eye for the future, then that might not be an ideal choice for your event.